There are numerous businesses out there that don't fully understand what a website design company does. Some feel like they are the swiss army knife to the internet, building sites that control the world, while others think website design is extremely easy (while that person actually knows very little to nothing about website design).
The truth of the matter is, website design has several different levels and all website designers and design companies are not created equal. The problem with the word "website designer" is there are no qualifications to say you are a website designer, unlike a doctor... that requires years of schooling and practice before he has the letters MD permanently attached to his/her name. At the end of the day knowledge, practice and studying is exactly what a website designer needs to build effective, user friendly and successful websites.
With that said let's look at what a website designer does and is responsible for:
- Discuss your needs, evaluate your competition and industry.
- Create your website's design, look and feel.
- Setup your CMS (Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal being the top 3)
- Lay down the static pages for you (Home, About, Contact, etc.)
- Set up a publishing page, article section and/or blog where you can write content.
That sums up a basic website designer’s responsibility. There is no need to over complicate what a website design company does. While some companies are professional, offer a project manager to handle the project and offer top notch service and design, there are others who throw something together quickly and hopefully their low ball price reflects that.
Don't treat your website designer like he invented the internet. It isn't your website designers job to get you to the front of Google, for instance - this isn't what they do. A good website designer or developers job is to create something that is visually pleasing for a human and also robot friendly for SEO and then hand the keys over to you. Once the website is created properly and correctly from step one, it is now something to build on to get a steady stream of sales, visitors, customers and subscribers. No business was built over night with thousands of customers the next day.
What that said, if a company offers online marketing or SEO services then, typically for a monthly fee they will handle properly SEOing your website with content, link building and other online marketing efforts to make sure your website is striving the way it should.
At the end of the day your website is important to your business. Regardless if you are a restaurant, pool cleaning company or landscaper - your website should be as professional and as well developed as your business is. When working with a website designer, work with someone that you would hire to work in your business because that's exactly what they're doing.