Michigan Website Design
Snappy Web Design is the one-stop-shop for web design.
Michigan's Newest Web Design Company
You search Google for “Michigan web design” and find my site. I’m Joe, and I’m the head developer at Snappy Web Design. I’m the new guy on the block, and an expert in providing full-service web design for small business owners in MI.
I’m different from typical web design agencies because I aim to be your partner for all things related to your online presence. Whether you need graphic design, website design, website development, hosting, or search engine optimization, I’ve got you covered.
Maybe you’re wondering about generating more traffic to your site with PPC advertising, but you have no idea where to start. I’m here to break the landscape down into simple components that you can understand.
I’ll provide guidance on whether or not to launch a campaign, and then I’ll manage the campaign for you - communicating everything in layman’s terms throughout.
A PPC marketing campaign is just one example; this is true for any question you may have as a small business owner navigating the online space.
How Much Does a Website Cost?
Giving a one-size fits all price on developing a website in Michigan is like giving one price for a car; there’s too many variables at play. The price fluctuates depending on what functionality your website needs to have. Certain features like e-commerce will increase the overall price you pay.
Generally, hiring a big web design agency will cost you anywhere from $7,000-$15,000 in 2021. Hiring a freelancer ranges anywhere from $1,000-$7,000. Paying under $1,000 for a website is generally not advised, as it usually means one of two things:
1. The website was coded by an experienced developer. The biggest unforeseeable problem with hiring inexperienced developers is their ability to handle complex tasks/issues. A bug in code may be unfixable for them or take days to resolve, whereas an experienced developer will be able to code any feature you request. They will also have encountered enough issues to be able to fix most bugs within minutes, not hours.
2. The website was coded on a website builder. These are fine for individual hobbyists, but they aren’t made to handle the needs of a small business. They’re usually packaged with bloated, unoptimized code (and lots of it), which in turn harms the site's rankings on Google. Site builders like SquareSpace, Wix, and Weebly also tend to cost most and lack important features, which is not what you want for your business.
One of my biggest differentiators is my ability to scale my pricing in accordance with my clients needs. What this means in practice is that we always deliver the most affordable website packages.
If you need a simple landing page with low or no monthly fees because your website is only informational, I can make a package to fit your needs. If you’re a corporate level customer who needs a custom content management system, SEO project management, and emergency maintenance - I can make a package to fit your needs, too.
The technology I use grants us the maximum level of flexibility in pricing, and the maximum level of performance for your business.
Types of Websites
- Company Blogs
- Portfolio Website Design
- Directory Web Design
- Informational Website Design
- E-commerce Website Company
- Small Business Web Design
- Consultation Website Design
- Michigan Lawyer Web Design
- Grand Rapids Web Design
- Responsive Websites
- Mobile Friendly Web Design
I Specialize in Gatsby.js Development
I specialize in developing websites with Gatsby.js, a static site generator built around React.js, which is a library developed by Facebook. I hope you’re still with me - because it’s important! Gatsby.js is far superior to site builders like SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly, and even popular solutions like WordPress.
Gatsby.js websites are optimized beyond what WordPress sites can come close to. Without going into detail, what this means is that the websites are really fast. Google, in turn, gives higher priority to fast websites in search results. Gatsby also takes care of SEO - again, giving your site the best chance to show up number one on Google.
Content Management System
You’ll probably want to have a way to manage your site content. This is different for every company: maybe in your case you want to publish blogs to help your customers. In that case, you’ll need a portal to update content. This is where freelancers traditionally push WordPress - providing you a portal out of the box to create new posts and edit content. Be warned, this singular benefit is not worth the other downsides compared to Gatsby! In fact, I provide all of my clients a content management system to handle anything and everything that they want.
I do this using Contentful, a leading, “headless” content management system. All that means for small business owners is that you manage site content from Contentful’s website. Otherwise, everything works just the same as it would with WordPress.
You can write a new blog post, change pictures, and edit content. As soon as you publish your changes, the website will redeploy with your new content.
Gatsby.js is a static site generator, which means the pages are built and rendered before users attempt to access them. A traditional website takes a second or two to run the code and display the page as intended. With Gatsby, the page is already rendered.
This is why my websites feel like they load instantly - they essentially are. Once the files are built, you end up with a lightweight package that requires very little computing power to host. This is another one of the huge benefits that Gatsby provides - it’s an extremely affordable way to develop and host a website.
There are a variety of providers of cloud hosting - Netlify, Gatsby.js Cloud, and even Cloudflare have released hosting options. Since they require such little computing power to host, you can often do it for pennies per month.
