Web Design – 8 Ways to Identify a Good Web Design Agency

What is the role of a website? The purpose to set up a website is to attract potential customers to your business, generate leads and turn leads to sales. A website is more than just a template with a few pages. In order to reap reward from it, you need to engage a professional web design agency that can combine uniqueness and innovation in design. Now, let me share with you 8 ways to identify a good web design agency:

1. A good web design agency shares its work. They should keep a portfolio of their best work and present to you when requested. From their portfolio, you can know whether they are the right one you are looking for.

2. A good web design agency understands your needs first before presenting you with sales packages. Your objective to create a website is different from other companies. Before they can propose to you what kind of website you need, they should understand your business needs and objective first.

3. Flexible web design agency uses open source technology to save time. They support the use of inexpensive and time saving open source technology, such as Joomla, WordPress, OS Commerce, etc. With these tools, your website can achieve professional standard while saving time and money.

4. The agency should charge based on results. A professional web design agency combines the method of flat fees with hourly billing for maintenance work and other installation.

5. Billing is easy. Intelligent agencies make billing easy by charging a 20% – 50% of the project fee in advance and accept the rest of the payment through checks.

6. Honest about rates and turnaround time. It is important to work with someone who is trustworthy. An honest agency will be frank with you on the turnaround time of the project. They will also disclose their rates upfront, with no hidden fee.

7. A professional designer should comply with general web standards and browser compatibility. They should also ensure that your website is search engine friendly so that it is ready for optimization in the future.

8. Experienced web designers ensure that you can handle minor updates on your own. They will recommend using platform like Joomla or WordPress to build your website so that you can make minor changes in house or with the help of a less expensive web professional.

Hope that you find this article useful. Spend some time to do a thorough research before you decide to hire a particular web design agency.

Hiring the Right Web Design Agency

Web Design is an area that includes a wide spectrum of service providers such as web designers and web developers who may be individual freelancers or part of small and mid-level digital agencies with niche skill set employees or the bigger high-end design studios with bigger employee count, larger infrastructure and capability to provide expanded services.

Web Design companies always strive to exceed the expectations of their clients in providing services; however, companies who desire a web presence have to be extremely careful in choosing the right web design company primarily because the service provider has to intuitively understand and provide what the company needs for a wholesome web presence. Factors such as user-friendly navigation, compelling design and flow, SEO friendliness etc. have to in addition be attractive but productive enough to convert prospects into customers.

Every company that needs a web presence has to ask upfront some very pertinent questions; these could be customized depending on the need-of-the-hour but broadly cover the following areas.

• The web design company’s qualifications, designations and experience – a long standing company has earned its reputation by longevity which is a fairly good indicator of skill and the stability of the enterprise. It also translates into sound design work and reputation for excellent customer service. This is very important because several start-ups die out leaving an organization flustered when looking for upgrades and maintenance. Any agency with fair amount of experience, client interaction and sound qualifications is worth a try.

• The employee count and specific roles and skills – the agency does not have to be a big one but specific skills need people to play those roles – web designer, web developer, graphic designer, programmer, project management, etc. along with skilled sales & marketing people.

• Other skills provided besides web design – for an effective web design, the agency has to be adept at search engine marketing, content writing, search engine optimization, social media marketing etc. The services provided have to match the requirements of the company seeking the services. In addition, capability in defined areas such as quality checking and testing, programming languages, operating systems and conformity to web standards is a must.

• Willingness to understand business knowledge and provide a formal proposal – any agency that takes time to understand what the business needs in terms of current existence, improving sales and turnover goals, future prospecting, and many other aspects will clearly have the upper hand in creating a website that plays a great part in brand and internet marketing goals.

• Average timelines for job completion – the formal proposal of the agency should include realistic timelines with systematic tracking of design approvals, changes and amendments as work progresses and provide fresh timelines at each stage with proper co-ordinated effort from the rest of the team.

• Payment terms – any web design company that charges a full upfront fee should be kept at arm’s length. Only those who design payment terms on stage by stage basis with agreed deliverables and payment milestones should be encouraged. It may also be necessary to know if payment terms include future maintenance, providing updates and versions, providing relevant content and testing etc.

• A sound Privacy of Information and Non-Disclosure Policy – this is extremely crucial as the agency may have access to sensitive information that cannot fall into wrong hands. Besides, the concept itself should be kept in strict secrecy to prevent competitors and business adversaries getting hold of it and taking away the originality of the design and content.

• Outsourcing to third parties – if the agency is in the habit of outsourcing components of the worth to third parties, it is better upfront to know what components and who the third-party agencies are. It is also necessary to know if they are in different geographical locations.

Most companies make one crucial mistake in hiring a web design agency – picking the one that quotes the lowest price. A web agency that quotes a lower rate is not always the one with best service. At the end of the exercise a badly designed website can frustrate the business as well as visitors resulting in poor impression, loss in sales and revenue and bring down the web presence even before it takes off.

5 Tips For Hiring Web Design Agency

If you are starting a website soon, then you will want to trust in a web design agency with experience and skill. While many will make promises, fewer deliver. To help you figure out the ones that do, so to avoid any setbacks or disappointments, follow these five tips for hiring a web design agency, and you will be glad that you did.

1) Look at past work.

Every agency worth anything should have work that it is proud of. Ask them to see some of the examples of their work. Better yet, wait to see if they offer up the information first. If they are truly good at what they do, you should not have to ask for samples of what your site could look like with a little hard work and creativity in the design department. If nothing excites you, move on to another web design agency.

2) Talk to former or existing customers.

Any business has its share of supporters and detractors. You won’t have any problem at all setting up a meeting with existing customers. The agency itself will be more than happy to place you in contact with someone. But if you want a more unbiased viewpoint, then you may have to do a little more legwork and ask around. Once you find someone, who severed the relationship ties, it doesn’t hurt to ask why. It could simply be a matter of hard times for the business, or perhaps something more sinister.

3) Notice how well the agency listens to your ideas.

What are meetings like when you sit down with your consultant? Do they appreciate and value your input, or does nothing seem to be getting through? While you may not be a design expert, you are an expert on your customers, so make sure your voice is heard, and make sure you don’t have to try very hard to make your voice heard.

4) Accept nothing less than your satisfaction.

If there are problems near the end of the job, don’t accept anything less than what you truly want. Allowing a business to cut corners now will end up stiffing you with a design you don’t like at a price you can’t afford to pay.

5) Choose only the most accessible.

There may be a lot of worthy web design agencies out there, but accessibility is important. Whether the agency does good work or not, if you can’t ever get through to them, then what good are they doing you? Give your business only to the people, who make you a priority.

As you launch your site, a great design can work wonders, so it is important to put your faith in a web design agency that deserves it.