How to choose a web design agency
How to choose a web design agency
With 75% of website users admitting that they judge your business’ credibility on your website, it’s no wonder choosing the right web design agency is such a big deal. In today’s digital era, your website is your front door. It’s there to represent you as a company, and first impressions count. Websites aren’t cheap – which is why it’s so vital that you get it right the first time. So, if you’re looking to get a new website made and are not sure who to go for, here’s some tips on how to choose a web design agency.
Check your web design agency’s website
When you’re checking out a potential web design agency, your first port of call should always be their website. Take a look at their style, and if their website is well looked after. Check all their information is up to date, and if it looks trustworthy. If their website isn’t up to scratch, chances are their services won’t be, either. Check for completeness, and that their contact details are all there, etc.
Check their references…and make sure they really belong to them!
It’s really important that you check out a web design agency’s references. Check for written testimonials, and make sure that their references are actually theirs. You’ll be surprised the number of web design agencies out there that don’t “own” their own references, so this is where our next tip comes in.
Rather than just having pictures of the websites they’ve made, they should have links so you can pop over and check out the feel of the site yourself. If they haven’t got links, don’t worry, you can always Google the references. They should be super easy to find if you search the company name – and if you can’t find anyone, that’s when warning bells should start ringing.
Anyway, back on to the real point of this section – making sure references are really theirs! When you’re on the reference website, scroll down to the footer. You should be able to see the web design agency in question linked there. If it’s someone else, unfortunately, that’s a fake reference.
Check their qualifications and experience
Qualifications and experience are paramount when you’re looking into how to choose a web design agency. There’s a massive difference between someone with qualifications and someone self-taught. While self-taught web designers may be great amateurs, if they don’t have experience working in an IT company, they’re not going to be your best choice. That’s why you should always check if the person who’s going to be doing your site has the right mix of qualifications and industry training and experience.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Being able to communicate with your web designer is a vital part of seeing your ideas come to life. Don’t be scared to ask questions – they are there to answer them. Believe it or not, there are web designers out there who are too paranoid to help clients as they’re scared of giving away their knowledge, so be wary of this. It’s your right to know what’s going on and understand what’s happening behind the scenes.
Check their own marketing – and test their marketing knowledge
This is probably one of the most important pieces of advice we can give you on your “how to choose a web design agency” journey. You’re getting your new website to increase your sales, right? Well, to do this you’re going to need an online presence. We’ve seen clients come to us with brand new websites that did nothing for them whatsoever because they weren’t set up for marketing – so we really don’t want you to go through the same.
Good quality websites should be:
- Able to carefully mix UX with the need for SEO content
- Designed to optimize conversions
Got it? Great! The next step, then, is that you really need to make sure your web design agency understands marketing. It’s really easy to talk the talk, but delivering isn’t quite so simple. Rather than coming up with a load of buzzwords, a good company will know how to take your ideas and turn them into a money-maker.
Another good tip is to check your web design agency’s own marketing. If they’re doing well and you like their style, that’s awesome! If they have less than 200 likes on social media (too many is also suspicious), no LinkedIn presence, and their own website isn’t set up for marketing – it’s best you look somewhere else.
Do they REALLY understand SEO?
Saying you know SEO and actually knowing SEO are 2 very different things. The easiest way to check this out is by asking them to provide some reports and references on their clients’ results. All good web design agencies should be measuring their clients’ success, and anonymous reports are really easy to share.
WordPress is great…but there are other options out there!
WordPress is amazing if you’re designing your own website, but if you’re paying someone else to do your website for you, you really need to make sure it’s something unique. Make sure your website is being designed from scratch rather than being customized or re-built from WordPress themes (unless that’s what you want, of course 🙂 ). Your website should be based on your needs, and your web design agency should be able to help with WordPress alternatives if it isn’t what you’re looking for.
Do they keep up with the latest trends?
Google makes it super easy to find out the latest web design trends, so there’s really no excuse for not keeping up. Before you look for an web design agency, take a look at what’s hot and what’s not, decide what you like, and make sure that your web designer suggests something that’s in. Again, if you’re not sure – check out their website and see if it looks anything like current trends!
Last but not least…they should compliment your ideas, but not change them
Getting a website designed is an exciting time. And we always try and encourage clients to be as active as possible in the design process as it not only helps them feel connected, it allows them to get their creative juices flowing so they can look back at the end of the project and feel proud of what they’ve thought up.
A good web design agency should support that. At the end of the day, they’re here to make their clients’ website dreams come true, even if they don’t exactly like what they’re going for. A good company will listen to a client’s idea and help the client turn that idea into something that works. It’s a thin line to walk – it’s not their place to try and change a client’s mind, but they do need to contribute. Client’s aren’t the website experts so they could be missing out on something awesome, which is why agencies need to be there to suggest things to their clients.