Whatever your current web needs, whether you’re creating your first website or revamping an existing site to appear and feel more contemporary, a reputable web design agency will provide you with the ideal online presence to match your brand. The issue then becomes, how does one go about locating an excellent web design agency in the first place?
It is necessary to do a comprehensive search for web design companies and to fully evaluate them according to your own set of requirements.
And now that you’re in the market for a new website or considering a makeover of your existing one, you’re probably asking how to select a web design agency. Because your website will be designed and developed by the company you choose, choosing one carefully is essential because their output will serve as the first impression a client will have of your brand and business. This is a significant choice!
The question then becomes: how do you choose which business to work with? 4 suggestions for selecting a web design agency, as well as 5 questions to ask prospective web design partners, are included in the next section.
1. Look up web design companies on the Internet
To select the most appropriate web design agency for your needs, you must first identify the web design companies accessible to you.
Consider looking at websites that rate different companies and seeing what they have to say about each. These websites are great places to start your search for the best web design agency.
They often collaborate with a group of specialists or use an algorithm to objectively assess the talents, capability, dependability, and price of a web design agency near you. While they are not always 100% accurate—after all, businesses may and do change—they can provide valuable insights into the health of the sector and the people working in it.
Once you’ve compiled a list of agencies, you can begin evaluating them to see which ones are the best fit for you.
Doing due diligence, in the beginning, increases the chances of you dealing only with a well-established and trusted web design agency that has years of experience under its belt. Examine whether or not the organisation has a good reputation and has proven experience in web design and associated skills such as web development, search engine optimisation (SEO), and digital marketing (to name a few).
To determine how long a potential web design agency has been in business, what services they provide, and what degree of expertise and particular talents their team members have, you should look at the websites they’ve built first.
Additionally, look for client testimonials or case studies on the company’s website, as well as evaluations on third-party websites such as Google, Facebook, the Yellow Pages, and Trustpilot.
2. Gauge the company’s experience
Whenever you embark on a project, whether it’s for the construction of your home or the repair of your automobile, you want to be certain that the individuals performing the job are knowledgeable in their field.
With that in mind, choose an agency that has a minimum of a few years of industry expertise under their belts. And if you’re intending to build a big, highly customised site, seek a company that has been in business for a considerable time.
Experts know that understanding the client—their brand, tone, strengths, and weaknesses—is half the battle in developing the ideal website. On your part as a customer, providing the agency with your brand requirements as well as a style guide before beginning any work with them will be crucial in laying the groundwork.
If you don’t already have these requisites, your selected agency should work with you to develop them as needed. For assistance in this phase, seek help inside your organisation or consult an external agency for assistance if a web design agency does not have the ability or resources to determine the initial design inspirations.
The fact that the initial brand study offers clear guidance and ground rules for how to build a commercial website is why we first do workshops with clients to flesh out their business brief at the start of a web development project.
3. Take a look at the websites of each web design company
This is one of the most essential stages in determining how to choose a web design agency to work with. Check out the following characteristics of a web designer’s website.
The explanation for this is straightforward. Web design companies that are good at what they do should be able to create an amazing website for themselves. That doesn’t imply their site has to be precisely what you’re searching for in your site—every business has various requirements and their websites have a variety of functions to accommodate those needs, after all.
However, this does not exclude you from being able to obtain all of the information you need within a few clicks on the agency’s website’s main page.
A website’s ability to present information quickly is critical to its success. Users will abandon websites that require them to click more than a few times to discover what they are looking for.
In addition to navigation, you should look for things like load speed, high-quality imagery, interesting visuals, and even videos on the agency’s website. These components aren’t strictly required for an agency’s website, but it demonstrates that they understand how and why these are vital to user experience.
Users will have a more engaging browsing experience as a result of these graphics, as you may have observed when browsing agency websites. Nonetheless, even with all of these features, an agency’s website should not seem to be too crowded.
The colour palette should be logical, and it should not overburden your senses with too much visual stimulation. In the same way, every element should have its own “space” with adequate breathing area to function properly. Cluttered websites, like those with poor navigation, can turn away visitors and result in a loss of revenue.
Last but not least, each agency should include testimonials from past customers, with the client’s name and website address included. Because of this information, you will be able to check on the current condition of their customers’ websites, which will provide you with further insight into their skills.
4. Make a list of the features that are necessary for your website
It will be much easier to vet agencies if you create a list of non-negotiables before beginning discussions with them.
