How To Choose a Website Design Company
The digital landscape has grown increasingly competitive, with an estimated two billion websites online today. A website is one of the most cost-effective means of reaching customers and is also often one of the first impressions a potential customer will have of a business. That means having a website that ensures a brand is competitive, relevant, and capable of achieving its organizational goals is essential. If it is time for a new website, selecting an agency responsible for designing and building a brand’s website will play a key role. But when a simple search returns millions of results, how do you choose the best website design agency?
Make a List of Your Website Needs
Before even beginning your search for a website design agency, a brand needs to determine what it wants to achieve with its website. Will it require e-commerce capabilities? Will it be showcasing video content? Will the ability to collect customer information or accept appointments be necessary? Companies in different industries will have varied business goals they want their website to achieve. A good web design agency should be able to design a website with the required capabilities, regardless of industry.
Search and Review Nationwide & Local Web Design Agency Partners
To get started, look at a web design company’s website. How does it function, and how appealing does it look compared to others? Take the time to review previous work or case studies, read company reviews and testimonials, and read a few of their blogs to get to know who they are. After narrowing down the options to a shortlist, it is time to reach out to learn more.
Review Experience, Agency Culture, and Portfolios
Companies shouldn’t be afraid to thoroughly vet web design agencies. Setting up a meeting to ask questions and essentially interview the agency helps narrow down the decision. Ask the agency about their experience and request to view their portfolio. This will enable companies to gain a solid understanding of a web design company’s design process. Before choosing a web design agency, a brand should know its platforms, pricing, timeline, SEO capabilities, industry experience, customizations, and whether the website is locked into a platform or hosting agreement.
How to Choose a Company to Make a Website — Questions to Ask
Consider asking these additional questions during the interview process.
Can the Agency Handle Integrations?
Most websites need to be built with the capacity to sync with a CRM, link with an email marketing platform, or integrate with marketing automation tools. Knowledge of these tools and features is essential to building a functional website that helps a business achieve its goals.
Does the Agency Use Proprietary Technologies?
A company should definitely consider things like the platform the site is being built on and the hosting environment. Proprietary technologies in many industries are a sign of expertise. In the website development realm, it is often a red flag. Building a site with proprietary technology could mean significant development limitations; hosting a site privately could mean larger fees, losing the ability to move the site to other hosts, or even potential ownership disputes.
Does the Agency Offer Additional Marketing Services?
An experienced web design company is great, but a full-service marketing company could be even better. It could be of great benefit if the web design agency also has in-house marketing teams to handle other areas of a digital marketing campaign. It will save an organization time and expense in seeking other companies to address different marketing needs. Some additional services might include:
- Content Migration
- Search Engine Optimization
- Content Placement/Page Builds
- Stock Images
If the agency handles these services, great! But note that there might be an additional charge.
Will the Agency Advise on UI/UX, Headlines, and Content Placements?
How hands-on will the agency be when offering advice and consultation? Will they leave most of the placement and UI/UX determinations to the company? Or will they utilize their expertise to recommend the best practices and placement? Additionally, will the agency be proficient in developing CTAs recommendations and user flow for the web pages?
What Is the Typical Timeline for Completion?
A complex website will take more time than a simple one, but knowing an estimated completion date should definitely be considered pertinent information.
Tip: Throw the agency a curveball by asking how often they miss a launch deadline.
Will the Web Design Be Using a Theme?
Many web agencies utilize pre-made templates and themes. These may be appropriate for a startup or small business, but growing companies should avoid them because they cannot be customized to an organization’s needs. Custom-built websites are best suited to adjust a company’s evolving brand standards, goals, and internal requirements.
How Does the Agency Manage Revisions?
Is there an additional charge for revisions? A limitation? This is important to be aware of before the website design begins. Also, be sure to clarify what exactly the agency includes in its definition of revisions.
What Is the Process, and What Does the Company Need to Do As a Part of the Process?
As mentioned above, understanding the agency’s process is essential. Additionally, a company may need to do its part in developing the website. Find out what those responsibilities might be.
Choosing a web design agency is not (and maybe should not be) an easy or quick decision. An organization should set aside ample time to research and vet several firms before making a choice. Ultimately, the right choice will help a business reach more customers, increase sales, and result in a strong ROI.