With 76% of consumers and potential customers looking at online presence before physically visiting or contacting a business, it’s safe to say that having the right website is of utmost importance.
Therefore, ensuring that you find the right web design agency for your business is not something that should be taken lightly. We have had numerous individuals and businesses approach us to help correct or enhance work that has been done previously by other agencies who haven’t met the expected levels after completion.
With some agencies specialising in certain sectors, and some focussing on certain aspects of web design, it can be a bit of a minefield out there – so we thought we would give those looking a brief guide on what to look out for and what questions to ask.
Take a Look at Previous Work
This is a great starting point. Any agency worth approaching will have multiple examples of previous sites and other completed work on their website. By looking at this, it will give a clear idea of the agency’s ability.
Looking at an agencies previous work also presents the opportunity to see if they have built sites in your industry. If they have, generally it will demonstrate an understanding of that industry and give the designer a head start on what websites in said industry should look like, and features that might be necessary.
How are the Reviews?
Alongside analysing previous work, checking out Google (and other) reviews is a good, reliable way to get a feel for what an agency are about.
An in-depth look at reviews can give an insight into how an agency works, the interpersonal skills of their team and aspects that are strengths or weaknesses.
Be careful to take some reviews with a pinch of salt though. For example, if reviews are overwhelmingly positive and there is one particularly negative review, it may not be the agencies fault as much as a difficult customer.
Are They Active on Social Media?
This may seem obvious, who isn’t on social media these days? However, there are a surprising number of web design agencies without a regular social media presence.
We’d recommend paying attention to the kind of content that is being put out and the regularity of the posts as good indictors of what an agency is about. It may be tempting to just look at follower numbers – however this can be extremely misleading.
What Else do They Offer?
Another good indicator of a web design agency and its capabilities is to take a look at other services that they offer – asides from just web design.
Services like copywriting, SEO, digital marketing, website hosting and the ability to create e-commerce sites are all good pointers of an agency’s overall aptitude.
Furthermore, if all of these services can be found in one place, it can make the time to completion of a website considerably quicker, as it isn’t necessary to shop around to find different sources. This is a particular benefit of choosing an agency over a one-man band.
Ad Hoc Requests
There are few things more frustrating than having a web design agency manage a site that take days (or sometimes weeks) to make important changes and updates. For example, if opening hours need to be changed quickly, or something on the website needs a quick edit, this needs to be done at a moment’s notice.
Always check with the designer or the agency that this is something they have the capacity to do. Again, this is another benefit of working with an agency, which has a dedicated team, over an individual designer.
Finally, can the agency designing and building the website be forward thinking and develop a strategy for your website?
Most established agencies will have learnt from working on past and existing projects and should therefore have a good idea of what needs to be done moving forward. Likewise, it’s a good idea to challenge your chosen agency to see if they are familiar with the industry that you are in. If they are, they will be able to be more effective when strategizing moving forwards.
The End Product
Ultimately, what any client is looking for from a web design agency is a high-quality build that accurately represents their business. The best possible way to achieve this is by doing the correct research, and asking the right questions beforehand.
As mentioned previously, if an agency can be found that offers multiple services, this is a sure-fire way to save time, whilst normally helping to keep overall costs down too.