You’re likely looking for a website design agency to help you choose the right one. The company you choose will design and develop your website, giving customers the first impression of your business and brand. It’s a huge decision!
How do you choose which company to work with? We’ve got 4 tips to help you choose a web design agency, and 5 questions for potential web design partners.
Here are 4 tips to help you choose the right web design agency
1. Create a list of your website goals and needs
Before you start looking for web designers agencies, it is important to know what your website should do and what features you require to achieve your goals. Your website is more than a design. It’s a marketing tool and a business tool.
Here are some examples of what you might like your website to do.
Get leads for your business
Sync with your CRM such as Salesforce, HubSpot or any other major CRM software.
Integrate with your marketing automation software, such as Pardot or Marketo, or HubSpot
Connect with your email marketing platforms like Constant Contact or MailChimp;
Collect donations or payments, including subscription-based (recurring), payments/donations
Allow your users to complete forms on your website and then submit them to your team.
Here are some examples of features that your website may need to help you achieve the goals.
Search engine optimized content and user-friendly navigation are key features of our site.
Online forms that can be secured (and HIPPA-compliant if you are in the healthcare sector).
An SSL certificate, and the HTTPS protocol.
Your website should be an extension of your business. It should help you reach your goals, no matter how small or large. It will be easier for you and the web designers you interview to ensure that your website is customized for your needs.
Before you contact any agency, it is important to know your budget and timeframe.
Although you may not be able to estimate the cost of designing your website, knowing a range (e.g. $10K-15K) will allow you to get quotes for web design that are both realistic and within your budget. It is important to have a timeline. If you need your website to go live in two weeks, an agency that has immediate availability will be more helpful than one that waits three weeks.
2. Search and Review Nationwide & Local Web Design Agency Partners
Once you have your list, it is time to start looking for website design agency partners. Look for agencies both in your area and nationally if you are looking for someone who is familiar with a particular industry, such as legal or dental.
Google Meet and Zoom have made it easy to communicate and collaborate with people all over the country and across the state. It doesn’t matter if you choose a web agency close to you. You should still look at the available options so that you can evaluate experience, portfolios, and culture.
3. Review experience, agency culture, and portfolios
Three things you should look for in a web partner are experience, agency culture, and portfolio. These three things can help you determine how your project will be handled, whether it will meet your standards and goals, and if they will be a good fit for your web design agency.
Experience is about 2 things.
What is their tenure as an agency? Is it established or a new company?
Are they familiar with creating websites in your industry, getting results, websites you like, and/or websites with the features you require?
The process of designing and developing your website should be made easy by your agency partner. They should also provide support after your site is live.
The portfolio of a web design agency is a great way to gauge skills and abilities. Make sure that you are looking beyond just beautiful websites. It is impossible to outperform a simple website that is beautiful and easy to use.
Portfolios can provide insight into creativity, industry experience, and complex coding skills. These are some things you should look out for when reviewing portfolios.
Are they able to create mobile-friendly websites for customers?
Are they following the most recent web design trends
Are all websites similar? Same structure, navigation, imagery, etc. Are all the websites similar – same structure, navigation, imagery, etc?
Are any of their websites nominated for awards?
If you like the work of an agency but not in your industry, ask them what they would do to help your company. You don’t need industry experience to enjoy working with an agency. But you do need to love what they do.
Average Customer Size
It is a good idea for agencies to know the average size of their customers. You might be the smallest client they work with. You might feel unimportant or overlooked because they may not have the experience to work at this scale.
You might be the biggest customer they have ever worked with. They might not be accustomed to working at the scale that you require. Certain scales may not be suitable. It is important to have a different set of knowledge. It’s not easy to do the same tasks for a medium-sized company at twice or four times the level.
The culture of an agency will reveal a lot about the person and their work style. You want to choose an agency that is similar to your company so you can collaborate on the web design process.
You can check them out on social media are you seeing a lot of smiling faces on their Instagram feeds
Revision of team pagesAre they able to showcase the talent and expertise of their team?
Participation in the community -Are they active in their local community?
You’ll get to know your potential web design partners by meeting with them. Are they friendly? Are they open to your ideas? Do they get excited about your project.
When choosing a web design agency, it is important to consider the culture of your agency. Because you’ll be spending a lot together, make sure that your web designer partner is a good fit for your company.
Is there a marketing department within the agency?
Do you require ongoing marketing services from an agency? Do they have an in-house marketing department or hire another company to generate online leads?
Is the agency able to integrate tools such as a CRM to improve marketing efforts? The first half of the battle is getting visitors to your website. The other half of the battle is getting those visitors to convert into customers.
Even if you don’t plan to use ongoing marketing. A marketing department can bring a level of expertise to the company that a web agency may not have.
Check out Testimonials and Online Reviews
You can also view their portfolio and read online reviews about the web design agencies that you are considering for your website. These reviews can help you see what clients think about their websites and the quality of customer service. You may also find out if any team members are mentioned.
You can search for reviews on websites like Yelp, Facebook, or Google. Also, check if testimonials are included on their website. If you don’t see any reviews on their website, it is worth doing some digging to find out more before you request a meeting.
