If you’re searching for a new website or revamping your current website, you’re probably thinking about how to choose a web design agency. After all, the company you select will be in charge of designing and developing your website, which will be the first impression a buyer has of your brand and business. It’s a huge choice!
So, how do you choose which company to work with? We’ve included four tips to assist you to choose a web design agency, as well as five questions to ask potential new web design partners.
4 Tips to Help You Choose Your Web Design Agency
- Make a List of Your Website Needs & Website Goals
- Search and Review Nationwide & Local Web Design Agency Partners
- Review Experience, Agency Culture, and Portfolios
- Read Testimonials & Online Reviews
- Questions to ask
1. Make a List of Your Website Needs & Website Goals
Before you start looking for web design companies, you should have a concept of what you want your website to perform and what features it MUST have to help you reach your objectives. After all, your website is a tool for business and marketing, not just a pretty design.
Here are some examples of things your website could do:
- Generate leads for your business;
- Sync your CRM software, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, or any other major CRM software;
- Connect to your marketing automation solution, such as Pardot, Marketo, or HubSpot;
- Connect with your email marketing platforms of choice, such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, or Emma;
- Collect payments or donations, including recurring payments/donations;
- Allow people to fill out forms on your website and send them to your team.
Examples of elements your website may require to assist you in achieving the planned approach:
- Navigation that is easy to use, content that is optimized for search engines, and pages that are designed for conversions;
- E-commerce capability;
- Secure online forms (HIPPA compliant if you work in the healthcare business);
- SSL certification and the HTTPS protocol;
Your website is an extension of your business and should assist you in achieving your objectives, whatever they may be. A list of your goals wants, and nice-to-haves can assist you and the web design businesses you interview in ensuring that your site is really personalized for you.
Your budget and timeline are other important factors to consider before contacting any agency.
While you may not know how much it will cost to create your site, establishing a range (such as between $10k and $15k) can help you acquire web design bids that are reasonable and within your budget. Timeline is also useful since if you need your website up and running in two weeks, you’ll need an agency with immediate availability instead of having to wait three weeks.
2. Search and Review Nationwide & Local Web Design Agency Partners
Now that you’ve compiled your list, begin looking for potential web design agency partners. Look for agencies both locally and nationally, especially if you want a partner with knowledge in a certain field, such as dental or legal.
Collaboration and communication with people across the state or country have become simpler thanks to apps like Zoom and Google Meet. Even if you choose a web design agency near you, it’s good to look around so you can evaluate experience, portfolios, services offered, and agency culture.
3. Review Experience, Agency Culture, and Portfolios
Three things to look for in a strong web design partner are experienced agency culture and a portfolio. These three factors might provide insight into how your project will be managed if it will match your goals and standards, and whether they will be a good overall fit as your web design agency.
When it comes to experience, you want two things:
- How long have they been in business? Are they established or new?
- Do they have experience creating websites for your sector, websites that provide results, websites that you enjoy, and/or websites with the features you want for yours?
Your agency partner should have protocols in place to make the design and development process simple and easy, continuing marketing services to help grow your business, and a team of skilled specialists to assist guarantee your website fulfills your objectives and needs.
The portfolio of a web creative agency is the next best approach to evaluating talents and capabilities. Just make sure you’re looking for more than just visually appealing websites. A beautiful website that is difficult to use can never outperform a good website that is easy to use.
Portfolios will provide information about originality, industry experience, complicated coding skills, and more. When assessing portfolios, keep the following in mind:
- Do they create websites that are mobile-friendly?
- Do they follow the most recent web design trends?
- Are all of the websites the same in terms of structure, navigation, graphics, and so on?
- Have any of their websites earned certification?
If you enjoy an agency’s work but don’t operate in your sector, ask them what they would do for your business. While you want to work with someone who has knowledge of your business, you also need to enjoy the work they do.
Average Size of their Customer
It’s a good idea to learn about the average customer size and how a company works. They will usually work with you if you are the smallest customer. They may have expertise working at that size, leaving you feeling underserved, unimportant, or ignored.
If you are the largest client they have ever dealt with. They may not be used to working at the required scale. At specific scales. A unique set of skills is required. It is not as easy as performing the same activities for a medium-sized corporation at twice or four times the level.
The culture of an agency will reveal a lot about its personality and working style. Ideally, you should pick an agency that has the same personality as your organization so that you can easily cooperate and work together during the web design process.
You may explore agency culture by:
- Looking them up on social media – Do you see a lot of happy smiles on their Instagram feeds?
- Reviewing team pages: Do they highlight their team’s ability and expertise?
- Community interaction – Do they participate in their community?
When you meet with potential web design partners, you’ll get a sense of their culture. Are you made to feel welcome? Do they pay attention to your ideas? Are they passionate about your project?
When selecting a web design agency, consider the agency culture. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, so be sure your web design partner is a good fit for your business and personality.
Does the agency have an in-house marketing team?
Will you require continuous marketing services from an agency? Is the agency’s marketing staff in-house, or do they outsource internet lead generation?
Does the agency use technologies like CRM to help with marketing? Getting people to visit your website is only half the battle. The other half is turning those visitors into clients.
Even if you do not intend to use continual marketing. Working with an agency that has a marketing section brings information into the organization that a pure web design agency may not have or keep up with.
