Are you looking to hire a web design company to help you create an effective website for your business? Do you want to create an online store that has the aesthetic and competence of your physical store?
Today, it’s not enough to have a physical store anymore. Businesses big and small are going online and making websites to sell their products. This is all thanks to the ongoing health pandemic, which pushed internet usage up by 70%.
Before you launch your business online and sell your products, you need a few things first. One of them is a good web design company to help translate the integrity of your store into a virtual store. Below, we’ll give you the top ten things you want to see in a website design company before you hire.
Keep reading, and we’ll explain why finding them is worthwhile.
1. The Web Design Company Can Give You What You Need
The first thing to look for in a web design company is the services they offer. Do they have a large enough “menu” of services that fit all your needs? If you’re looking for specific designs, can those potential web design companies give them to you?
Before you can see if they offer these things, you need to know what you want and need. Write down a list of your requirements from a website. You want to be a little specific about these things.
For example, are you looking for a website that focuses on lead generation or lead conversion? Do you need a high level of security? Do you want to have payment options for users?
Do you want easy website management because you’re older and aren’t too tech-savvy? Do you already have a rough idea of how you want your website to function? Remember, knowing how you want your website to look isn’t enough.
You need to know these things before you start shopping for a web design company that suits your needs. When you pitch these ideas, take note of how your line of potential web designers will react to them. You’re looking for a company that has the same drive as you do in creating your website.
2. Its Portfolio Match Your Preferred Aesthetic
Take a look at the pieces in a web design agency’s portfolio. When you see their designs, how do they make you feel? Do you want to give your clients the same feeling or impression when they visit your site?
First impressions make up a lot of how we see people and things, even websites. When you checked their portfolio, notice where your eyes first went. Also, try to take note of how your eyes moved or flowed on the page.
You want to find a web design agency with past projects that have the vibe you’re going for. Also, find out what part of a website will most influence first impressions. Add that to the aesthetic you’re looking to create for your website.
You also know that user experience influences your success. Often, you can offer quality user experience by having a beautiful and smooth website. Thus, you want to find a design company that understands this and can make such a website for you.
One way to see what a website design agency can do at its best is to look at its website. Its website design speaks volumes about its abilities and aesthetics.
As a tip, you want a design with low visual complexity and high prototypicality. A prototypical design is one that’s representative of a certain category of websites. For example, a law firm website will look more professional than an online toy store.
3. Can It Give You Your Other Design and Branding Needs?
Many web design companies offer more than web design. They may also offer logo creation or photography for the design of your website. If it’s your first time building a website, you may want to use such services as well.
The same applies if you want to revamp your old website. Also, it’ll be easier for web designers to work on your website. It may even be cheaper for you, especially when they offer package deals.
For example, you want to redesign your old online store from its logo to the UI. The best web design company that suits your needs should offer logo refresh design too. This way, you won’t have to look for and pay a different designer to do the job.
For our second example, you want to give visitors a feeling that you’re a sustainable company. Consumers buy more products from sustainable and/or energy-efficient brands. Pick a web design agency that can create a website that gives off this vibe without being too on-the-nose.
4. Learn the Prices and What They Entail
Web designing isn’t easy, and you’ll find that a lot of these types of services are on the pricey end. Thus, you want to get the most out of your budget for building your website design. Before you commit to a design company, this is a very important matter to know the answers to.
Ask potential web design companies about what’s included in their price. Be detailed with your questions. That way, you know what you’re signing up for.
Ask how many rounds of provisions they’ll provide. How much do you need to pay upfront to hire them? During the design and website-building process, will you follow payment milestones?
Some agencies may be vague about other services included in their quoted prices. Do their prices include special features? Do their services include ongoing technical support?
You may want to add more tasks for them in the future. Ask how the company will bill for extra work. Even if you aren’t likely to extend the scope of the project, ask anyway.
For example, we’re in the generation of internet access through mobile devices. 57% of all online traffic in the US in 2018 came from mobile devices. Ask the design company if their prices include making a mobile app.
