One of the hardest things about launching a new website is choosing the designer.
With so many design agencies out there, it can be a monumental task just trying to figure out which one is right for you.This is certainly not a decision you want to take lightly.
After all, your website is going to be the online face of your business.
It will be the first point of contact for many of your potential customers.
As a result, your website will be a driving factor behind whether or not people choose to do business with you.
That’s why it’s so essential to choose a design agency that will help you reach your target audience—and your business goals.
So how exactly are you supposed to choose? Here are twelve things to look for when selecting your web design company:
1) They Listen to Your Ideas
You’re an expert in your industry.
As such, you know what you’re selling, and you have some idea of how you need to present it to your potential customers.
No one knows your business better than you do.
If a web design company doesn’t listen to your ideas, you probably don’t want to work with them.
Your designer needs to put your ideas into action, not create their pet project.
ALT Agency loves a collaborative process and will welcome your ideas to use best practices to bring them to life.
2) They Have Their Ideas
While it’s essential for your web designer to listen to you, you don’t want a yes-man.
You may know your business, but your website needs to be designed by someone who knows design.
If a web design agency does nothing but nod their heads and produce a replica of what you say, then you aren’t getting your money’s worth.
Your designer must be able to bring exciting ideas to the table.
3) They Have a Marketing Department
A web design agency without a marketing team is like a Ferrari without an engine. Yeah, it may look great, but it’s not going to go anywhere.
You want more than an eye-catching website. It would help if you had something that works.
When a web agency has designers, developers, and marketers, you can be confident that the finished product will be more than just a pretty paperweight.
4) The Design with CMS in Mind
You need a content management system for your website. Without it, you’ll be calling a developer every other day with another request to update your site.
Any web design agency worth anything is familiar with the best content management systems (WordPress, Drupal, Magento).
If your designer recommends a static HTML website, then you need to find a time machine so you can get back to this decade.
5) They Know Responsive Design
Responsive design is not a fad. It’s simply the best way to design a website these days.
Even Google thinks so.
If a web design agency isn’t well-versed in responsive design or suggests a separate mobile website is always better, then they’re probably not suitable for you.
While some cases where an independent mobile site might have some advantages, responsive design is generally the preferred solution.
As mobile and tablet usage continues to grow, you need to be sure your business is optimised for every device.
The right designer will get you there.
6) They Have a Portfolio of Live Websites
What’s the best way to see if a web design company knows their stuff? Look at the work they’ve done.
But don’t trust screenshots of home pages. You want to see the websites they’ve made in action.
Take the time to look through their portfolio and visit the sites they’ve designed.
If you don’t see anything you like, they will not be a good fit. Check out the case studies of ALT Agency: ALT Agency Portfolio.
7) They Have Longevity
The web may change very fast these days, but that doesn’t mean you should trust some fly-by-night web design company that probably won’t be around in a year.
Every year there are tons of new design companies that pop up—and just as many that close down. So, an actual test of a web design agency’s ability is its longevity.
You want a company that’s been around for a while—and one that plans to stick around.
The more experience a design company has, the more they’ve had to change and adapt to the many new internet trends.
And the more likely they’ll be around next year to help support your new website.
8) Their Designers Know Conversion
A designer has to know more than how to make something look nice.
A good web design agency includes a team of designers who understand what makes websites convert.
That means they know the proper layout, navigation, and calls to action. An “if-it-looks-good-they’ll-convert” philosophy doesn’t cut it these days.
Your designer needs to use data and proven methods when creating your site.
9) They Have Experience in More Than One Industry
You might think it would be great if your web design company only worked with one industry.
After all, if they only do websites for cat leashes, they must know cat leashes.
Perhaps, but it also means you’re probably going to end up with a cookie-cutter website that’s indistinguishable from the other seventy-five cat leash websites they did this year.
A web design company that works with a wide variety of industries is more likely to create a unique website that will reach a bigger audience.
Your website has to stand above the competition, not be identical. ALT Agency, for example, has an extensive level of industry experience.
10) They’ve Worked at Both the Local and National Levels.
Whether you’re a national brand or a local business, you need a web design agency that knows both.
If your designer has only worked with local companies, then there’s a good chance your new website won’t be designed for big success.
On the other hand, the more audiences your designer knows, the better odds your website will help you reach your business goals.
It would help if you had a designer who can think both big and small.
11) They Keep Up with Modern Design Trends
The last thing you want from a new website is a design that looks like it would’ve been popular last decade.
A web designer needs to keep up with the latest technology and modern design trends.
Customers are much more likely to trust a business if its website looks modern. Good design companies incorporate what’s hot in their websites.
A web designer needs to be familiar with parallax scrolling, flat design, responsive, and dozens of other styles and elements.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they should push all the newest fads.
There needs to be a balance between what’s modern and what’s proven.
A website has to do more than look fresh.
12) They’re Not Dirt Cheap
Your website is one of the most vital pieces of your business.
Unfortunately, this is not an area where you can afford to cut corners.
When a web design company tells you they’ll build a custom website for £2000, they mean they’ll drag and drop your text and logo into a £99 WordPress theme that 12,000 other websites use.
If you want a website that will work for your business, you must be willing to invest in it.
A great website will yield a high return on investment. A wrong website will result in a stagnant business.
Finding the right web design agency is not the most straightforward job you have as a business owner.
ALT Agency is transparent, a leader in what they do, committed to delivering results for your business and has experience across a vast array of sectors.
What Questions Should You Ask A Web Design Agency When You’re In Need Of A New Website Or A Re-Design?
- How much experience do you have? (Not how long have you been in business for – these are two VERY different questions)
- What kind of websites have you designed? (Ask for a variety in design and complexity)
- What results did these websites bring for the business?
- How will your design help me reach my business goal?
- Timeframe (How long will it take to complete)
- How many revisions would you be willing to make?
- How does the process work?
- How close can I work with your agency?
- How much will it cost?
- Will I own my website?
- Is it built on an open-source platform or a bespoke CMS only your company can use?
- Is there a monthly fee?
- Does it come with a domain name?
- Will, my website be responsive for mobiles, tablets and laptops as well as desktops?
- Are you a full-service agency? Do you do digital marketing or just website design?
- How are your websites built? With a custom design or pre-made template?
- Have you built websites in my industry before? Conflict of interest?
- Do you analyse my business, market and competitors?
- Who will be working on my website? Can I speak directly with the team?
- How many pages will I get with my website?
- Do you create logos too?
- Do I need to provide images, or will you do that?
- Do you offer e-commerce services?
- Will you host my website? If so, where will it be hosted?
- Will my current website experience any downtime?
- Is social media integrated as part of the project?
- Is ongoing maintenance something you offer?
- Do you provide reports on how well the website is doing once it’s gone live?
- Will I have access to my website statistics without relying on asking you?
ALT Agency has eighteen years of experience which has taught us a few things: How to make fantastic websites and the importance of delivering a platform to grow your business.
That’s why we have our three-point pledge guarantee. Your website will be delivered on time, it’ll be on the budget, and you’ll be delighted with the outcome. No ifs. No buts.