8 Steps to Choosing the Best Web Design Company
Do you want to know the 8 steps to choosing the best web design company? You certainly should if you are in the market for a new website or re-designing your old one!
The advantages of having a properly designed site are numerous; excellent way to interact with customers, online branding and presence, information portal and more. The disadvantages of having a poorly done site, unfortunately, are also numerous including the critical aspect of sending out the wrong impression or message to your customers.
That is why we have compiled a checklist of what you need to look at and consider to make the best decision for your business when choosing an agency to partner with:
Choosing the Best Web Design Company
- Decide on Company Goals – The first step is to determine what your company goals are for your website. Is this going to be primarily for e-commerce? Will you site be a customer service platform? Maybe you just want to build and maintain your customer base? Whatever the aim, you need to decide on what it is, why type of online marketing you want to use, how you want your brand displayed online and what your goals for success are. After determining this piece of the puzzle you can see if potential agencies have produced similar sites for clients with any level of success in the form of their portfolio, case studies and references.
- What is Your Budget – This is an interesting question, as often business owners don’t always understand what they should spend on a website. Is it like an engagement ring where you spend two months of the advertising budget on it? After deciding on your company goals, you then need to decide what the potential benefit of a good site will be to your bottom line in either terms of sales, conversions or marketing. From there you can compare that value to your budget to better understand what a great site can be worth to your business. When you talk with agencies ask for evidence of ROI for previous clients. See how that number works with the sticker price they are asking for services. Then consider prices and results from a few firms to get a better idea on what seems to be a standard or fair rate and factor that into what you can afford and potential upside for that cost.
- Look for Consistent Winners – Track records are important in an industry like web design. People who can consistently provide winning results are those who you want to work with, even if they have only been in business a few years. Ask for a client list from the past year and review the finished products and even contact them to see if the results they received are similar (or better) than what you are being promised.
- Ask Lots of Questions – A reputable firm should be more than happy to explain things to you because you are paying them for service. That means they should be open and forthcoming about their process, methods, why they prefer one option over another and the like. Ideally process and method should be documented. If there are things you don’t understand, ask. Then, take the time to do some research on your own to confirm they know what they are saying. A website is an investment. After all, you don’t buy a car without doing some research because you can’t just take a salesperson’s word as gospel.
- Consider Content – Content is the lifeblood of the internet. Without interesting content and information, why would so many people spend so much time online outside of work? Ideally the agency you choose should discuss content with you, why it is important, how it factors into SEO and marketing and how it can affect your brand. Content is extremely important and there should be a plan for how it will be showcased to properly deliver your message, even if it is you, them, or a third party providing the content. In today’s world, content is part of every successful design.
- Discuss Goals – After deciding on company goals in step one, this step is focused on subsets within those goals and understanding how you can measure them. For example: generating more leads, increasing online sales, adding more newsletter subscribers, increasing traffic numbers or increasing your ranking on Google. Check with the agency about what tools they use to measure success, how they plan on reaching those goals, possible ideas and solutions based on previous success, and what they will do if promised goals are not met.
- Discuss Strategy – This step is an extension of the previous one. What is the agency’s web strategy? Are they a full service digital agency that understands more than just the art and science of building a site but also how to build a presence and online brand? Have them discuss their approach in detail and how they can help you reach your goals in a reasonable time for a reasonable cost.
- Go Behind the Scenes – A website is an investment and as such is something you should ensure is protected. Rather than take a business’s web site at face value, make sure you do some investigation into the business. Again, like when you are buying a car you check under the hood to see if the engine is as promised or if it is two mice on a wheel. Is this company just a college student in his dorm with a very well-made website promising services? Is this company using a shell-front and actually is an Indian-based business masquerading as a U.S. company? There is a big difference in working with an established digital agency that has a full staff, on-site, of designers, developers, coders and project managers compared to some fly-by-night- agencies that might look good at a glance, but end up being an awful decision in retrospect.
Hopefully if you follow our 8 steps to choosing the best web design company you can avoid some of the pitfalls that unfortunately exist in the industry. One of the reasons you do see such a wide range of prices for a website is because some businesses are looking for a quick buck in exchange for a quick design while others offer a valuable services in addition to award-winning designs that include strategic marketing, brand positions and a direct response strategy that yields high conversions and results you will be happy with.