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Redesigning a website is a significant endeavour that might seem intimidating if you have never done it before. A simple Google search will reveal a list of companies claiming to design and construct websites that generate traffic and leads, but how can you verify that they truly do? 

Whether your business is starting from scratch or redesigning an existing site, the web design agency you choose will have a significant impact on the success of your website. This is why it is critical to ask the appropriate questions throughout the selection process.

To locate a web design agency that you can confidently refer to as a partner, approach your search as a vetting process, carefully and completely examining your options. Throughout this process, you’ll want to ask pertinent questions to ensure that the web company’s aims and future aspirations fit with those of your company. 

Your inquiries should centre on a business’s size, team specialisations, design style, value-added services, and portfolio, among other factors. To help reduce some of the anxiety that comes with your search, we’ll share a list of questions to ask web design agencies. 

Planning

What type of research will you do on our company?

A good website demands extensive study on your company and industry far in advance of the design idea for your website. As partnering with a website developer who knows your company, market and consumers is critical to the success of your website, this is a first step that cannot be overlooked. 

To even begin thinking about building a website layout, your developer needs to do comprehensive keyword research first. Inquire about a sample keyword map they’ve prepared for another customer in your sector and see if it matches with your company. 

The building of a sitemap is dependent on keyword research, which is also essential for search engine optimisation (SEO).

If you’re considering revamping an existing site, it’s usually a good idea to have a marketing analyst analyse your present analytics and ascertain the site’s strengths and shortcomings before making any modifications. Ascertain if the web developer intends to analyse your site’s stats before developing design concepts.

Do you manage your projects in-house or outsource them?

As surprising as it may seem, some companies who market web design and development as a service offering often lack the necessary skills or even in-house employees and outsource the process. This may result in communication difficulties, project delays, and, ultimately, increased expenditures. 

If a prospective web partner intends to outsource assistance for your project, it’s critical to understand who they’ll be utilising and what they’ll be working on. Bear in mind that you’ll also want to do due diligence on the partner they utilise.

Ideally, go for a crew that is full-time and based in-house.  This adds significant value in terms of communication and fulfilling project deadlines.

How will the management of our website project be handled?

For a website to function properly, it should be built using a six-step process that includes: research, strategy, design and development, launch and review. For anything particular, enquire about the project management process used by the web design team.

Will there be a single point of contact or several points of contact? How is each step carried out? When should your organisation anticipate upon receiving progress reports?

Will you link my customer relationship management system with my website?

Including a customer relationship management (CRM) system in your new website should be a priority. While some web design services may include this in their work, you should have a good grasp of how your CRM will interface with your website. 

A substantial setback might arise from using a basic form rather than a contact form that talks with your customer relationship management system (CRM). If you are not already using a customer relationship management system, now is a good time to begin examining one.

Inquire about suggestions and consider strategies to optimise your sales funnel. Utilise your new website to its full potential by making it work for you.

What assets do we need to supply?

To begin, you’ll need to gather all of your company’s branding assets, which will include logo files, brand guidelines, typefaces, and colours, as well as any other relevant information. The next stage will be choosing who will be in charge of writing the content for your website. 

Typically, your web design partner will provide you with graphics and content limits, such as word count restrictions and file types and sizes, but it’s important not to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete your project.

As an example, let us assume that it takes you an optimistic three hours to develop and maintain a captivating web page with an excellent SEO foundation. If your website comprises 25 pages, you may expect to spend around 75 hours producing the website’s content. 

Depending on your business’s demands and staffing capacity, this aim may not be feasible. In that case, you’ll want to know that your web agency will be there to support you at any time throughout the process.

How long will the project last?

The duration of a website project varies according to the breadth of work needed. A straightforward website makeover typically takes 4-6 months to complete, providing that all deadlines are fulfilled by both your organisation and the company. 

Ideally, your potential web design agency will be able to give a realistic timetable based on your objectives and specifications, as well as a calendar highlighting essential milestones for a successful website launch. It is in both your and your web partner’s best interests to maintain the timeline for your website as flexible as possible.

Development and Design

Are you a web designer who works with customised or template websites?

While web design companies may provide both bespoke and template websites depending on the extent of your demands and objectives, you’ll want to understand the distinctions between the two before making your choice. While a template website is a cost-effective alternative, it may ultimately harm your company. 

They are designed to be utilised with any kind of website, which means they include superfluous back-end code that might negatively impact your SEO and slow down your site’s performance. It’s also practically hard to keep track of the implications of WordPress or plugin upgrades on your website’s appearance and function. 

Given the large number of interconnected movable components that make up a template website, a single defective plugin may have a cascading impact on the rest of the website. This often results in an agency rewriting their website from scratch two or three years later.

On the other hand, a customised website is developed specifically for your business requirements and eliminates back-end programming that is superfluous to your operation. It enables easy front-end upgrades that scales with you, resulting in a longer-lasting website. Additionally, a personalised website generates a strong, distinctive online presence for your company.

Which Content Management System are you currently using?

