How to choose a web design agency or a group that will complete your website is a big challenge for business owners. Many business owners fail to realize that the site is a group effort, that a single person can’t manage optimally on its own. It requires a coordinated team of designers, programmers, marketers, and content writers.
Therefore we created this guide to help you look for the things that matter when choosing the right web design agency. This way, you won’t get surprised mid-project, and end up with a website that is creating less than profitable results for your business.
1. What technology will your website utilize?
This is the most crucial question that you will ask your vendor, that will determine the difficulty of the task. There are many nuances when choosing a content management system for your project, and many of them come with different features, pros, and cons. Here at Alpha Efficiency, we focus on more complex sites, optimized with business features and functionality. This way, we can achieve website projects that can generate profits. We typically work in WordPress, LAMP Stack or node.js based CMS, depending on the project complexity.
When choosing a CMS, you need to find one that fits your marketing stack. We achieve this by creating a seamless solution for most of the business challenges that may come your way. Take our quiz to determine what is the best way to choose the right CMS for your company.
Some of the CMS platforms we usually look at and fully understand are:
Choosing technology will determine your online future, and may lock you in too much of a niche group of providers. By choosing open source technologies, you are allowing your business to select from a wider variety of vendors you can collaborate.
2. What is a realistic timeline for your project?
While many freelancers can tackle projects, the big question is how many active projects they have. You need to gauge whether the budget is sufficient for the service provider to prioritize your project, and complete it within the quality guidelines that you expect.
To get a better understanding of how long your project will take, try to ask them how long it took them to complete the project similar to yours. If your project needs to adhere to the deadline, try asking how much it would cost to expedite your project and prioritize it. This matters when dealing with freelancers that may have too many projects to tackle.
Bonus advice: Be cautious of providers and companies that are trying to tell you what you would like to hear. Most serious programming projects take some time, depending on your complexity. Many vendors will quote fast turnaround times in situations where quality design and coding work would take longer. This often leads to poor execution, errors in production, and overlooked items from your specification.
3. Web Design and User Experience Strategy
Your online presence becomes more than just a visual representation of your company on the web. All the pages need to be a part of the broader strategy that ultimately helps your business to drive more sales, collect your visitor information for growth and expansion purposes.
To construct a good web design strategy, the company needs to have reliable demographics data. Understanding the age demographics has a great impact on the efficiency of the design. If you are targeting the younger population, you may want to keep things fun and use the imagery that they are familiar with and in colors that are appealing to them.
Does your website project contain a landing page for your paid traffic? Do you have a lead magnet page that is designed to attract new email newsletter subscribers? What is the priority of items in your navbar? What kind of content goes into a sidebar of your blog? These and many other questions will determine how project specification will eventually look like, and what the design team will tackle moving forward.
4. Look for the integrity inside of your project specification
In the world of website development and programming in general, if it isn’t mentioned during the quotation process, then most likely it is not included. Depending on who your service provider is, this can mean that even in the simplest forms, if they weren’t included in the quoting process, they could be left unfinished.
This is especially true for budget and low-cost projects. Vendors need to protect their hours, so if you haven’t included specific features inside of your specifications, you may end up in a situation where you will pay more for a website that costs little, but due to lack of clear project specification and proper planning, your website ends up being more expensive than you originally expected. Not a pleasant situation to find yourself in, and it can be avoided with proper planning!
Even the details that appear as a simple feature can go out of hand, leading to potentially unfinished projects, or freelancers/agencies where both are unhappy with the result. Precise project specifications tackle this problem due to careful planning that creates time efficiencies. This way, everyone involved knows the exact expectations and duties on each side, leading to productive relationships. Overall, projects that are planned well and have clearly defined and written specifications have a much better success rate, then those that don’t.
Need help with your project specification? Book us for our project specification at a fixed rate, and obtain an unbiased opinion on project duration, as well as get cost-efficient recommendations that solve your web presence challenges.
5. Chemistry with the team
After you’ve seen the portfolio, the technology, and all the technical specifications, the final thing you need to look into, is that you like working with people. How they act on the phone, are they answering your requests and emails on time? Did your provider express enough interest in the success of your project? These are the elements that are a giveaway and can make a differentiator between someone who arrived to collect a quick check, and someone who is operating a business and wants to ensure customer satisfaction.
Feel like you have a general idea of what you’re going to look for in a web design partner? Let’s see if our web design agency near Chicago is the right fit. Set up a call with one of our experts, and let’s go through your project brief and specification so that we can get you an estimate on the budget and timeline.