How to Choose a Website Design Company
The world has increasingly shifted online, and you probably wouldn’t be the only one left behind. As such, you may have decided to design or redesign your existing website. That said, choosing the right company to design a perfect website for your business can be a problem. More so, if you are perhaps working with a website design freelancer or agency that doesn’t meet your needs, how do you choose the right agency to create the online face of your business enterprise?
First and foremost, before you decide to design or redesign your website, it is essential to understand the makings of a good agency or partner. Doing due diligence is critical. That’s because, without forehand knowledge, the risk of choosing the wrong company is higher. This could prove catastrophic because you are likely to waste time and money and get nothing out of it.
To minimize the likelihood of that happening and protect your business from the potential risk involved in the whole process, it is essential to understand the criteria involved. This is important in ensuring the success of your business and helping you work towards meeting deadlines. To make this process seamless for you, I have compiled a list of priority aspects to help you choose a website design company.
The criteria to use in choosing the perfect web design company.
The following are the essential aspects to consider before choosing a successful website design partner.
What is their pricing?
To start with, do some due diligence to find out about the agency’s price rate. Some agencies offer varied packages and non-packaged services. As such, the process of researching pricing can take a long time. However, it would help if you did your homework by first finding out the most affordable but ideal agency to improve your business throughout your partnership upfront.
The process can be more straightforward, but unfortunately for you, most web design agencies out there don’t publish their pricing on the packages they offer. Conventionally, agencies, even the best and famous ones, want prospective clients to contact them directly. This is the only way you can reach out and express your desire to work out a web design quote.
That said, it is important to note that the few web design agencies that publish their pricing are usually more dedicated to transparency as opposed to those that keep pricing in the dark. Regardless, you are unlikely to see web design package pricing listed online anywhere. So, do your homework and contact the agency to keep it rolling.
What is your budget?
This is the first of your preliminary plans. That is, before you even decide to design or redesign a website, you need to look at your pocket and whatever amount you are willing to invest in the project. Depending on what your business priorities are, the budget you are working with could be anything from a shoestring to limitless funding. Regardless, it is easier to have a figure on paper that you can start with for clarity. Like any other venture, it is vital too that you set up a flexible number that can accommodate the likelihood of upsells in your budget,
As natural as it is, you are still a customer bottom line, and your instincts would be to spend less and still magically get better results. On the contrary, most agencies will have upfront recommendations for you to spend more to achieve trendy web designs. The one thing the agency has a monopoly over is the skillset and the know-how on what to do. They also have the financial incentive to make such recommendations because of their expertise in the field.
As a prospective client, it can work for you if you give the agency a budget that is lower than their average, say 60% to 90%. By doing so, you will be allowing yourself some wiggle room when it comes to negotiations or bargaining with regards to what you want for your web design.
Inquire about any upfront fees involved.
Most web design agencies have hidden fees and charges for their clients. Whereas you might think that the pricing is the final quote amount, it is possible you are going to spend north of that figure. However, some agencies embed such upfront fees r charges in the fine print of the client’s contract, which you might not realize. To protect yourself from spending well over your budget, it is important to inquire with the agency about any hidden costs so that you lose the element of surprise when you pay more.
That said, you have to ensure you familiarize yourself with the agency’s policies with regards to fees. Whether they charge for unscheduled website updates or the extra time they take maintaining your site, these are questions you have to get answers to. With that in mind, it is easier to move to the next step of company evaluation with clarity.
Explore some of the websites the company has built
Most web design agencies provide access to what they have accomplished. Often, there is a portfolio section on their site where you can check out some past websites that they have built. So, what exactly would you be analyzing? Well, are the websites interface easy for use? Are they similar in scope? Or are the featured clients similar to what you are looking to get?
With those questions answered, it is easier to decide on the route to go. Whereas most agencies have countless projects they have worked on, it would be easier to shortlist a sample that fit your price range and check out their functionality in comparison to each other. Try to look out for any unique features the agency implemented in each project.
Overall, every established agency that designs websites has a limitless number of clients. Before you jump on the wagon, you can check the work they have completed for the featured clients, and you will have a rough idea of what to expect from them henceforth.
