The internet era has made almost all businesses go digital and join the online market to sell their products and services and reach wider audiences. It is almost unimaginable for a business today to be successful and not be accessible to its online audience.
What is more, the internet traffic doesn’t seem to be slowing down. It is still growing strong, and the recent pandemic has only accelerated its evolution.
If you are still contemplating the idea of your business going digital and entering the online market, or if you have already delved into it but feel uncertain about your online image and presence — start by focusing on building a great website for your business.
Now, you don’t actually need to build the website on your own. Thankfully, many web design companies can help you with that. Hiring the right website designer/developer is essential, as it will provide you with a custom website and its maintenance while allowing you to run your business as usual.
That is why you should look carefully and make sure the web design agency you hire can truly deliver what you ask of them and help you meet your business needs. You might want an entirely new website or a redesign of your existing one.
In any case, it is your website that will make the first impression on your potential customers, so it’s definitely worth investing in.
So, how to choose the right web design company?
Let’s discuss some of the things you’ll need to keep in mind while looking for the one best suited to your needs.
Your Website’s Needs and Goals
The best place to start your search for a web design agency is by listing all the things you want your website to do and the goals you want to reach using it. If you look at your website as a marketing and business tool, you’ll see just how much it can do for you.
You might want it to generate more leads, sync it with CRM, integrate it with automation tools, connect it with your email marketing platform, offer fill-out forms to users, collect payments, etc.
In addition to that, you might want your website to be user-friendly, contain conversion-optimized pages, allow e-commerce, etc. That is why you should consider a web design agency capable of custom web design, such as custom web design by Digital Silk.
You should treat your website as more than just a pretty design — your website should be your assistant in achieving your business goals. Therefore, a list of goals, along with a list of your business needs and nice-to-haves, is a necessity before reaching out to an agency.
Your Budget and Timeline
While you don’t need to be specific about the costs you are willing to cover, you should at least have a range (10-15K, for example). It will make your search for the agency much simpler. Furthermore, you should also be familiar with the timeline you expect.
If you want your website to be live in a couple of weeks, you’ll have to narrow your choice to web design agencies that are available to start now compared to those you’ll have to wait for.
Web Design Agency’s Website
The first thing you will notice when searching for web design companies online is their website. As stated earlier, a website is what makes the first impression, and in the case of web design agencies, it’s what makes or breaks the deal.
A web design agency’s website is the best indication of their web designer’s abilities and skills. It is the perfect representation of their approach and expertise. You want an agency whose website instills trust and whose services you feel compelled to buy after visiting their website.
Don’t worry too much about the style itself, as a good website designer is skilled at creating any style of website, including the one that fits your desired aesthetic.
Web Design Knowledge and Experience
Just as in a regular job interview, experience and a portfolio reflecting it are of utmost importance in choosing the right candidate. The agency’s previous work can showcase the approach with which your project will be managed.
When reviewing a company’s experience in building websites, try to determine how long they have been active and if they are a startup or an established company. Also, find out if they have experience developing websites within your industry and if those websites contain features you want your website to have.
Try to look beyond a good-looking website because its looks mean nothing if the website isn’t easy to navigate.
An agency’s portfolio can give you an insight into its creativity and industry experience. You will be able to assess their previous work and see if it shows knowledge of the latest web design trends, a unique approach to each client, and experience in developing mobile-friendly websites. If the websites they have developed show similar imagery or structure, it may indicate a lack of custom web design.
Now, even if you happen to like their work despite their lack of experience in your industry, you can give them a chance by asking them what they would do for your business. You might like their ideas and decide to work with them.
Online Reviews and Testimonials
To ensure a web design agency is worth contacting, you can browse their online reviews and testimonials. It’s a useful way to determine if their clients are satisfied with their work as well as with the customer service they received during the collaboration. Their clients might even mention specific team members whom they deem responsible for the success of the website.
Reviews are easy to find on Google, Yelp, and Facebook, as well as the agency’s website. However, if the reviews are only available on the agency’s website, you should do a bit more research before meeting with them.
Agency’s Ability to Listen
While a web design agency is expected to come up with and offer their ideas for your website, it’s equally important for them to listen to your ideas. They should take what you say seriously because, after all, you are the expert in your business.
If you have any suggestions or tweaks to propose when looking at the website the agency is developing for you, make sure you voice your opinion. If the agency wants you to grow and be content, they will not dismiss your ideas.
Aside from checking out the agency’s website, you can dig a little deeper and learn more about the agency’s team itself. It’s important to click with the team and have it reflect your company’s personality so that you can get along with them.
You will be working closely on the aspect of your business that is crucial to your success, so you might as well collaborate with people who are easy to communicate with.
You can check the agency culture on social, review team pages, and their involvement in the community. You want to feel welcome, be listened to, and show enthusiasm for your business.
A definite advantage to any web design agency is an in-house marketing team that keeps the web design department up to date with the latest trends. Therefore, check if a web agency’s team includes members knowledgeable in marketing.
Additional Questions to Ask
- Once you contact a web design agency of your choosing, make a list of questions you’ll discuss with them during a meeting. These things need to be clarified in advance so there are no unpleasant surprises later:
- Is it possible to meet the team before we sign the contract?
- Who will be the owner of the website?
- Will you train me on how to use my website after it is completed?
- Can the website be integrated with other platforms, such as online payment tools, CRM, or event management?
- Do you power your websites with a content management system?
- Do you provide continual website security updates and maintenance?
- Do you provide SEO services?
- Is it possible to transport the website to another hosting company if I decide not to work with your company anymore?
Having all these things in mind (and on paper) will simplify your search for the right web design agency. If you make the choice that best suits your business needs and goals, your company will continue growing and be more accessible to your new potential customers.
Your website is the first impression your online audience will have of your business — make sure it’s a good one.