Finding a web design agency to create your brand new website can be a daunting task, especially when your Google search for web designers brings up thousands of options to sift through. On top of this, there’s a huge variety of different skill sets and specialties, design styles, price ranges, and more that will affect how well you and an agency fit together.
So how do you make sure you hire an agency that will deliver quality goods? Ask questions. Knowing the answers to important questions will help ensure that you know your needs and can hire someone who understands and has the skills to resolve them.
Here are some questions to think about asking yourself or a potential agency before signing on as a client:
1. Does the agency have a working understanding of UX/UI?
Looks are not everything. Let me say it louder for the people in the back. While the aesthetics of your website are clearly an integral piece, if your website is unintuitive and hard to maneuver, it does not matter if it’s beautiful. If a user can’t find out how to do something or can’t find a product, there is no lead generated and most likely a customer lost. User Experience Design and User Interface Design (UX/UI) are a crucial part of creating a functional and user-friendly website that will help your business grow, so it’s important to know if a web design agency has necessary experience.
2. Does the designer’s style match mine?
I know I said looks aren’t everything, but they clearly do hold a lot of importance. Most likely what brought you to consider this agency is that you liked their portfolio, so this might not be an issue. But if you’ve come for another reason, it’s worth a look to make sure their design style aligns with what you’re looking for.
3. Has my communication with the agency thus far been clear and reasonably quick?
It’s important to make sure that the agency is going to be professional and easy to work with. Likely there will be a lot of back-and-forth as things are tweaked and changed, and you will need an agency that listens to and values your opinion. Effective communication skills will make the web design process move smoothly and will make it more enjoyable for everyone involved.
4. Will the agency also develop my website?
If you’re looking at a web design agency, the likely answer to this question is yes. However, it’s still necessary to ensure that the agency’s developer is up to the task, so if you are unsure ask for examples of their work. If you’re looking for a high-tech website that has things such as parallax scrolling, sticky headers, icon animation, or similar things, it’s important to know if an agency has the right skill sets.
If the agency does not offer website development services, make sure that you will end up with design files that can be used by a different developer (most likely PSD, AI, or Sketch files).
5. Are any digital marketing services included in the new website if it’s being developed by the agency? If not, what are the additional costs?
There are a lot of digital marketing techniques that will help your website be more effective. Things such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), analytics & reporting, and more will help your website appear in more searches and generate more leads. Plus you will be in-the-know on how much these methods are working.
6. Does the agency have a copywriter available if new content needs to be created?
If your website content is either nonexistent or needs to be updated, it can be very helpful to enlist the help of a copywriter. A copywriter specializes in creating quality content that adds value and increases your website’s searchability on search engines.
7. Does the designer or agency’s pricing align with what you want to spend?
Obviously, the price of the website is an important consideration and can range from very cheap to very expensive. While I would generally recommend not skimping on cost in order to get a quality, lasting website that will serve you faithfully, you also want to make sure the agency is not ripping you off. Make sure to look for the hidden costs of services that you want but that might not be included in the package.
8. What is the scope of the contract?
If you’re close to signing on with an agency, take a look at what the contract consists of. How many pages are included? How many revisions and changes are allowed? Will mobile and tablet versions be designed? What are the deadlines and timelines? Likely the agency has several different packages available, or they might price it out website by website. Be aware of what is included and what is not.
Get out there!
Your website is going to be one of your main points of contact with your customers, so it’s an important thing to get right. By asking the right questions, you can be more prepared to weed out the agencies that are the wrong fit and find the one that is going to give you the website you’ve been dreaming about. Now go face that Google search list with confidence.
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