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How to Choose the Right Web Design Agency
By Sam Morgan - Account Manager Read time 3 Minutes 30th August 2018
So, you’ve made the decision you need a new website, but where do you start?
Your website is main point of contact with customers and can act as sales representative, education tool and, in some cases, is the first interaction a customer will have with your business – and we all know how important first impressions are! So, it’s vital its done right and portrays the right image for your business.
That’s why choosing the right website design agency to partner with is extremely important, and hopefully the following steps will act as a guide to help you make the right decision.
Step 1 – Get Your Ducks in a Row
Understand what you as a business want from your website; your core objectives, the key performance indicators it will be measured on, any specific functionality that is needed, and the ever-important budget and time line you have to work with, are all fundamentals you need to know before you go any further.
Step 2 – Do Your Research
This is a very important stage that will help you to shortlist the possible agencies. It can be easy to just call and start asking questions, however they may just tell you what they think you want to hear, so it’s critical you do your research.
Check out the agencies own websites, this will be a good indication of their design style, capabilities, and technological expertise. What do you think of the overall look and feel of the site? Is it responsive? Does it meet your standards for design aesthetic and user experience? It’s obviously OK if the design of the site isn’t the style you want for your website, as a good website design agency will be able to cater to your brand guidelines and style aesthetic.
A great example of the agencies experience, adaptability and design skills are the websites they have built for their clients. Are the websites they've created easy to use and professional-looking? Are their clients comparable to you in terms of size? Do the sites seem similar in scope?
Step 3 – Popping the Question
Once you have shortlisted a select few potential partners, its time to pop the question, well actually questions, and here are five you should ask, and the type of answers you should expect to get back.
How will user experience be included in the design process? As previously explored in our blog - The Importance of User Experience in Web Design, user experience (UX) needs to be an integral part of any new websites design. A good website design agency will assure you that they understand the importance of UX, that this will be at the centre of the project, and be able to give you examples of the methods they use to ensure this.
What are the steps involved in the project? Unless you have given the agency a comprehensive brief and budget, they won’t be able to go into detail of each stage of the project and the costs associated, but a well experienced agency should take you through the steps involved, how it will work and what you can expect.
Who will be working on my website, and what are their roles within the agency? The answer given to this question will give you two parts of insightful information, that the right people at the right level will be working on your website and that the work isn’t being outsourced. Also you should be given a name and contact information of a project manager, responsible for the success of your website build, and who will provide you with regular progress reports.
Is SEO and a content strategy included? Many design agencies won’t include these important factors in the build of a website, but they are imperative to a successful launch. Therefore, if the agency does offer these services they should be discussed and included as part of the project, and if they don’t, a support SEO company to work with the design agency will also need to be sourced.
Who will be able to update the website once launched? By asking this question you will spark the discussion of management/support of the site beyond the launch, and a well experienced website design agency will be able to give you a few options to consider. However, the two main options would be; a content management system (CMS) where you will be able to make direct simple content changes to your website, or the agency will keep all management of the site in-house and make any updates to your website for you, with the details of this needing to be discussed.
Step 4 – The Meet
You should now be down to the select few agencies that you believe have the experience and knowledge needed, but the final factor you need to consider is do you like them? You will be working with the selected agency for months, so chemistry is important.
We would advise setting up an informal meeting at the agency's offices so you can really get a feel for them, the people and the culture of the agency, and then from this meeting you will know if you can see yourself building a good working relationship with the agency.
Step 5 – Decision time
Based on the above steps, you should now be able to make a well-informed decision on which agency is right for you.
Trying to find the right web design agency for your website build? Get in touch with M3.Agency today, we’d be happy to help.
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