How to Choose Your Web Design Agency
You’ve got enough on your mind when it comes to your business: whether you’re starting a new one, expanding an existing one, or even just promoting that side-hustle, the last thing you want to think about is designing a website for your new venture. But, you also know that having a good website to show off who you are is of the utmost importance.
That’s why you need a great web developer to take the hard part off your hands and deliver a top-notch website that will grab viewers’ attention, while you focus on what you do best.
But there are so many different web designers! Are you supposed to just sift through the Google results page and pick one at random? Play eenie meenie miney mo? Flip a coin and call it heads or tails? How can you find one that suits your unique and specific needs? Or make sure that the final product will appeal to your customers, clients, or patrons?
Not to worry. We’re here to help.
We’ll let you in on what to look for and how to choose the right web designer for YOU. Find our ten easy tips below!
1. Make a wish list
Think about your dream web designer. What are your must-haves? Nice-to-haves? What experiences do you value? What personality are you looking for? Do they need to be in a certain geographical location? While you may not be able to find a web developer who ticks all of your boxes, if you know what you want, you’ll be more prepared to have intelligent conversations with prospects and rule out agencies that aren’t a fit.
2. Do your Research
A quick Google search will show you hundreds of agencies-but that doesn’t mean they’re all great or that they're all equipped to help you accomplish your goals. Check out their website first before any meetings! This can tell you a lot about a prospective agency. If you find an agency that doesn’t have a website that compels you to reach out to them, then don’t. If they can’t design their own compelling website, then chances are they won’t do yours justice either. If you find an agency that has a beautifully designed, user-friendly website, chances are they're doing something right and they're probably worth scheduling a meeting with!
3. They’ve Been Around the Block
Okay, so you’ve got some options now. You’ve done your Google search and you’ve ruled out the ones that didn’t inspire you. But there are still tons of options- how can you find one that will work for you? Another good way to evaluate potential designers is to look at how long they’ve been around.
While longevity is not necessarily an indicator of skill level, they probably wouldn't have been able to stick around very long at all if they didn’t know what they were doing. You could very well find a great agency that’s just getting going, but using an agency that’s been around the block a time or two is a safer bet. They’ve had some successes and can likely show you past examples of their work. If you use an agency that’s just getting started it’s more of a shot in the dark.
4. Industry Experience
If an agency has experience designing websites for your specific industry, that’s a huge plus! And an indicator that maybe they’re the one you should select. Because they’ve worked in your industry before, they’ll know the potential pitfalls and opportunities for success better than someone who has never designed a website in your field.
5. Variety is the Spice of Life
So we mentioned above that you’ll want your designer to have experience in your industry. And that is true - but you’ll also want to make sure that they have experience elsewhere. If a web design agency only works within a specific niche, then chances are they use the same tactics, designs and layouts for all of the websites that they create. You don’t want a website that looks just like everyone else’s. If your website doesn’t stand out from the competition, then your company probably won’t either.
Just as you’ll want your designer to have experience in different industries, you’ll also want to ensure they’ve had experience at different levels. If a potential web designer has only ever created websites for small local companies, then they may not really understand how to create a website for a larger company (and vice-versa). You’ll want to enlist an agency that has a good mix of experiences - remember, variety is the spice of life!
If you plan on making changes to your website over time (and you should!), you’ll want a designer who can get you set up for success with CMS. CMS stands for Content Management System (like webflow, squarespace, etc.). Even if you’re a novice in all things web design, a CMS will allow you to make changes without having to call your web designer (which will save you time, money, and headaches!).
7. It’s a Two-Way Street
You have to appreciate that both you and your web designer are experts. But you likely have very different areas of expertise and experiences that you're bringing to the table. To get the best website possible you’ll need to have an open and honest conversation with them. There should be a free flow of information. You'll need them to be open to your ideas for the website - you are the expert on your business after all. But you’ll need to be open to their ideas as well, as they’ll know best practices to translate your ideas into a website that will get you more business! Which leads us to our next point.
8. Get Those Clicks
Make sure you have a web designer who considers how your website will generate new leads that convert. They should be an expert in how to design a website that will get clicks - not just look pretty. If it doesn’t get you any clicks for your company and translate into actionable leads, then a pretty website is just that, a pretty website. It won't translate into business success.
9. Optimize for Every Device!
You’ll want to make sure your designer considers the different use-cases for your website. Your clients should be able to access and have a good experience with your website at any time! Whether they’re sitting at a desktop computer, on the go with their mobile device or viewing from a tablet, it’s important that your clients have a positive experience or research shows that they simply won’t come back. This is called responsive web design and you’ll need to make sure the agency you choose is up for the task before you sign on!
10.User Experience is King
Of course, the look of your website is hugely important. We cannot overstate that. There are few things that would send a client running faster than a poorly designed, outdated website. But one of the things that will cause your clients to run away screaming is poor user experience.
You can have the prettiest website in the world but if your clients can’t figure out how to navigate it, then it is worthless to you. Hire a web designer who prioritizes user experience above everything else. User experience is your bread and butter - choose a designer who knows that it can make or break your website.
Your website is the face of your company, and you want it to communicate with your customers before you've ever even spoken with them - it needs to be pretty, but also approachable, sleek, but also easy-to-use. Finding the right web designer unlocks the answer key to all the questions you’ve been asking about how to create a website that will make your company stand out (and get you more paying customers.)