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Despite being a relatively small town there is a high concentration of agencies offering web design in Knutsford. This is perhaps something you wouldn’t expect from a small historical town! The reason for this is because Knutsford is an affluent area with a lot of SME’s, all of which realise just how critical it is to have an online presence. Any business that doesn’t have a website is at risk of looking small, or at best is missing out on a lot of potential opportunities that a website offers. Additionally Knutsford is situated perfectly between Manchester, Cheshire, Liverpool and Stoke making it local to a lot of businesses in some of the UK’s major cities.
Advantages of a local web design company
Although it really isn’t necessary to have a local web design company (we have clients in Australia!), there are advantages of having a company based locally. Here are just a few of them:
Simply by having a local web design company, they seem more trustworthy. Although unlikely, it can feel like a company based miles away or in another country could easily avoid you, and in the worst case scenario run off with your money! Although I would hope that this is unlikely to happen, just by being a few minutes drive away there is automatically more trust in the company. Additionally, reputation is very important to a business, and you will find that a web design agency works much harder for a local business to ensure that it keeps a good reputation!
- Face to Face meetings
I think face to face meetings are very important, especially for a new client. Face to face meetings are great for important judgements on character (some things are lost over email and conversations on the phone) and it is definitely easier to present ideas and explain complex/technical aspects of a site in person. If you’re not local to your web design agency, then face to face meetings are still possible but they will probably be less frequent.
- Local knowledge
You should never under estimate the value of local knowledge, and in terms of web design this could be as simple as knowing who your local competitors are, understanding your target audience, or for keyword selection for SEO.
- Time factors
If you were to outsource your web development to i.e. another country for cheaper development rates, consider the time factors involved. East coast America are 5 hours behind which means that their working day will be starting around 2pm UK time. Indian companies are 5 and half hours ahead, so the start of a UK working day will be around 2.30pm leaving only a small window of opportunity to communicate within each others normal working hours.
- Cost of contact
Generally it is cheaper to work with a local company as there are less expenses for travel and communication, and it is worth factoring these costs in at the proposal stage. Initially a company may sound cheaper than another, but is it a false economy?
Getting exposure to your website
Many people believe that as soon as you get your website online, that people will instantly start finding it. With thousands of new websites added every single day, the chances of your website being found without some sort of promotion or search engine optimisation (SEO) are slim. Ask your web agency about SEO at the start; although it’s unreasonable to ask SEO to be part of the web design, it can be built in an “SEO friendly way” which can make a big difference. Make sure that your site has been structured correctly, has a good internal linking structure, and that it has friendly URLs and ideally has a section of the website that is regularly updated, such as a news or blog section.