A content management system (CMS) is a tool that allows you to control the content of your website. The most beneficial CMS allows for self-updating your website. If you are considering hiring a web developer, find out if they will be using an open-source content management system (CMS) (such as WordPress or Drupal) or creating their own custom CMS.

Often, a bespoke (or proprietary) CMS will prevent you from seeing the source code, limiting your ability to contribute content or custom metadata. Bear in mind that if you want to add functionality to your website, you may get a message such as “That is not supported at the moment” or “We can custom construct it for an additional fee.” 

Additionally, a custom CMS often suggests that your website will be hosted and managed by your provider, which may result in you being unable to access your website if you decide to transfer hosting providers in the foreseeable future. And to add to that, you’re likely to be charged a licence fee and/or an expensive renewal price.

If you determine that having access to your website and altering your content is critical to your company, you’ll almost certainly want to work with an agency that uses an open-source content management system. In this instance, you’ll almost certainly own your website and be able to host it wherever.

Do you optimise your web pages for mobile and search engine optimisation?

Search engine optimisation is critical to the success of any website and should be included in the design from the beginning, rather than being added afterwards. Inquire about the potential web company’s SEO team’s expertise, including any certifications. 

Then, surprise the agency by inquiring more about what their SEO techniques are. What page-loading speed are you aiming for? How much attention do you put into the construction of title tags and meta descriptions on your website? 

Are your websites mobile-friendly? Do you have a responsive design? With mobile devices accounting for more than half of all internet traffic and Google’s mobile-first indexing, businesses must ensure that their websites are mobile-responsive.

Is my website going to be ADA compliant?

According to the Disability Discrimination Act of 1992 in Australia, it requires individuals with impairments have equal access. Australian businesses with websites or those who provide publicly accessible resources on Australian servers may be harmed. Discrimination, as defined in Section 5 of the Act, is the practice of treating persons with disabilities less favourably than those without impairments.

With an inaccessible website, people with a variety of impairments will be unable to access your information, products, and services. Not only is this discriminatory, but it is also dumb, given that at least one in every six individuals in Australia has a long-term disease, impairment, or disability — and many more may have temporary infirmities that restrict their ability to use your site.

If a company’s website is inaccessible to people with disabilities, the firm may be obliged to change it or face financial penalties.

How does your business ensure the security of its website?

Security and maintenance are key components of a website’s operation and profitability for the majority of organisations. Some choose to have their website hosted by their web design business to avoid handling the process internally. 

It is critical for your company to thoroughly comprehend the security measures that will be implemented to keep malware and hackers at bay. Along with hosting, your web design agency should provide any additional services such as website backups and CMS and plugin maintenance to guarantee continued functionality in case a security threat comes up.

Will we be able to track the website’s development?

Throughout each level of project development, a reputable web designer will offer visible progress reports. Additionally, they will urge you to provide comments or share ideas via an open door policy to maintain complete openness and communication.

How many design adjustments are permitted?

Oftentimes, misunderstanding occurs throughout the revision and approval process. As a customer, you want to be completely satisfied with your final result, and your web designer should be able to deliver on that promise. It’s critical to understand how many modifications you may make throughout the approval process and whether further alterations will incur extra costs.

Will our current website be unavailable while we construct our new one?

Before you begin developing your new website, it’s critical to understand how the development process will affect your present website. Inquire if your present website will experience downtime at any point throughout the process. A seamless transition is critical for a positive customer experience.

Post-Launch

Are you in the business of doing quality assurance testing?

Your website’s appearance speaks volumes to a prospective customer – first impressions are critical. Testing your website’s functionality guarantees that it works as intended and that your visitors enjoy an error-free surfing experience.

Will I retain ownership of the website after it is launched?

It’s critical to determine if the domain name will be registered in your name or whether the web developer will need you to host your website on their servers before proceeding. Again, bear this in mind if your site design business has a proprietary content management system. 

In addition, find out whether you will get complete source files, access to your hosting account, and back-end administration as part of your agreement. You’ll want to ascertain if your organisation will be needed to get into an ongoing contract to maintain your site’s availability, or whether they intend to supply the finished site beyond the debut date.

Would I be able to make changes and updates on my own; and if so, how much control will I have?

Many organisations discover that the most significant limitation of their present CMS is their inability to make changes without contacting their developer and spending exorbitant charges. 

This presents a problem when a critical component of a website’s success is maintaining consistent and relevant updates. Collect as much information as possible on your website’s potential to add or delete pages, modify the footer, or include videos after it starts.

Ask the proper questions and pick the most qualified agency.

Making the decision on who is best suited to design your website and who you want to collaborate with on the project goes much beyond evaluating their technical talents and knowledge. Asking excellent questions and listening carefully for excellent responses are critical components of the selection process.

 

When it comes to WordPress websites, we specialise in creating strategy- and purpose-driven, high conversion websites for organisations who see their website as a critical sales lead generating tool. Call our web design agency and we’ll help your business transition onto the digital platform seamlessly.