How to Choose a Web Design Company?
If you’re not already working with a web design agency that you’re happy with, how do you choose the right firm to develop the online face of your business?
Take the following steps to help you make an informed decision when choosing a web design company:
Check out their own website
Doing this can give you a great indication as to the agency’s own standards and technical capabilities. You can check to see whether the site meets your requirements as a user. Ask yourself whether the site is visually appealing, responsive and easy to use, and even if you don’t like its overall style (after all, this aspect is highly subjective), could you see them being able to give you a workable website that you can be proud to show your audience?
Check out their portfolio, too
Some agencies will be proud to show off past projects, so if they have a portfolio on display on their site, check it out and see how professional their previous work looks. Does the type of client they work with have some of the same requirements as you? Could the sites they’ve created work just as well for you and your business needs? Spend some time carefully looking before you make any decisions.
Give them a call and arrange a meeting
How responsive a web design agency is when you contact them, and even how they talk to you, can be a fantastic indicator of how professional, friendly and accessible they are. Do they seem interested in working for you? Are they asking the sorts of questions you feel they should be asking you? While you don’t need to be best buddies with your chosen web design agency. You do need to be able to work well with them, and as you’re going to be paying them for their services. You want them to work hard and efficiently for you.
Once you’ve made the call and you’re satisfied that they have the potential to fit your needs, set up a meeting (either online or in person), and be prepared to ask them a series of more in depth questions to help you determine whether they are the right fit for you. Some of the most important questions you should be asking them are listed below:
Have you worked with other companies in my industry?
If the answer is yes, then this could be beneficial for you, as it means that they have some prior knowledge of what your expectations and needs might be. If the answer is no, on the other hand, this could equally go in their favor as it might mean that they can approach your project with a fresh perspective and fresh ideas. However, if they don’t have experience in your industry, check that they have previously dealt with a range of industries and aren’t restricted to a niche field outside of your businesses domain.
Do you consider the user experience to be an important factor?
Of course, you and I both know that the user experience is at the heart of all successful website designs. But you want to check that they know it, too. Ask as many questions as you can about their specific approach, and what methods they use to help put the user at the heart of their designs.
What CMS do you work in?
Content management systems are many and varied, and while WordPress is a commonly used platform, some web designing agencies have their own, in-house CMS platforms. A good web design agency should be able to discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of each CMS system. Therefore helping you to make an informed decision about which one you choose.
Is it possible to meet your team?
While some web design agencies are run by a single individual who then outsources the various elements of the work, others have in-house teams of professionals who work together on different design aspects. While meeting a team that may be based all over the country (if not the world!) probably isn’t doable, meeting an in-house team should be, and only then can you get a clearer picture of who will be working to help design your website.
What steps are involved in the project?
If they’re worth investing your money in, they’ll be able to tell you right away, what each step of the web design process will involve, and how they intend to get the job done. While they might not be able to give you an exact quote or timeframe, a ball park figure and scale should be possible, at the very least.
Can I make changes to the website once the work has been completed?
While some changes may need to be carried out by professionals – If they can do them for you, they should be able to tell you how much the work will cost and give you a timeframe – others should be simple enough for you to do yourself, but they’ll need to be able to explain to you how you can make those changes. If they say no, run for the hills!
Can you provide me with ongoing digital marketing?
Optimizing, promoting and measuring a sites performance are all things that are just as important as designing a user-friendly website, and unless you have a team of digital marketing experts on hand to help you with these aspects, you’re going to need some professional help. Choosing a web design agency that specializes in digital marketing could help you stay one step ahead of your competitors.
Choosing a web design agency isn’t a process you should carry out quickly, or conduct without first asking a series of questions such as those mentioned above. Once you’ve satisfied yourself that your chosen agency is the right fit for you. You can begin working together to build your brand and turn your bottom line, into your top line!