How to Choose the Right Web Design Agency
When it’s time to redesign your website — or even build one from scratch — a web design agency can offer the experience and expertise necessary to do it right. There’s no question about the value of an agency. However, you may have a lot of questions about which one to choose.
Do a quick search on “web design agencies” and hundreds of names will come up. How can you decide which one is best for your company’s needs? These tips will help.
Look at Past Work
Whether an agency has been in business for five years or 50, it needs to have a history of building successful sites. Most of them will show off samples of this work to demonstrate their capabilities. Look at these portfolios before reaching out to an agency.
What is your first impression of these sites? Do you like the designs, or do you find them confusing or obtrusive? Have they worked with businesses like yours in the past? A brief look at past work will give you an idea of what they’ll do for your site. Also, look for case studies and testimonials. Attractive design is important, but you also want to see evidence that these designs helped clients meet their marketing goals.
Know What You’re Buying
The rates for web design vary from one agency to another. So does the range of services. Some agencies charge a one-time fee for a basic design, while others offer SEO, content management and other services for recurring fees. Before choosing an agency, get a detailed breakdown of services and fees so you know exactly what you’ll get.
Two factors will go into this decision. The first is cost. Some businesses are tempted to go with the cheapest option to save money, or the most expensive because they think money equals quality. A better option is to go for the middle ground: Rates that fit your budget but are in line with what most agencies are charging.
You also want to look for an agency that offers flexible payment options. If an agency charges a one-time fee, you won’t be able to make adjustments over the long-term. You also won’t be able to terminate the relationship without losing a lot of money. An agency that allows you to pay monthly makes it easier to adjust your spending as needed. It also makes it easier to calculate your return on investment.
Ask About User Experience
Web design has evolved over the years. It doesn’t just involve what visitors see — it also involves how the site operates and whether visitors will like using it. The best web design agencies understand the relationship between web design and user experience. Make sure the agency you choose understands this relationship, as well.
A good user experience is comprised of a lot of things besides an attractive appearance, such as:
- The ability to use interactive tools
- Consistency with other brand channels
- Mobile access
- Page load speed
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
A web designer needs to focus on all of these things. If possible, ask what tools an agency uses to design sites. If they use responsive design, or other tools that enable fast load times, they know what you need to succeed in your online marketing strategy. An agency that designs for SEO is even better. If the agency doesn’t incorporate these things, keep looking.
A web design agency will take on the task of building your website and leave you free to focus on your business. Which one is right for you? Follow the steps listed above and you’ll get closer to the answer.
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