5. A Good Web Design Company Knows How to Approach Site Content
What will happen if your website already has content, and you’re only looking to revamp it? What will happen to your content when the revamp takes place? Will the formatting change or will it remain the same?
Your content is important, especially with SEO-related matters. Like what they always say in the SEO industry, content is king. It may even be likely that it took you hundreds of hours to write and create your content.
One way to see how they handle content is to ask about their experience with content management systems (CMS). This is what you likely used to manage your website, even without knowledge in coding. Ask if the web design company uses the same CMS.
If you’re new to making an online store, ask the agency which CMS they use. It’ll also help to ask if they’ll provide training on how to use it. Receiving training on using a CMS is your key to managing your website in the future.
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6. Ask Who the Website Will Belong to Once It Launches
Before you sign anything, ask who gets 100% ownership over the site once it’s finished. Some companies like to keep the copyright to their web designs and works. Others will give you full ownership of their work once they’re done designing it.
The ideal website design company is the latter kind. Look for an agency that will let you claim full ownership and copyright of the website. That includes marketing assets they created for you like apps, logos, and more.
The way for you to give back is to let them use your website in their portfolio. That means you’ll allow the company to distribute it to their email lists and social media. However, note that they can’t and shouldn’t copy your website for your competitor.
If you don’t get full ownership of the website, it’ll be more difficult for you. You won’t be able to make changes as needed later. They may also repurpose your design and content for their other clients.
7. It Has Good Time Management
Take a look at how much work you’re giving the web design company. Does its weight correspond to the time that they asked from you? Does the schedule make sense, given the scope of the work?
Inside and outside of the business industry, time is money. You want a website design agency that has good time management skills. Look for a company that offers an accurate time frame to completion.
Over time, your needs will also evolve. You may also want one that’s flexible enough to handle them. It also helps to know if you can access their scheduling or receive notifications on their progress.
8. It Understands Its Client’s Journey
The next thing you want to find in a website design company is how well they understand your path to success. Every business will go through certain stages of success and failures. You want a web design company that can help optimize you for success and avoid failure.
To learn how well a web design company understands this, pay attention to what they say. Do they offer suggestions for major changes? You can also ask them from the first day what changes they’d recommend.
They may have strong design decisions that they’ll discuss with you. When they do this, don’t hesitate to ask them to back up their choices. You may even learn some useful web design tips for businesses from them.
When they explain to you why they made those design choices, how confident do you feel about it? Does it feel like they’ve got a plan for success ready? If that’s how you feel, hang onto that web design business because it’s the perfect fit for you.
9. It Provides Support Post-Launch and It Is Accessible
Most things on the internet will evolve and change. Is the company updated on the latest web design trends? If your website design got based on the hottest trends, you’ll likely have to change that design again soon. Constant changing of web design can feel like a lot of work.
You likely won’t do all this work. The web design company you hired will likely do it at some point down the road. Thus, it’s helpful to learn if a website design company will offer post-launch support and aftercare.
The post-launch changes may vary in scale. Some only include typos in the content. Others are larger, like finding missing modules from the CMS.
There are a few options that many developers offer. Some will use monthly retainers to guarantee aftercare. Others will offer it to their clients a la carte once they finish designing their website.
10. Look for Previous Projects or Proofs of Work
Finally, you want to know how they handled their last few works. Check their work process as well as their portfolio for recent and old works. This is a web design company’s proof of experience.
It will also show you what niches they’ve worked in and how they approached such niches. This tells you how creative and resourceful their problem-solving approach is. It will also show you how they’ll tailor their services to their unique clients.
Checking out their old work will also help you understand their track record. How often do their websites gain results and successes for their clients? Did the websites they worked on getting higher rankings after they got hired by the websites?
If an agency refuses to show proof of their past work, it’s a red flag. You need to stay away and keep looking.
Hire the Web Design Company That Best Suits You
That’s it for the top ten things you want to find in a web design company you plan to hire.
We hope you learned something new and useful for picking an agency to hire for your website design. We also hope that these 10 criteria help you find the best web design company suited for your needs.
Are you looking to see more content on web design like this one? If you have queries about website design and management, get in touch with us today!