website design

Web Design

Why Website Builders Aren’t Always The Best Option

When it comes to website design, you might be asking yourself if you should go with a DIY website builder or a professional creative agency.

Site builders, like Wix or Squarespace, might be a less expensive way to go, but they are not always the best option. The key is to figure out what your goal is for your new website.

Who are you hoping to reach, and how do you want it to look? Using a website builder essentially means you are completely on your own. (There are companies who will build your site with website builder for you, but the added cost negates the sole advantage of using a builder in the first place.) If that thought is a bit overwhelming, perhaps you should hire a creative agency to take the weight off your shoulders, help guide you through the process, and bolster your results.

Time

Going with a St. Louis creative agency will save you quite a bit of time. With a website builder, you will have to learn how the system works and play around until you get the hang of it. Then, you’ll have to work on polishing the design by yourself.

An agency knows what they’re doing from the get-go. They will be able to work on your site for you, so you have the time to take care of the hundred other things on your plate.

Flexibility

Website builders are often limited in the features they offer. You are stuck with generic templates that thousands of other websites employ, and you can’t add much customization—in the design or the functionality.

On the other hand, a creative agency will have coding experts who can add almost any feature, and make sure it works the way you want. The website will be built to your custom specifications, and it will be unique to your company.

Quality

Finally, if you choose to build your website on your own, you’ll be relying on your own talents to guide you through the process. Now, there’s no doubt that you’re talented, but you are also brand new to the world of website design. It will be up to you to decide not just how your site will look, but the best way it should be organized for ease of use, and how best to drive engagement such as sales or donations.

A creative agency, on the other hand, is made of experts who have handled dozens of website projects before. They will work with you to make sure the website looks and functions optimally. They will take advantage of tools like Google analytics to hone your website so that it is just right for the user.

The choice is yours. If you think working with a creative agency might be the best path, contact Hub & Spoke today to talk about your options.

The Process Web Design

The Value of a Design-Driven Web Design Firm

Website vendors and design providers are a dime a dozen these days, especially with the emergence of website builders and offshoring services. Do any search online, and you’re sure to find twenty or more vendors providing everything from premium consulting to out-of-the-can template generation for those on a bootstrap budget.

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The Process Web Design

Maximizing a Smaller Budget for Non-Profit Website Design

Top notch non-profit website design requires the same level of professionalism as is expected of any business web design, especially when accepting donations or aiming to increase awareness.

How do non-profits justify the need for a web design budget?

In today’s world, people browse online when they want to learn more or contribute to a cause, so a powerful web presence is a must to help stand out. Continue Reading

Best Practices Search Engine Optimization The Process Web Design

Auditing Your Website for a Successful Redesign

If you’re thinking of doing a website redesign, you probably have an inkling that there is something about your current website that is not quite working for you.

Whether you’re wanting to reorganize and update current content, work to improve your search ranking through SEO or just want a fresh redesign, a website audit is a great way to begin the process of figuring out what elements are amiss and how to right the ship.

An audit is also a good way to evaluate the effectiveness of your site overall and its marketing message, while helping you set goals and analytical data points to revisit after relaunch to gauge success. Continue Reading

Case Study Web Design

Helping Rock Bridge Brewing Co. differentiate online

Hub & Spoke recently helped Rock Bridge Brewing Company relaunch online, replacing their dated look with something fresh and mobile friendly.

The new design, which includes original photography of their brewery by Hub & Spoke, uses wood grains, subtle patterns and grids, helps to create the look of a modern and welcoming online gathering place.

Finding Inspiration

When Rock Bridge Brewing Company approached Hub & Spoke, they showed us one of their wooden beer taps, asking us to use its unique character for inspiration on the project.

From there, we worked to make a responsive website design that showcased their events and unique brews with an easy-to-use content management system, WordPress.

Along for the Ride

Hub & Spoke has partnered with Rock Bridge Brewing Company since 2013, when we designed their Rye You Lil’ Punk and Saison beer cans, marking their first foray into canned products.

Since then, we’ve had the opportunity to help them take four brews to store shelves, with their first bottle series set to debut across Missouri soon.

When you’re looking for a website design that works on all devices, also look for a long-term partner—someone who can grow with your business to help you tell your story. At Hub & Spoke, we work side by side with companies of all shapes and sizes to create a powerful and engaging online presence, and we won’t ever leave you hanging.

The Process Web Design

5 Things to Consider Before Issuing a Website Design RFP

Finding a creative agency that fits perfectly with the needs of a client is one of the greatest challenges in the marketing process. Every agency has its specialties or industries it often works with, along with its unique qualifications and characteristics.

For many organizations, an RFP represents the best way to choose from among multiple vendors for a final interview and decision.

Having received and replied to a lot of RFPs over the years at Hub & Spoke, we thought we’d share a few tips on how to make it a smooth process.

1. Share Your Budget

It is a common notion that withholding your budget information increases competition among agencies and thus assuring you of better value. However, agencies have to consider the scale when looking to take on a project.

Withholding your budget information can lead to wasted time for both you and the agency in figuring out whether the relationship fits. Disclosing the budget information helps narrow down the field and ensures the right people respond.

2. Make your goals clear

When issuing an RFP for a St. Louis website design, you should consider clarifying the challenges you are likely to face and goals you have for the project.

Clearly outline the changes to the website and how you expect it to be organized. While you’re not expected to have a final plan of action, it’s still a good idea to establish a scope of work that the agency can use as a foundation for their estimate and their expected scope of work.

However, don’t be too rigid in your expectations. It’s okay to provide room for new ideas; that’s likely why you’re looking for help with your website design in the first place.

3. Set a realistic timeline

Website redesigns have been a painful process for non-profit organizations for a long time.

Given the importance of branding and website design to an organization, the last thing you would want to do is rush through the design, the strategy, and the implementation. Since it is an investment in time and money, it is important to get it right, without taking any shortcuts.

Setting realistic timelines will help you avoid any future regrets and ensure a well thought-out discovery phase and design period.

4. Narrow the field

Not every web designer will be a good fit for your project, so narrow down the field before issuing your RFP, instead of posting it for all comers.

Spend some time looking at other agencies’ works to see if they resonate with you and select a handful to compete for your project. Try reaching out and discussing with them to determine whether you can work perfectly together, as they’ll always be happy to talk about how they can help.

Also, by narrowing down the list before sending, you’ll avoid a lot of junk responses that are boilerplate and simplistic, which don’t address the actual problems and scope presented by you in the RFP.

5. Decide whether you really need an RFP

Before issuing an RFP, ask yourself whether it is really necessary or not.

Many organizations have moved away from the RFP process because they recognize that it may not be the most effective way to identify the perfect partner.

You might invest your time in developing the needs and requirements only to be put aside. Therefore, be thoroughly sure that you need an RFP before issuing and ensure you can dedicate the proper time to studying each response.

Creating a website design RFP can be a time consuming process with lots of data and information to compile. Have questions? Contact us and we’re happy to give our input, as we’ve read and responded to many of them.

© 2017 Web Design, Branding & Marketing Insights from Hub & Spoke.