How to Hire a Web Designer
Ranch House Designs vs. Other Web Design Firms
Choosing a web designer is a big decision that impacts the future of your business. Your ideal web design partner should be someone that works hand in hand with you in helping you achieve the overall business goals of your operation.
So what makes Ranch House Designs different than other design firms? Here are a few key points to consider when choosing a design firm to partner with.
Here’s how RHD matches up vs. other web design firms.
1. Experience / Years in Business
When you work with any business vendor, you want to take into consideration their experience and longevity in business. Sure, new businesses can be great, but businesses with many years in business have stood the test of time. They’ve been able to survive through market ups and downs, and whims of the market, because they are great businesses. Ranch House Designs has been in business since 1999. There are many web design firms that pop up, maybe become popular for 2-3 years, and then disappear. When that happens, you’re stuck with the question of starting over, or having no one to update your website. Ranch House is a proven, time-tested web design firm that can partner with you for years to come.
2. Customer Satisfaction / Customer Retention
Since starting web design in 1999, we still have over 20 customers who have been customers of RHD for over 20 years. The average customer of Ranch House Designs is a customer for 8 years, and for most customers, if they cancel their website, it’s due to a business change such as selling their business, or getting out of the cattle business for various reasons. We have very very few – if any – customers who cancel their website with us for reasons beyond natural ebb and flow of business. Our customers are our #1 priority and we are proud of our high level of customer satisfaction and retention.
3. Updates Speed
Updates speed is super important. When choosing a web designer, ask about their updates policies. Do you get unlimited updates? With RHD you do. Or, are you charged a fee every time you want to update? These nickel-and-dime charges can really add up. For over a decade, we have maintained a 1 day average turnaround time for customer update requests.
4. The People At Your Web Design Firm
People naturally enjoy doing business with others they trust and receive respect from. The RHD team is 100% based in the USA. Most of us are working moms. We understand and speak your language. If you need to talk to a real live person on the phone, we are here every week day from 8 to 4 p.m. We never outsource our work overseas. We also know and understand the agricultural industry – which most of our clients are part of.
It’s very important to understand the price structure that your web designer uses. RHD offers flat rate package pricing. So there are no hidden fees, and you know up front what your project is going to cost. Our web design packages start at $900.
6. Ongoing maintenance fees
Also consider any ongoing maintenance fees. RHD offers two options for our clients. We have an unlimited updates and hosting package that is $800 per year. This covers all your updates, your web hosting, and domain registration. Or, if you don’t ever need to update, we offer a website freeze option that is $400 and only includes your hosting. This also makes it easy to budget your web costs.
7. Location of your web design firm
RHD is based out of Wharton, Texas. Most all of our web clients, however, are based outside of our small town. We do most of our client communication over email and phone. If you are a client who needs to personally come in and sit face to face with your web designer, you may be better suited looking for a web design firm in your home town so that you can go in to their office when needed. However, in doing over 800 websites, we do most all of our work over phone and email and it works very well.
Winner: RHD, unless you’re someone who wants to meet face to face with your web designer. In that case, choose a local web design firm.
8. Initial turnaround time of designs
Generally, we have a design proof to clients within 1 week of them completing their web design survey. We know it’s exciting once you book a website and we want to get your initial proof to you as soon as possible.
9. Hours of Operation
RHD is a thriving business in Wharton, Texas and we are open from the business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday to Friday. Our updates are all completed during these business hours. If you are someone who needs to call your web designer after business hours, or someone to work on the weekends, you may be better suited working with a work-from-home designer who might be available later in the day. We often reply to emails after work.
Winner: Freelance designers or those who work from home are more likely to take calls after 5 p.m. RHD is closed at 5:00 p.m. and on weekends.
10. Staff capability
The RHD staff includes 15 team members. If one person is out of the office, there are several other team member who are able to jump in on projects and help. When working with an individual designer, or small firms, if one person is on vacation, or has an unexpected sick day, your project gets halted. RHD’s strength is in the diverse talents of our team, where everyone helps each other and moves projects along efficiently.
The verdict? Ranch House Designs is a clear winner for the best choice for web design in many categories. We would love to give you a quote to handle your web design needs. Please request a quote if you’d like more information or to setup a free consultation.