Ten Questions You Must Ask to Choose the Right Web Design Agency
After doing all of the above research, you will have a list to interview potential web designers. To get a better understanding of their experience and the services they offer, schedule a meeting with them either in person or over the phone/video.
1. Are you using a content management system for your websites?
You’re not the only one who doesn’t know CMS (content management system). You should use this terminology if you interview companies.
A CMS is a platform for website updates that allows non-technical users to update their websites on their own. Instead of having to know HTML and CSS to edit a website (called a static site), you can log in quickly to the backend to update text, images, videos, and other aspects of your website. All this is done entirely by you. This gives you greater control and power over your website.
You will find the answer here. They do use content management systems for building websites. These are the most popular.WordPressSquarespace, Wix, and Joomla are the most widely used CMSs on the market.
2. Is it possible to integrate the new website into third-party platforms such as CRM, event management, or online payment tools?
Understanding the limitations and experience of an agency is important. It also helps you to determine your business’ needs. Integration with third-party tools such as Hubspot can help you track your clients, both current and potential. Integrating a CRM such as Hubspot into your website will make it easier. This allows you to see more information about your client. Are they looking at case studies recently? This could be a great opportunity to reach them.
Third-party tools can be a great way to enhance your marketing efforts. They will allow you to work more efficiently and make better decisions.
3. Are there any websites you have created for companies in my sector?
It is important to partner with an agency that has extensive experience in developing websites for your industry. This is crucial in the legal, healthcare, and dental industries due to the strict guidelines regarding content, security, HIPPA compliance, and ADA compliance.
Ask for examples of their work in your industry, even if they have industry experience. Ask them to walk you through the design process and development they used.
4. Do you have the opportunity to meet the people who will be working on your website?
It is crucial to know who your collaborators are in order for your project to succeed. You should be able to reach them by phone or video chat, even if they are not in your local area. You might want to move them down if they aren’t keen to meet your team.
5. Can you give me recommendations or advise me on best practices so that we get the most from our website?
It is important to fully understand your relationship with your agency. Do they take the time to get to know you and help you find the best way to reach them? Others might be more focused on design, or perhaps hitting a low price.
To achieve great results, it is important to take the time to fully understand your goals, find the best solutions and then discuss them with others. Which is more important? You can have the most beautiful website or the cheapest website. But you must convert visitors into customers.
6. Do you want to teach me how I can use my website?
Although updating your website may seem daunting at first, with some guidance and training you will soon be able add pages and blog posts to your site in no time. Ask your web designer partner if they offer basic website design training after your site has been live.
You should learn how to log in to your website, add new users, edit content, create forms, and any other tasks you will need to perform regularly on your site.
It is also important to ask yourself, “What do I do if my website doesn’t work for me?”
If you have a need for assistance from a web designer, your partner should be able to provide support and troubleshooting. Some support might be included in an ongoing maintenance program, but updates that require a developer will likely be charged at an hourly rate. It is important to understand the types of updates that a developer would need and what they wouldn’t.
7. Are you able to provide ongoing maintenance and security updates?
Some agencies do not have support staff or manage websites. It is important to know who you can call if you have a problem and how long you can expect to get a response.
Technology is always changing. Security vulnerabilities are discovered, privacy laws change, and technology is constantly evolving. Updates will be required for your website eventually. Updates are generally good for improving the functionality of your website by fixing security holes or making code improvements. Sometimes, they can cause problems with existing functionality. It is important to have a plan in place for how you will handle this.
Hosting and support are offered by the agency. It is important to find out what backups are available and how to restore your website from a backup.
8. Are you able to offer SEO services?
SEO (search engine optimization) refers to digital marketing practices that optimize websites (including site structure and content, images, meta tags, etc.). Optimize your website for search engines and users to get the best possible ranking. SEO is essential when building a website. This will allow search engines to find your site and rank it higher in search results.
A web design company should offer SEO services. A separate marketing department is a great way to stay on top of the latest SEO trends and algorithm changes.
9. Who will be the owner of the website?
It might sound strange, I’m sorry. It is worth asking. For an ongoing fee, some agencies will rent your website. You can’t take the website or some of its content with you if you haven’t left it to them.
This is usually cheaper than having an agency create a website for you that you can host wherever you want.
It is important to understand who controls the website and whether content such as blog posts are created by agencies. Who is the owner of the content in the post?
10. If I do not want to continue working with your company, can I transfer my website to another web hosting company?
It is possible that the agency you work for will host your website. If you change your mind and want to host with another company, it is important to understand how the process would work to move it to another host.
Ask the agency hosting your website if they will transport it for you. You can also ask if they will give you FTP and database access, but you’ll need to either move it yourself or hire someone to do it. The experience should be smooth, but it is important to fully understand the process.
Take Care in Choosing Your Web Design Agency
It is not an easy decision to choose a web design agency. You should take your time and research web design agencies for your company. Your website is what potential customers see first. It’s important to do your research and find the right web partner to help you reach your online goals.