Every business needs a website that looks good, is mobile-ready, SEO-optimized, with all of the features and functionalities specific to their audience and brand. This site will tell a customer or a potential customer so much about your business and is not the place to cut corners. But, with many different options available, how do you choose the best web design company for you and your brand?
Here are seven ways to identify the company or agency that fits your needs.
They Employ Web Designers and Web Developers
The truth is that many people think they need a web designer when they actually need a web developer.
A web designer focuses on creating an authentic graphical design and mockup of your website, using the best practices and industry-specific standards. Their goal is to give you a look that will knock your socks off. However, someone has to code that design to make it work.
A web developer adds features and functionality to your website. They integrate services, contact forms, and dropdown menus, make custom plugins, and create the things that make your website function. A web developer is like a mechanic: they make the car run—and run fast.
When determining the best web design firm, it’s important to do a little research on the agency. How many people work for the company? What do they specialize in: web design, web development, internet marketing, sales? And who will you be working with?
Knowing the answers these questions is key to the success of your project.
They Help You Identify Your Vision, Mission, Purpose, Goals, and Steps
Before you select a web designer, ask yourself if you have a clear vision for your website. Vision is vital because it impacts every creative and design decision: what should your website look like? How do you want a visitor to feel when they see the images on the screen or read the message contained therein?
Furthermore, do you know your mission, goals, and the specific steps you need to take to accomplish those goals? Sharing this information with your web designer will help them achieve the vision that you’re looking for in a way that aligns with your mission and goals.
Many agencies won’t help you determine these things but will go along with your vision, creating a stunning website based on your expressed desires. However, some companies are willing to sit down with you and help you determine your specific vision and goals. By doing so, they are teaming up with you and bringing your dream to life.
They Help You Identify Specific Features
What type of website are you looking for? An eCommerce, service-based, or charity-based website?
Each site requires different features and functionality. A charity website needs to be able to collect donations, whereas a product-based site requires a shopping cart, and a service-based website may require a way to collect leads for that particular service. More than that, each project is unique and will need different features and functionalities; your agency should help you determine which features are the best fit for you.
They Have a Track Record of Success
The past is a good predictor of future results, even with web design.
While you’re researching agencies, read online reviews from other customers. If you see overwhelmingly negative reviews, it might be a good idea to steer clear. Look for specificity in reviews when judging their validity; if many of them include general praise without much substance, some extra research is required.
When vetting an agency for your business, see if they have made success stories available. Many companies will have a section on their website entirely devoted to these case studies. Take the time to really read those over, because the results of those customers are a good indication of what you will experience with that particular agency.
They Have Happy Customers
Every agency has a work portfolio that shows you, a potential customer, their past work. Once you have that in hand, reach out to a few previous customers, especially ones in your industry, to get the details of their experience. If they’re happy with the work the agency has done, they will be glad to rave about them to you. If the work produced or the interactions they had were lackluster, that customer will let you know to steer clear.
This is one of the best ways to determine whether or not you should work with a company.
They Have a Strong Work Portfolio
A company’s work portfolio will shed a lot of light on their previous work and how they will perform for you. The truth is that many firms specialize in only a few things, which you will pay for in other areas. For example, if they’re great at logo design, they might be poor in web development. By knowing the agency’s strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be able to weigh your options to find the best web design company to meet your specific needs.
You’re getting more than just a website, you’re forming a relationship with the company, a company that’s made up of people. In most cases, clients stay with their web design company for many years, so doing your due diligence beforehand can save you a lot of heartache in the process.
They Have Reasonable Prices
If you do a quick Google search, you’ll see that prices for web design vary greatly, from $2,000 to $10,000, with some of them costing upwards of $30,000! You will also find many do-it-yourself sites such as Shopify, Squarespace, and WordPress that will save you money but will require a great deal of your time.
For a growing business, going with an agency is the best bet to ensure that you get the best site possible with the best technology available. By using these seven tips, you should be able to identify the best web design company for your website.
Not sure where to begin? Check out Creative Mind Lab.