You’re looking to create a new website and you need to decide who you can trust to take on the task alongside you. The company needs to fit your price bracket, be reliable, have a good portfolio, and a clear flare for web design. But what else do you need to consider and how do you go about finding this information out?
What’s Your First Impression of The Company?
Is their own website getting you excited about the possibilities for your own?
This is a great sign that you like the style they work with and that you have similar values and brand vision. Have a look at a variety of websites and consider how you feel about their sites.
Is their website built intelligently so that you can navigate through it seamlessly?
User Experience (UX) and customer journey should be at the forefront of every website that is built. With a consumer market you are looking for an agency that can provide a clear direction for each of your customer segments so that they can find exactly what they are looking for.
Does it look as good on mobile as it does on your laptop?
This is known as responsive web design. According to Statcounter
50.1% of the online global market is using mobile.
Therefore, it is essential that your website performs well on mobile, as a large portion of your traffic is going to be using your website through this channel. Make sure as you look through the various companies you’re are researching, that you
First impressions can say a lot about the company you’re looking to work with, so take some time exploring their website and think about whether you’d be happy to have a website of that standard. Key pages to focus on are their previous work, their team, and the services they can provide.
Let’s go into more detail about each:
What does their previous work look like?
Previous experience is a great place to start when considering whether a web design agency is the right match for you or not. Take a look at the company’s work and assess the caliber and standard of what they’re able to produce.
Who have the company previously worked with?
When looking at the company from this perspective you are looking at whether the company work with companies of a similar culture and size to yours.
It’s important to consider if the company has any experience in your specific industry; there’s a fine balance between trusting that they know about the unique needs of your industry’s audience, whilst assessing if they’re likely to work with your competitors.
For agencies who do specialise in your industry, or have a lot of examples with similar companies, it’s always a good idea to ask them their policy on working with competitors and whether they can still create you a unique website and not compromise the project based on their other clients.
Does their previous work match the style and functionality you are looking for?
Aside from the obvious design features of the previous work, delve a little deeper into the functionality of the sites as well as the experience you have as a user. This will give you insight into the abilities of the team you’ll be working with and may give you some good ideas at the same time.
2. The Team – who will you be working with throughout your project?
Whilst you’re browsing the agencies, it’s worth checking out their team and getting to know a bit more about who you’ll be working with throughout the project.
Something to consider is the type of agency you are looking for:
In-house agencies – employ their team & they’re usually housed in a similar location, or have similar working hours, which can often make communication a lot easier.
For in-house teams, some things to look into are the expertise within the agency & how well they align with the needs of your website. Let’s say you’re an insurance company looking to create a website with an online quote & buy system, it’s key that the company’s team have the PHP skills & expertise to fulfil your requirements. Equally, let’s say that you don’t have time to create your content for your site, it’ll be worth exploring if the team you’re going to be working with have copy writing skills & SEO knowledge.
Outsourcing agencies – this means that the company you work with will commission your project to be completed by another company, who you’ll probably never talk to or work with directly. Outsourcing is a viable option which can help companies reduce costs for the
Small Team – A smaller team can be a real benefit to your web design project, especially if they are an in house team. You can save money on communication and coordination overhead through using a small team. Cost of communication & coordination effort rises, as the square of the number of people in the team.
In general, it’s worth knowing what kind of operation your chosen agency runs as it may affect both communication & level of quality. Questions such as how long the agency have worked with the outsourced company, what they specialise in & examples of the work produced are good places to start with.
Lastly, are the team compatible with you?
Communication is essential for web build projects & this can be greatly helped if there’s a good synergy between yourself & the team you’ll be working for. What’s more is that it’s ideal to find a company that you can see yourself working with on a long-term basis, so if you’re not gelling, this can make this a difficult process. Give the team a call, visit their offices, and get to know them & if you could see yourself working closely with them.
3. The Services
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to review the variety of services provided by the agency you’re looking to work with. As a bare minimum, you want the company to list services in web development & web design, but even within these two essentials, there’s things to look for that can enhance your experience & the result of your website.
Here are some questions to answer before you decide on the web design company for you.
Do they use templates or do they create bespoke designs?
Some useful questions to ask about the agency’s web design & development services include; whether they use templates or whether they create bespoke designs. Templates are an excellent way of quickly & efficiently building a branded site using pre-existing formats. Bespoke designs can
How will your website be built?
Next up is finding out how your website is going to be built. Will the team be using a well known Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress or Joomla, or will they be using something more complex? This matters if you’re looking to take control over the site & be able to edit it with ease. Check with the agency whether they provide training for using the CMS system & perhaps get a demo of it before you move forward.
What do they offer to support your website alongside the design & development?
Aside from Web Design & Development, it’s key to find out if the team you’ll be working with can provide a full stack service for everything you need to get your website up, running & well maintained. Do they offer Hosting & Domain services? Do they offer email services? Do they offer ongoing maintenance services such as Back – Ups & Updates?
Does the company offer branding & marketing services?
Another important thing to find out is if they provide Branding services? Do they offer a full discovery process to help you find your brand, or do they have a graphic designer to create a brand new logo for you & a seamless brand throughout?
When considering marketing – does the agency offer services in SEO, Email Marketing, Pay Per Click, Social Media, Content Creation & more?
Do they offer creative content services?
Overall, it’s important to look at the services an agency is providing and compare to your needs as a customer. If you’re short on time & looking for an “all under one roof” company to work with, then it’s key to ask & consider the teams abilities to manage your website as well as any marketing you may want to do. If you’re looking for a specialist development team, then perhaps these elements don’t matter, however you may find great benefit from using one agency to provide consistency across all of your materials & as one port of call.