How to Choose a Website Designer in Michigan
Hiring a web designer in 2021 is an incredibly tricky task. There have never been more options than today as far as ways to get a website up and running for your business. Unfortunately, as is often the case, having so many options makes it incredibly tricky to choose. Like other big purchases, such as a car, you’ll need to get rid of any preconceived notions you may have and really consider what your needs are. Once you get a clearer view of your needs, the decision making process will often seem much more clear. With that in mind, here are a few tips as you embark on your journey to hiring a web designer in Michigan. Paying more time on the front end for this task will save you endless headaches on the backend, so read with care.
1. Explore your technological needs
What exact functionality are you looking for? Be specific in this process, and really take time to consider what role your website plays for your company.
Do you just need a “brochure site” design that lists your company's information? If you don’t generate any business online, then this might be the right choice for your small business. Having an online presence is a great way to build authority and let people know you’re still in business - but you don’t need to spend a fortune to get all the bells and whistles.
Take time to really consider what you need not only today, but what you’ll need in the future. If you think that you might need e-commerce in 3 years, you’ll need to make sure you can hire a developer who has the capabilities of doing it today.
The worst case scenario would be paying $5,000 to build a new website only to have to pay the same amount 3 years later once you decide to introduce e-commerce.
It’s also important to ask prospective web designers what they’re capable of. Some developers will use technologies with built-in limitations that mean they literally can’t include the functionality that you need. If you’re dealing with a WordPress developer, you’ll likely find that the extra functionality will cost a couple extra hundred dollars a month. If you choose a developer that codes functionalities from scratch like Snappy Web Design, you’ll only be on the hook for the time that I spend coding. That beats paying for my time as well as a monthly fee for a plugin!
In summation, ask yourself:
- What functionality do you need today?
- What functionality might you want in the future?
- Do you need access to edit your site content?
2. Explore your design needs
How do you want your website to look and feel? What message do you want your visitors to come away with?
These are important questions that you need to answer before hiring a web developer in Michigan. While great designers can translate your visions into something tangible; you’ll need to be able to communicate what your visions are.
The best thing you can do before trying to find a web designer is to explore the web. Make a list of all of your businesses competitors, and visit each of their websites. Note any common design patterns you see, and ask yourself if such an element would also be beneficial for your website. Most importantly, note the aspects of the design that you like and the aspects that you don’t like.
Once you’ve visited your competitors’ websites and made a list of what you do and don’t like, expand your reach outside of your industry. Go to the websites that you use most often, or maybe the websites whose design you most appreciate. Collect a list of these websites and again, the elements that you like.
Narrow your list down to your top 5 favorite websites. Write a short list on the must-have design aspects your website needs. Communicate these with your web designer and you’ll have a much smoother experience getting a website that matches your vision.
In summation, ask yourself:
- What other websites do I love? What do I love about them?
- What 5 websites can I give to a prospective web designer as inspiration?
3. Explore your businesses needs
What exact role does your website serve for your business? Once you can answer this question, you’ll have a far better idea of what you’re actually shopping for.
For example, if your website does not and can not generate revenue for your business, then you probably don’t want more than a one-page brochure site. On the other hand, if your website serves as an important tool for generating leads, you’ll probably want a web designer who also has expertise in search engine optimization.
If you’re building a site with an aggressive SEO strategy, 9 times out of 10 that also means you’re going to be building a large site. Multiple pages gives you the most opportunities to target keywords - so you’ll need to invest more than a business who only requires an informational site.
To answer this question, think about who your customers are. Do they use the internet? Are they likely going to find your business from an internet search, or are they more likely to see you while driving?
Once you know how much you need to invest in your website, you also need to reconsider the functionalities that your website needs. Does your website need to be integrated with your inventory system? Bookkeeping system? Do customers need to be able to sign up and save information to their accounts?
All of these questions are important to ask yourself, and then in turn ask prospective web developers if they are capable of handling such requests.
In summation, ask yourself:
- How do customers find my business?
- Does my website play a role in generating revenue for my business?
- Does my website need any integrations, like to an inventory management system?
4. Explore the budget for your website
The amount of money that you have available to spend on your website will be the biggest determining factor in your hunt for a web designer in MI. Budget goes beyond money though, so ask yourself: how much money and time do you have to spend right now?
If the answer is not a lot, then you probably shouldn’t be in the market for a new website. You have to think of your website as a business investment, just like any other asset on the balance sheet. Instead of thinking of your website as an expense with no benefit like office supplies, you need to think of it like any other piece of revenue-generating equipment.
After all, a healthy SEO strategy can provide a higher return-on-investment (ROI) than any other investment.
In summation, ask yourself:
- How much does a new lead cost?
- How many leads can my website generate?
- How many leads would I lose if I had no website?
5. Explore sources & alternatives
Who do you want to hire to design and develop your website? And how will you find them?
Unfortunately, good web designers are hard to find. The industry is flooded with beginners out of coding bootcamps who can manipulate a WordPress template, but get frozen on moderately challenging feature requests or design implementations. The other side of the coin is just as bad - big name agencies who make color changes to a template and charge your business upwards of $10,000 for their expertise.
