So you have great aspirations for your online business and need that killer website to make it a success. But how do you choose the right web design company? We’d say that although there is no complete set of factors in making this choice, there are key areas to consider. We breakdown those key areas into the following:
A good start towards making your choice is to look at the web design agency’s portfolio. What projects have they delivered? How usable are their websites? Do they show diversity in their portfolio of designs? Have they delivered a range of technical competencies for their various clients? These starting questions should get you thinking about the agency’s capacity to deliver your website.
Work to define what you need
No assumptions can be made at the outset of any website project, and your potential business’ website project should be treated with an open mind by the web design agency. The agency should let you speak to a person who can listen to your needs and converse with you to specify your requirements whilst making sure they can deliver a feasible solution.
Standards and best practices
Can a web design agency deliver your website to web standards and best practices? Although you wouldn’t be expected to know these, a web design agency that delivers quality websites can notify and highlight to you, current standards in web design and development. These standards may be employed to varying degrees based on what you require for your website. Examples of web standards include: quality HTML code; making the website search engine friendly; as well as featuring clear navigation and usable methods for the website’s visitors.
Project management principles: communication is key
To deliver the website you require, the web design agency you choose must work with you to set goals, milestones and targets to deliver the website. Your key features and functions of the website should be finalised and agreed upon before starting the website project. Also, the web design agency should highlight the most development-intensive or out of the ordinary features you may request, so you understand the complexity of work involved and the time taken to deliver them.
Making design and development work for you
The web design agency you choose should deliver to your satisfaction, which means working closely with you to define your needs and committing to deliver those over a project period. Is the design agency willing to accommodate to design revisions and changes, within reasonable requests? Will they demonstrate a working version of your website that you can offer feedback and amends for before launch? Keeping the website design project transparent and accountable to you is a good way to ensure the developers are on track to what you require, and that you are happy with the direction taken on the website overall.
Advice on online marketing approaches
With the growing prominence given to online marketing, your web design agency should openly advise on such approaches. This also means showing options that won’t work for your business. Given the wide range of tools, tactics and methods available for effective online marketing, some may not be as relevant or be out of your budget. Also, they should stress that the website is an independent project as online marketing approaches can only be employed after your website is delivered.
To conclude, we’ve highlighted the main factors to consider in choosing a quality web design company. We don’t believe there are a complete set of factors, but overlooking the above areas in your final decision can make the difference to your business success online.