This will prevent you from losing track of any important considerations during the sales process and allow you to quickly narrow the pool of potential candidates down to only those who meet all of your requirements.
In addition to your basic requirements, you should make a second list of your desired features (such as WordPress experience, responsive design, ability to integrate with third-party systems, specific functionality such as online payments or registration, and so on).
There should be items on this list that aren’t deal-breakers but that may have an impact on your choice to employ one agency rather than another (i.e. logo design, secure hosting, content creation, ongoing digital marketing etc.).
5. Understand your timeline and budget
Finding the appropriate web design partner requires a clear understanding of your budget for a new website as well as a clear understanding of when the website must be finished.
Instead of establishing a single cost figure for the project, create a cost range, and be sure to enquire about what is included in the project estimate, as well as the method and amount you will be charged for fees and services that are not included in the estimate.
Another essential factor to consider is your timetable or schedule. You should communicate your deadline for the site launch to agency candidates, such as before a major industry event, product launch, or sales cycle, and ask them for an honest assessment of whether or not they can meet the deadline, any challenges they anticipate with your timeline, and what they plan to do if they fall behind schedule.
6. Contact each web design agency directly
With a shortlist of agencies in hand, you should contact each one individually to discuss how your companies could collaborate in the future.
The most effective companies will discuss the importance of building your website from the bottom up. In the vast majority of cases, they’ll want to design a website just for your company’s needs. However, an agency should ask you almost as many questions as you ask them, vice versa.
Those questions should include information on what you anticipate, what you desire, what your objectives are, and other pertinent information. A competent web design agency strives to get a thorough understanding of each of its customers to provide the finest potential outcomes to them.
Pay close attention to how they conduct this initial phone call—are they approachable and pleasant? Does the salesperson ask inquiries about your business and the specifics of the project, or does he or she go into a hard pitch right away?
This is a business that you should consider as a long-term agency partner, therefore getting along with them from the get-go is essential. While the person who answers the phone may not be the one you wind up interacting with the most (or at all) after you become a customer, that individual still represents the general personality of the business so make sure it seems like a good match before you sign on the dotted line.
Furthermore, a competent web design agency will respond to your queries in a courteous, professional, and knowledgeable manner. Throughout the process, they’ll provide clear explanations and clarify any new terminology that crops up so that you’re always up to date.
If you are talking to a web design company that is going around in circles and utilising obscure, jargon-heavy phrases, you should consider a different company. Once you’ve verified your agencies by speaking with them, you’ll be ready to make your final decision.
7. Anticipate the project cost
The amount of money you spend on your project is largely reliant on the size and scope of the work you have to do. Need e-commerce shopping integration, bespoke design and development, content creation, or ongoing maintenance? If this is the case, be prepared to pay a higher price.
Each agency has a valid justification for charging the amount that they do. Find out how much they charge by speaking with a few different companies, and if one is much more costly than the others, find out why.
There may be a valid explanation for the pricing discrepancy. If you dig a bit further, you’ll get the facts you need to make the best, educated choice possible.
8. Ask for references
Web development, design, writing/editing, and SEO are just a few of the offerings that should be available to you.
In such cases, look for agencies that employ experts who are dedicated to those areas daily and if that is all that they do. Is it possible for a brain surgeon to do open heart surgery? Maybe. Would you prefer to have a cardiac surgeon do the procedure? Absolutely.
Obtaining a referral for a web agency is one of the most efficient ways of identifying a high-quality provider. Enquire with other companies that have outstanding websites to find out who they employed to create theirs.
Alternatively, if you’ve previously spoken with a few web design companies, ask for recommendations from companies that work in a comparable sector.
Searching for a web design agency that is a good fit for your company and your brand takes time and effort, but the more research you do before signing a contract, the more likely it is that you will establish a strong business relationship, enjoy an efficient web design process, and have an excellent website delivered at the end of the project.
When you’re seeking to hire an agency, treat the process as if you’re interviewing for a job. Don’t assume they’ll be able to do the task just because they claim they would. You should test the waters.
Ask them about their methods of operation and be clear about your requirements. A little bit of study and effort is all it takes to discover your ideal advertising agency match, after all.
To start working with a Melbourne web design agency that builds attractive websites that are SEO-friendly right from the start, call us at Digital Rescue. With more than a decade of industry experience, we understand design trends and know how to translate our expertise into business conversions for you.