What is the company’s client retention rate?
Everyone wants to use the best services available on the market. If the agency you are checking out has a client retention rate of below 60%, then it is a clear indicator that something sketchy is going on somewhere. So, while you are doing your due diligence, try to ask the agency about past clients and what percentage of retention they do have.
You will realize that most companies have a retention rate of about 60%. Whereas this seems like the standard for most, those with a client retention rate of 80% or 90% implies exceptional service and ideal customer satisfaction. These are the agencies you are likely to give priority in your web design projects. Remember that designing a website isn’t something you gamble with. It actually takes time and resources from strategizing to putting everything together. That said, you have to look out for an agency that has the aforementioned qualities to have any chance of getting a good website.
Is the agency up to date with the active design trends?
There is no guarantee that having a beautiful web design would convert quality leads. Whereas good-looking sites can attract the attention of customers, there is much more to it than what meets the eye. A web design that allows users to swipe seamlessly from page to page is ideal when it comes to conversion.
On this aspect, inquire to find out if the agency you are working with is able to design anything that currently matches the market. Besides, web designers should prime themselves to access trendy designs and as well adopt them before competitors make use of them. This is ideal in giving your business a competitive edge.
Therefore, if the agency can find a balance between adopting new designs and keep an easy to navigate site for customers, then you might have just got your pick. If the design engineers and the entire web design team have expertise on parallax scrolling, choice of colours and orientation designs, then you are perhaps in the right hands. After all, what more can you hope for?
Does the agency assign individualized website personnel?
When you have a contract with an agency, it is only natural that every time you have a web hiccup, you would want to reach out and iron out the problem. This requires that the agency assign you, someone, to be solely responsible for handling the needs of your website. Failure to do so means you are being set up to the wrong culture.
From time to time, your website would require minor changes. So, instead of contacting your agency and looking for anyone who can help, the ideal situation would be to have someone at the agency, you can reach out to at any time. This is normally the person you are assigned to, and you have their name and contact information, and they are aware of their responsibilities. They pay close attention to specific accounts that are only assigned to them. This way, the agency can eliminate the culture of indiscipline and irresponsibility.
Overall, it is much easier to assign responsibilities so that if you have an issue with your website, you already know the right channel to follow. Therefore, when choosing the right agency, this aspect should be a priority.
Is the agency able to relocate your site?
There are instances where a web design agency may not work with specific hosting services. If that is the case, it is vital you inquire beforehand to establish the best company for you. For instance, in a case where your web design firm doesn’t work with your hosting service, they may either choose to host it themselves or switch the hosting to their preferred contracted provider.
This information is vital before you can settle for a specific company. Which means you actually have to find out first. No one wants to wake up one day only to find that their website is hosted elsewhere under different credentials.
Finally, set up a meeting to talk about your web design project.
Once all the homework is done, and you feel its time to make a move, call the agency and set up a meeting to discuss your project. By doing so, you will discover three things:
- Is the agency interested in having you on board for the long-term?
- Are they narrowing you down on to an immediate hard sell?
- Are they the kind you can have chemistry with for the long-term?
These findings are vital because you are setting yourself up with people you want to depend on to express the face of your business to the rest of the world. So, pay attention to the details they go over with you on the phone. It can give you a clue on whether they can be accessible or friendly t reach out to, just in case.
Furthermore, as you go over the details of your project with them, you will have a chance to set achievable and concrete criteria with deadlines. One everything has been scheduled; you can be able to monitor and track the progress of your project with the web design agency.
Tracking the progress of your project gives you a clue on whether you are lagging behind on your schedule and targets. As such, you may choose whether or not to contact another agency if you are unsatisfied.
You can now choose the ideal web design company for your project
With this information at your disposal, you will hardly go wrong in choosing the right company for your project. Choose the ideal team that you can work with for the long-term because that is what you are in it for.
Every time a site visitor checks out your site, they will first land on your homepage. At this point, they will see your web design, the product banners, the typography in use and the overall presentation of your website. The above aspects should be a priority when choosing the right web design company for your project.