If you're a business that has decided to go online, you must need a well-designed website. And for your website, it is best to hire a professional web design agency. Why go through so much trouble on your own when you have experts to take care of the job, right! 😉
But do you know how to choose your web design agency?
This is quite an important decision to make because a website is your business's and brand's online face. It is a one-stop destination for your customers to know more about you and your business. A user-friendly and informative website makes an everlasting impression of your brand. We’re sure now you understand the significance of knowing how to choose your web design agency.
In this article, we will furnish you with practical tips on the different things you should keep in mind on how to pick your web design agency.
Aligning Your Business And Website Goals
No one knows your business more than you do. Your desired website design depends upon the nature of your business, whether you are an e-commerce business, business-to-business seller, or service-intensive business. An agency specializing in your relevant business area will be ideal for meeting your business objectives.
You must also be very clear about what goals you want to achieve through your website and how they should be aligned with your broad business goals. Thus, you should list your website requirements and translate those into SMART goals.
Some of your website goals can be:
- Generating sales leads for your business
- Syncing with your CRM software such as Salesforce or HubSpot,
- Integrating with your automated marketing system like Pardot, Marketo, or HubSpot
- Linking with your email marketing tools such as Constant Contact or MailChimp
- Taking subscription-based payments or donations;
- Collecting user information directly on your site through an online form;
Your website must have a few specific features to achieve the goals mentioned above:
- User-friendly interface and search-engine-optimized information
- Ecommerce utility
- Secure online forms
- An SSL certificate
- HTTPs protocol
Documenting your goals and website requirements helps in how to choose your web design agency. You may interview a few of them to find the best match for your business and website goals.
Finding An Array Of Services
It would be best to look for an agency that offers an array of inter-related services to save you time and hassle. Services that you may require include product photography, copywriting, digital marketing, email handling, and social media management. This way, you will deal with a single web design agency instead of multiple ones.
Budget And Timeline
Budget is an important constraint that affects how you choose your web design agency. You must know and mention your expected price range to get realistic price quotes from potential web design partners. Timeline is also a key factor that you should consider. If you want to see your website live immediately, you must look for a currently available agency.
Relevant Industry Experience
Now that you know your goals, budget, and timeline, you have covered the basics of how to choose your web design agency. What’s next? Start looking for a web design partner with relevant experience in your specific industry. You can search some on Google, ask industry gurus or search local directories to find the best web design agency.
Three important parameters that help you choose your web design agency are the following:
- Organizational culture
- Previous work portfolio
You will get an insight into your expectations and results by looking at these three. It will be easier to judge whether they can meet your goals and fulfill your requirements.
Let's look at each of these to have a better understanding of how to choose your web design agency.
Experience refers to how long they have been working as an agency and do they have previously worked in your relevant industry. An experienced web design agency has well-developed processes, a competent team, and the highest service quality standards.
Website design is not a one-time job. You will require ongoing support for your website once it goes live. An agency partner offering complimentary marketing services to raise your business should be your preference.
How you choose your web design agency depends greatly on their existing portfolio. A portfolio is the best tool to evaluate the skills and competence of any agency. Most web design companies have a separate portfolio section on their website.
But before you go through their portfolio, you must pay attention to assess their own website. A well-designed, easy-to-navigate, and fully informational website speaks volumes about its agency's capability to handle your project.
While reviewing the websites they have already delivered to clients, you must keep these questions in mind.
- Are the websites professional-looking and user-friendly?
- Do their featured clients have the same size as your business?
- Do the sites have similar functionality to what you are looking for in your website?
- Have they made mobile-friendly websites?
- Are all the websites have a similar design in terms of arrangement, navigation, content, and imagery?
- Have they received any awards for their website?
If you like an agency's portfolio but do not have any experience in your industry, you may ask them whether they can meet your requirements.
An agency's culture plays a key role in determining how you choose the web design agency. You must know the people you choose to work with. It would be best to look for an agency whose culture is similar to your organization's culture. This way, you have better communication and collaboration throughout the web design process.
A few of the questions that you should consider are:
- Do they appreciate their team's talent and skills?
- Do they have a welcoming environment?
- Do they consider your ideas?
- Do they feel excited about your website?
You must also look for if your chosen agency has international exposure and experience. It is a plus point if they have. Another important question is: do they have an in-house marketing department? A web design agency with a designated marketing team brings specialized knowledge and fresh ideas for your project.
Testimonials & Online Reviews
Testimonials and online reviews are great sources to give information about a particular web design agency. The reviews give insight into how many happy customers they have, how good is their customer service and how they treat their employees.
It is not difficult nowadays to find online reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. You can also see testimonials on their own website that help you in choosing your web design agency.
Questions To Ask From Your Potential Web Design Agency
Do prepare a list of questions to ask your potential web design agency before you hire them. We have compiled a list of these questions to help you choose your web design partner.
1. What services do you offer other than web design?
An agency that offers multiple services should be your first choice.
2. Do you have proper research about our business?
If your web agency knows well about your business and your clients, they will do a better job.
3. Can you design a website in my budget range?
You must communicate your budget beforehand to avoid any misunderstanding afterward.
4. Will I have a designated project manager to contact?
You must know who will be the person responsible for communicating with you.
5. What is your design process?
You should see the design process flow chart and SOPs of your potential web agency.
6. Which content management system do you use?
A CMS allows you to update, edit and manage website content on your own. The most popular CMS are WordPress, Joomla, SquareSpace, etc.
7. Are your web designs responsive?
A responsive website is one whose design adjusts according to the screen size of the device, be it desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile. This is quite a substantial factor to analyze when deciding how to choose your web design agency.
8. Do you have a quality assurance team?
The quality assurance team ensures that the design process is smooth and your requirements are truly met.
9. What kind of after-sales services will you provide after the website launch?
You will need the ongoing support of your web design agency even after it goes live.
10. Will you provide training to my team?
Your web design agency should provide one-to-one training sessions, website lessons, and video tutorials to IT experts of your business.
The decision of how to choose your web design agency cannot be taken all of a sudden. It is essential to spend enough time searching and shortlisting potential web design firms for your business. Your website makes the first impression on potential customers of your brand and business. Thus the time and effort you spend finding an ideal fit for your business needs are worth it.
The more due diligence you do before signing your contract, the happier you will be with your decision. Your satisfaction greatly depends on your relationship with your agency, the entire web design procedure, and the outcome of your project after completion.
Always remember that a good-looking website is not the only thing you are looking for. A website that isn't easy to use will not generate traffic and sales for your business. Do keep in mind all the different elements we discussed in this article regarding how to choose your web design agency, and you’ll surely find a good one. While we are on that topic, Tom & Co is quite an expert in that area.