Finding the Web Designer That’s Right For Your Business
Hiring a web design agency means handing over your online presence to a third party. The web designer you choose will impact your brand, the number of visitors to your site, and your ranking in the search engines, so it’s an important decision for your business. Get it right and you’ll have a powerful online resource capable of generating leads, get it wrong and you’ll have a white elephant that is virtually invisible to customers.
Knowing the right questions gives you valuable insights into the expertise, processes, and capabilities of the people you’ll be working with. We’ve compiled 15 questions to ask before hiring a web design agency if you want to be sure of finding a design partner you can collaborate successfully with.
15 Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Web Design Agency
Web design can mean a number of different things, so it’s important to know what your web design agency includes in their package. Most agencies include a scoping, or discovery phase prior to starting work on your web design. This provides an opportunity to understand the range of services a client requires. These may include:
- Specialist features
- Logo creation
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Mobile-friendly design
- Geographical landing pages
- Social media management
- Website management
Once these have been agreed, a detailed proposal with full costings should be provided, covering all the services required. This protects both the client and the web design agency as there is a record of their agreement.
A standard web design will have 5 pages:
- Home Page. This is the main webpage of a website that serves as the entry point for visitors. It provides an overview of the website’s content, navigation links, and often showcases key information, branding, and features to engage and guide users further into the site.
- About Us. A page that provides information about the business. It offers details about their history, values, team, achievements, and any other relevant information to establish credibility, build trust, and give visitors a deeper understanding of the team or organisation they’d be dealing with.
- Service Page. A dedicated section that outlines the specific services or solutions offered by the business. It provides detailed descriptions, features, benefits, and pricing (if applicable) of each service, enabling visitors to understand the range of offerings and make informed decisions based on their needs.
- Contact Page. A webpage on that provides visitors with information on how to get in touch with the company or members of the team. It typically includes contact details such as phone number, email address, and physical address, along with a contact form for inquiries, feedback, or requests.
- Blog/News. This is a section that features regularly updated articles, news, or blog posts. It serves as a platform to share informative, educational, or entertaining content related to the website’s industry, products, or services. It allows visitors to stay informed, engage with the content through comments or sharing, and establishes the website as a valuable source of information and expertise.
A client may want more pages than the standard website, especially if they are looking for an eCommerce design. Once the number of pages are agreed, these need to be costed into the quote.
Having examples of a web design agency’s previous work is crucial before hiring them. It provides tangible evidence of their skills, design style, and ability to create visually appealing and functional websites. By examining their portfolio, you can assess the quality of their work, determine if it aligns with your aesthetic preferences and business objectives, and make an informed decision based on their track record of successful projects.
There’s nothing mysterious about web design; it’s a project like any other, which requires a step-by-step approach. Understanding an agency’s web design process allows you to assess their organisation, efficiency, and attention to detail. It provides clarity on the steps involved, timelines, and deliverables, helping you gauge if they can meet your project requirements and deadlines.
Additionally, it enables you to align expectations, establish effective communication channels, and ensure a collaborative approach. Knowing their web design process upfront empowers you to make an informed decision and ensures a transparent and productive partnership.
If you’re a business requiring a complex web design with specialist or unique features, you will need to be sure that your web design agency has the capability to design and develop a custom website for you, to your specification.
If, however, your business has no complex requirements, a WordPress design will be more cost-effective, whilst requiring no compromise on branding or differentiation. WordPress templates provide a solid foundation with pre-built features and responsive layouts, saving time and effort in development. By selecting a WordPress template, businesses can achieve a professional and unique website solution faster and more cheaply.
Businesses need to know when they can expect to have a new website up-and-running, so it’s completely acceptable to ask for a clear answer to this question. Web design agencies usually work with design teams, and it’s not difficult for them to give you a clear answer, taking into account the size and complexity of your site.
The client also has a part to play in this process. There will be points in the process where the domain name will need to be available, or content is required in order to proceed. Hold-ups of this kind will impact deadlines.