4. Read Testimonials & Online Reviews
Read testimonials and online reviews of the web design businesses you’re considering for your new website in addition to their portfolio. The reviews are a great way to discover how satisfied clients are with their websites, the level of customer support they experienced while working together, and whether or not they mention specific team members by name.
Check out reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Check to see whether they provide testimonials on their website. If the only place you find reviews is on their website, do a little more research before scheduling a meeting.
10 Must-Ask Questions to Help You Choose Your Web Design Agency
You now have a list of potential web design businesses to interview based on your research. Schedule a meeting (in person or by phone/video call) and ask the following questions to get a better sense of their experience and services:
You are not alone if you are familiar with a content management system (CMS). In fact, if you utilise that precise wording, the company you’re meeting with should be impressed.
A CMS is a website platform that allows non-technical users to quickly edit their own website. Instead of a website that requires you to know HTML or CSS to change (referred to as a static website), you may simply connect to the backend of your site and update text, photos, videos, and other content on your own. This provides you greater control and authority over your website.
The short answer is that content management systems are used to develop websites. WordPress (the most popular CMS on the market), Squarespace, Wix, and Joomla are the most popular.
It is essential to understand an agency’s experience, limits, and your company requirements. Integrating third-party solutions such as Hubspot might help you keep track of your current and future clients. When you include a CRM, such as Hubspot, onto your website. You may see more information about your client. Have they lately studied case studies? It may be a good opportunity to contact them.
Third-party tools may considerably improve your marketing efforts by allowing you to work more effectively and make better judgments.
You want to engage with a company that has expertise creating websites for your sector. Because of the rigorous rules regarding content, security, HIPPA compliance, and ADA compliance, this can be particularly important for the healthcare, dental, ecommerce, and legal businesses.
Even if they have industry experience listed on their website, request examples of their work for your sector. Allow them to guide you through their design and development process.
Knowing who you will be working with is important to the success of your project. Even if they aren’t in your area, you should be able to meet with them by phone call or video chat. If you get the impression that the sales rep or agency isn’t enthusiastic on you meeting their team, move them to the bottom of your list.
It’s important to understand your agency’s connection with you. Will they work with you to understand your goals and advise you on how to best attain them? Some organisations may concentrate on design or on keeping costs low.
Investing time ahead to identify goals, study the best solutions, and discuss them is essential to attaining excellent results. Which is more significant? Having the most visually appealing website, the cheapest website, or the one that turns people into buyers.
Updating your own website may be difficult at first, but with little instruction and direction, you’ll be able to add new pages and blog entries in no time. If you’re feeling worried, inquire with your soon-to-be web design partner about basic website training once your site is live.
Basic website training should cover how to login to your website, add a new user, change material, build a form, and anything else you’ll need to perform on a daily basis.
You might also ask, “What should I do if I am unable to update my website on my own?”
If you require the assistance of a developer or a more difficult upgrade, your web design partner should give continuous support and troubleshooting. While some assistance may be included in an ongoing maintenance plan, upgrades that need a developer will most likely be charged on an hourly basis. Just make sure you understand which sorts of modifications will required the use of a developer and which will not.
Not many companies have a support staff or administer their websites on a continuous basis. It is essential that you know who to contact if something goes wrong and what type of response time you may expect.
Technology is continually developing, security problems emerge, and laws governing privacy practises evolve. Your website will require an upgrade at some point. While most upgrades enhance things by addressing security problems or providing code changes. Without a code upgrade, they can occasionally destroy current functionality. You should have a strategy in place for dealing with this.
If the company provides hosting and continuous support. You should learn how items are backed up and what steps are required to restore your website if something goes wrong and you need to restore from a backup.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the digital marketing discipline of optimising websites for optimum search engine position and user experience (including site structure, content, photos, videos, meta tags, and so on). When creating a website from scratch, firms must have SEO in mind so that search engines can comprehend your site and rank it in search results.
You wish to work with a web design company that offers SEO services. It’s even better if they have their own marketing staff that remains current on algorithm updates, SEO trends, and marketing methods.
That may appear to be an awkward question. But it’s worth asking. Some companies may just rent you a website for a monthly fee. When you leave them, the website, and occasionally part of the material on the website, become their property, and you are unable to take it with you.
This generally has a cheaper initial and continuing cost than having an agency construct you a website that you own and can host anywhere you choose.
As a result, make sure you understand who owns the website and if material such as blog entries is created by an agency. Who owns the content of the post.
If the company you’re working with will host your website. You should understand how to transfer it to another host if you change your mind and wish to host with another company.
Find out whether the hosting company will migrate your website for you. Or if they will provide you database and FTP access but need you to relocate it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Generally, the encounter should be pleasant, but be certain that you working smoothly the process.
Choose Your Web Design Agency Carefully
Choosing a web design agency is not an easy option. Take your time (or as much as your time permits) in researching web design agencies for your business and project. Your website is the first impression a potential consumer will have of your brand and business – it is important to conduct research to select a web partner that can assist you in achieving your online objectives.
ARF Services is an award-winning web design and SEO agency in Florida, USA.View our portfolio, read more of our blogs, or schedule a free website analysis to see how we can improve your website and online presence.