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6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Website Design Company

By on Aug 9, 2021

An optimized and functional website is key to growing your business online and attracting new leads. The development of a website is an important marketing initiative consisting of many functions including strategic planning, content, design, programming and SEO. The decision you make in hiring a web design company will determine your website’s success.

The right web design company will act as your marketing partner and help your business achieve its online marketing goals. When picking a web design and development company the interview phase is crucial to ensure your goals are met. Asking the right questions will guide you towards the ideal agency for your website.

Below is a list of 6 questions designed to help you find the agency that will best fit your brand and needs.

1. What Experience Does the Agency Have?

The first thing you should do when considering an agency to design or redesign your website is to review their portfolio. Spend some time on the websites of their former clients. Starting with design basics, ask yourself whether you like what you see, whether the design is visually appealing and whether the layout and design works for the brand’s image.  Or is there room for improvement?

Do not focus solely on the design. Consider other aspects such as user experience, functionality, ease of navigation, mobile responsiveness, website speed and call to action (CTA) placements. Check if they use creative and innovative functionality. Be sure to also examine the site’s performance and appearance mobile devices. This can be a good indication of the agency’s approach. Are they always improving and evolving? Or do they stick to outdated methods?

2. Where Is the Agency Located?

Consider whether you are comfortable with a web design company that is located far away or even in another country of if you would prefer to work with a local firm. A company on the other side of the world might be more inexpensive, but due to time zone differences, you may have more challenges in communicating.

Some people also prefer to be able to sit down in the same space with their local web design and development company and meet across coffee. When it comes down to is, expertise is more important than location, but consider your own convenience and comfort level.

3. Can the Web Design Agency Meet Your Requirements?

Good website design requires good strategy, design and marketing awareness. Ideally, you should pick the designer that best understands your goals and is able bring your website vision to life.

You will want to outline your needs before you ever contact an agency. Do you want a simple website listing key company information and a contact page? Or perhaps yours is an ecommerce site with a thousand skews. If you are not entirely sure of what website functionality you need, consult with a few agencies to get their input and ideas.

Make a list of all your must-haves such as social media platform integrations, customized forms and geo-location tags for content filtering before getting started. Be sure the agency can fulfill all the items on your list. Web development is a highly complex endeavor that involves many moving pieces. Hence, you must be as specific as you can when listing all the elements you require.

4. What Is the Agency’s Process?

The success of your project will rely on the agency’s approach and process. Be sure to have a clear picture of their strategic process from start to finish before hiring a web design and development company. The agency’s process should give you a sense of confidence in their ability to make your project a resounding success.

Even though most designers create websites for all kinds of businesses, it might also be helpful to enquire if they have previously worked with clients in your industry or created websites for your target audience for some additional insight. Some designers, for example, specialize in luxury brands. Others have small business clients. You probably don’t want a web designer whose typical client is a pizza parlor to design your luxury resort or exclusive perfume website.

5. Which Web Design and Development Services Are Included?

Whether you’re doing a new design, a full redesign or a partial refresh, you can request a website analysis from your potential web designer to learn more about the designer’s thought processes and ideas. A designer genuinely interested in helping your business reach its goals might recommend making a couple of simple tweaks if that is all the website requires.

Then, you can ask about the various development services that are available when you hire a particular agency. Look out for essential marketing services like SEO, social media integration, AI chatbots and other features that are important to you. It is best to work with a company that is a full-service holistic marketing agency offering multiple services like design, web development, content creation and CTA placement.

6. Can the Agency Meet Your Deadline?

The most crucial aspect of web design projects is possibly setting and meeting deadlines. The website’s launch date is the main driving force influencing how every other moving piece of the project works together. You should thus first determine an expected design and completion timeline and inquire about the agency’s ability to meet your deadline right from the start before hiring them.

Typically, the turnaround time for a project is based on the scope of the work required and how quickly each phase gets approved. However, it is also worth discussing what might happen in case they don’t meet their target date.

For instance, some web design companies may have a couple of programmers work on a project or allocate a team of a few individuals to a project, depending on the deadline. So be sure to communicate your needs beforehand and know who will be working on which components of your project.

Communication is Key

It is important to discuss and negotiate every aspect clearly with the website design company you choose. From walking you through the new website design to minor adjustments and updates upon request, it is best to find out how the agency plans to offer assistance and  support after the website goes live. You don’t want to be left hanging with unexpected issues.

Umbrella Local could be exactly the right fit for your project. We can help you get a beautiful and accessible website that converts visitors to leads and sales. Get in touch today to get started.

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