A well-crafted website is a cornerstone of successful marketing. Choosing the right web design agency is critical when it comes to getting the results you need for commercial success. With so many different website design providers available, finding the right solution for your business is a challenge. Whether you opt for a full-service web design agency (a large organisation that provides a complete service for clients of all shapes and sizes), a smaller web design studio (that may provide a niche service and/or tend to work with SMEs) or a freelance (independent) web designer, the aim is always to find a provider that can meet your needs both now and in the future.
The design and maintenance of your website is an on-going process: your web design agency should have the capacity to partner with you in the longer term, continuing to provide the support you need for sustainable success. Here we consider what to look for when it comes to finding a web designer or web design agency that will give you the results you need.
Web Design Experience
Obviously an agency that has experiences creating successful websites for your industry (or niche) is likely to have the capacity to deliver your project to a good standard. It’s important to find an agency or designer that’s well-established, with a strong track record in creating high performing websites. Knowledge of SEO optimisation is essential in order to ensure a high ranking return in search results. An experienced web designer will also have a good insight into the appropriate tools and/or platforms required for your site, ensuring you benefit from best practice design technology. Don’t forget to take a look at what processes the agency implements: a methodical approach ensures your web design will be completed rapidly, without any compromise on the quality of the results you receive.
Your website makes a powerful statement about your brand, so it’s essential that the quality is uniformly exceptional! Prospective customers are going to make all sorts of judgments based on how professional your website looks and performs. A responsive, user-friendly and engaging website is paramount. Consideration of previous project experience will give you a good idea of what to expect from the design team. Taking a look at a designer’s folio, or reviewing client testimonials, should give you a good idea of the calibre of their work. Case studies, particularly those which give quantifiable indicators of success, are also helpful when assessing quality and competence.
Price vs value
Unfortunately in business, it is sad (but true) to say that “you often get what you pay for”. Cost savings in website design are usually achieved by providing generic work, with little customisation. If you want a website that’s tailored to meet specific requirements, you’ll need to engage developers that can create bespoke sites, with both business and user-goals in mind. An original, high-quality design will cost more than an off-the-shelf solution, but it will deliver vastly superior results. When presented with a website proposal, take a look at exactly what’s included – and then look at the fine print! Some companies will quote a modest price for a base level website, but will then charge extra for add-ons that you may need to complete the finished website. These extra add-ons can accumulate and bump the price up significantly! If you are offered a fixed price for a project, check what’s included and ask about whether any items are specifically excluded from the project. You will also need to determine what may need to be purchased on an on-going basis (i.e. any premium subscriptions) to keep your site operational further down the line.
Customer service is key
When you hire a web designer, good communication is a priority. It’s really important that you can promptly speak with a real person who has a good understanding of your project. As it’s likely you will be in a long-term relationship with your web design agency, getting the communication right from the start is crucial. With regard to your web project, communication should be clear on what you’re going to receive, and what the agency will be doing to achieve this. In addition to managing the immediate task, consideration also needs to be given to the quality of on-going support required for future website updates and any maintenance that you will need.
Bigger isn’t always better!
Although many prospective customers will be impressed by a larger agency’s scope and folio, they may not always get the best service from one of the big names in the business. Bigger agencies almost invariably have lots of clients, some of whom will be big brands that will take up lots of their time and attention. Prices will be higher, as a larger agency will have more overheads. Queries will be answered by an account manager, who will act as a go-between between you and the development team. Some customers find that the “middleman” can create communication break downs throughout the project and delay the response time on queries as communications need to filter through the team.
Get in touch to find out more about the benefits the right web design agency can bring to your website project.