There are clear benefits that a professionally designed website can confer upon your business, and your web design agency should be able to both list them and qualify them. Don’t be satisfied with vague assurances, keep asking how the benefits will manifest. Clients should expect a list similar to the following in response to this question:
- Enhanced online presence and brand visibility. (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Improved user experience and customer engagement. (UX Design)
- Increased credibility and trustworthiness. (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Expanded reach to a broader audience. (Digital Marketing Integration)
- Better conversion rates and lead generation. (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Efficient showcasing of products/services. (Web Design)
- Seamless integration of marketing strategies. (Digital Marketing Integration)
- Mobile friendly website for a broader device compatibility. (Responsiveness)
- Higher search engine visibility and improved SEO performance. (Search Engine Optimisation)
Knowing whether web designs are responsive is crucial, given the prevalence of mobile devices and varying screen sizes. A responsive design ensures that a website adapts seamlessly to different devices, providing an optimal user experience. Mobile users now constitute a significant portion of website traffic, and a non-responsive design can result in a poor user experience, increased bounce rates, and lost potential customers.
Responsive designs improve accessibility, enhance user engagement, boost SEO performance, and contribute to the overall success of a website by catering to the needs of the diverse range of devices used by visitors.
If your website hasn’t been search engine optimised, it will be extremely difficult to find online. An optimised site will, however, work on your business’ behalf 24/7 to attract new leads and actively promote you.
SEO best practices involve optimising a website to improve its online visibility and ranking in search engine results. Adhering to these best practices helps search engines understand and rank a website better, leading to increased organic traffic, visibility, and improved online presence.
Key practices include conducting keyword research to target relevant terms, optimising on-page elements (titles, meta tags, headings), creating high-quality and relevant content, ensuring proper website structure and navigation, building high-quality backlinks, improving site speed and mobile-friendliness, and regularly monitoring and analysing performance.
Your website will need a mixture of business-sourced images, and stock images. The ‘real’ images (they may be pictures of the team, logos, or portfolio pictures) will need to be sourced by the business or transferred from a previous website. Older images may need professional enhancement for use on the new site. The stock images should be provided by the web design team; these will normally appear for approval at feedback points in the process.
Blogs are a great way to build brand awareness and introduce new visitors to your skills and expertise. They help to establish the website as an authoritative source in its industry, building credibility and trust with visitors. Search engine optimised blogs drive traffic to the website, increase engagement, and can lead to conversions. Most important, they nurture relationships with customers through informative and valuable content.
Choosing a web design agency that offers hosting for your site offers a number of benefits to your business. Firstly, it streamlines the process, as you deal with a single provider for both design and hosting, minimising communication, and co-ordination issues. Secondly, it ensures compatibility and optimised performance, as the agency is intimately familiar with your site’s design and can tailor the hosting environment accordingly.
Most important, integrated hosting offers enhanced security measures and regular backups, safeguarding your website’s data.
This sounds like a ‘no brainer’ but we regularly work with clients who are unable to access the ‘backend’ of their business website and therefore remain locked into an ongoing contract with the web design agency that created it. If you’re happy with this arrangement, all well and good, but if you want to work on a design refresh with an alternative web designer it can cause delays and problems.
At Imagefix we provide a detailed handover once the design is complete and signed off. Our clients receive basic training on how to add new pages, update content, add blogs or insert links to videos. We’ll also provide all the passwords you need, and hand over the files and documentation related to the site.
A website management solution is a comprehensive service that assists businesses in efficiently managing and maintaining their website. It typically includes features such as content management, performance optimisation, analytics, security, and maintenance tools.
This solution helps businesses streamline website updates, track performance metrics, ensure security, and make necessary changes to keep their websites functioning effectively and meeting their business objectives. Additionally, a website management solution provides valuable analytics and insights, helping you track visitor behaviour, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions.
Have We Helped?
Finding the right web design agency for your business website can be quite a challenge but knowing the right questions to ask (and the answers you should expect) will help you to find the right match.
If your current website isn’t providing the return you need to grow your business, or you’re ready for a design refresh, give Imagefix a call. We’re specialists in the design and management of business websites that are guaranteed to grow your online visibility, attract more traffic, and generate more enquiries – and we have the stats to prove it.
Ready for a website that works 24/7 on your behalf? Call Imagefix today on 01525 715608