The good news is that if you put in some work and find a web designer with expertise, you’ll have an investment with a better ROI than any other you can make.
Keep in mind that good web designers want to work with good clients. If you want to contract the services of a good designer, make sure you follow the steps in this article and know what you want before you go looking. Once you’ve actually begun an engagement, communicate your desires clearly, timely, and politely.
It’s not overly complicated - just treat the web designer as you would want a client to treat you!
6. Follow up with questions
After initially contacting a web designer with requirements for your project, follow up and ask questions. Ask for a portfolio of their previous work, customer references, and testimonials. Ask them what challenges they’ve had to overcome in the past, and what features would stump them. Ask not what they’re capable of, but what they aren’t capable of.
Communicate as much and as clearly as you can upfront. Make sure that the web designer understands your business, the services you provide, and what role your website plays in running your business. Communicate your design wishes and send them the list of websites that you collected earlier for inspiration.
Communicating as much as you can upfront will save you a world of headaches later. You never want to have to ask your web designer to redo a page because it doesn’t reflect what you need. Simple issues like that can be avoided upfront with good communication on both ends.
Web Design Process
I have a holistic approach towards web design in MI; ensuring I have a complete understanding of your business and the competitive landscape before writing any code. The time from when you first contact me to when your website goes live will look something like this:
- Initial contact - you inquire about michigan website design and the requirements for your business. We schedule a meeting and discuss what role your website plays for your small business. I ask questions to gain a deeper understanding into your industry, your businesses personality, and differentiators.
- Mockup - I analyze the websites that you’ve provided as design inspiration and utilize the services of a professional graphic designer if required. A mockup of your website design is generated and sent to you for review.
- Review - before moving any further in the web design process, you have an opportunity to discuss any changes you want or any ideas that you’ve come up with. We give you an interactive demonstration of the mockups, thoroughly explaining why each element was included or designed the way it was. Once you’re completely satisfied with the solution, we get down to the fine-details of design.
- Design - using the mockups and notes taken based on your feedback, we start ironing out the final product. This involves using brand materials like fonts, colors, and logos to extend the experience that your brand is accustomed to providing. Every design decision is made with care and attention to detail.
- Review - a second round of review is essential for me to create a website that you love. It’s important that every detail is exactly how you want it. In this round of review, we go over the finalized design in a fully interactive demonstration. This gives you another opportunity to tweak things and make sure we get everything right the first time around.
- Build - here’s where I do my magic. After you’ve approved every aspect of the design, I get to coding your website. Once the “front-end”, or the visual part of the website is fleshed out, I proceed to finishing any backend functionality that we’ve discussed. This may mean implementing e-commerce, setting up your custom content management system/blog, or connecting your custom API to the site. Once the backend functionality is implemented, I put the website through numerous rounds of rigorous testing and examination. After thorough usability testing, I run various finishing tests and ensure the website is optimized for speed and SEO.
- Launch - the moment we’ve all been waiting for. When I’m done coding your website, you’ll be the first to know. You’ll get access to an unpublished site which you can explore and interact with the same way your customers will. When you say the word, I press the button and launch the website to the public, using your existing domain. I’m there to ensure everything goes to plan so you can start seeing a return on your investment in your website.
- Maintenance - my work doesn’t end after launch. I stay in close contact with you to ensure your website is filling the needs of your small Michigan business. If you need changes or edits, I’ll be there to make them timely. From there on out I ensure your website is kept up to date and working as planned. If you choose an SEO plan, I’ll be in constant touch with optimization suggestions and reports on your website's search engine performance.
Search Engine Optimization
I have tons of experience optimizing websites for Google and providing businesses in Michigan with valuable organic leads. A solid SEO strategy is the most valuable asset your business can have.
Just ask yourself, how many more sales would you get if your website was #1 on Google for your industry? I don’t think I need to write in detail about the implications that this would have for your profits and your life.
I’ve been able to provide unmatchable results with SEO, and it’s thanks to my understanding of the following processes.
Understanding what your customers search for is essential to having a good SEO strategy. I leverage SEO tools that make keyword research easy, and layer on filters and my own version of artificial intelligence: my brain.
Combining this with my experience in getting websites to rank high on Google, I pick the most relevant keywords that are a combination of 1: valuable and 2: attainable.
If you’re looking for Web Design in Michigan - look no further than Snappy Web Design. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the information in this post and find it beneficial in hiring a michigan web designer. You should now have a deeper understanding of the industry, what’s important in websites, how to hire a web designer, and what the development process looks like.
If you’re in the market for a new website or just want to ask an honest person questions so that you don’t get taken for a ride, please reach out to me!
I look forward to hearing from you and discussing how I can help your business. Again, thanks for reading and I hope you found this helpful!
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