An intro to web accessibility: building a digital world for everyone
Discover accessible web design, its impact on users and its business benefits. From WCAG 2.2 to key accessibility features, here’s an intro to inclusive sites.Read More »
Craig Greenup 13/01/23, 09:15
So you’ve decided you want to work with a web design agency. You need a new or revamped website – and want a pro team to put it together for you.
Now…where to start?
If you’ve never worked with a web design agency before, finding the right team can feel like quite the undertaking.
There are tonnes of website design companies to choose from.
And it’s difficult to tell from a website whether an agency does good work or whether they’re the right fit for your business.
So before you hand over any cash – and instruct a web design agency to start designing and developing your new website – read this post!
Here we cover the four steps you need to take to find the very best web design agency for your project.
First things first, you need a list of web design agencies to research. So where should you be looking?
Sure, you’ll get an overwhelming number of results, but a Google search for web design agency should be your first port of call.
Include a location if you’d rather work with someone whose office you can pop into.
And try to add search specifics that will narrow down the selection. For example, ecommerce web design agency or web design agency for law firm.
Then take a look at search results, visit websites and draw up a shortlist.
Want a shortcut to some of the top web design agencies in your area? Then you might like to check out online business directories.
Some sites provide a simple list of companies in a particular sector. But sites like Master Manchester go one step further, providing listings and reviews of MCR-based products and services.
This is a great way to find a curated selection of web design agencies in a particular region.
A word of mouth recommendation from someone you trust just can’t be beat.
So reach out to other business owners and marketers – be they friends, family members or social media acquaintances – and ask them if there’s a web design company they rate highly.
Then add any recommendations to your longlist too.
List in place, it’s time to weed out any web design companies that aren’t right for your business. Here’s what you need to do.
With all of that in-house expertise, any good web design agency is sure to have an impressive company website.
Pages should load quickly. The site should be easy to navigate. And – whilst it doesn’t have to look exactly like the website you have in mind for your business – it should be visually appealing too.
Whilst you’re browsing, take a closer look at the services each agency offers.
Then discount any that don’t fit your requirements and don’t wow you with their website.
An experienced web design agency has a portfolio packed full of previous client projects. So that’s where you need to head next.
Decide whether you like the look and feel of the websites an agency has created. Is there good design variety? Or do things tend towards the repetitive?
Try to work out whether a company has experience with websites in your industry. And whether they work with businesses of a similar size to yours.
This will give you an idea of how well a website design company understands your industry and your audience.
Then visit these websites for yourself, ideally on a variety of different devices.
As you did for the agency website, judge their design, functionality and user experience – ruling out any agencies who’ve created websites that are clunky or unresponsive.
Time to find out what your fellow business owners have to say about each of the web design agencies on your list.
Start with the agency website. They’ve almost certainly included a couple of testimonials from previous clients.
But don’t stop there. Search for independent reviews too – on sites like Google and Trustpilot. Here, you’re much more likely to find honest and unbiased opinions on each company.
Having discounted the obviously unsuitable candidates from your list, it’s time to pick up the phone and contact the web design agency shortlist you now have in place.
Before you do this, try to develop a clear idea of what you’re looking for.
Writing a website brief can prove useful.
It helps you to gather your thoughts with regards to website goals, audience and competitors. You can reference some website designs you like. And you can decide on a website budget.
This means you’ll be able to provide all of the info a website design company needs when you ask them these essential questions.
This isn’t a deal-breaker. But previous experience with clients in your industry is clear evidence that an agency has the necessary knowledge and skill to ace your project.
If you’re able to describe the number of pages and the functionality you want from your website, your agency should be able to give you a rough idea of costs.
How long it takes to build a website depends upon its complexity and an agency’s current workload.
Find out whether an agency’s timescales fit with your business needs. But definitely avoid anyone who says they can have a website up and running in just a couple of weeks.
Whilst websites built from templates often look good, they don’t tend to have the same level of functionality or scalability as a bespoke website design.
So make sure your agency has lots of experience with the latter.
Depending on your needs, you might want to find out whether an agency offers:
It’s really important that – once your site is live – you’re able to update content quickly and easily (and without having to code).
An agency who happily points you in the direction of past clients is a definite contender.
The key factors to take into account include:
Also consider the impression you got from the team as you chatted to them.
A web design agency should listen to your ideas as well as presenting their own. And they should be approachable – because you need to feel comfortable getting in touch to check on progress or suggest edits.
We may be a little bit biased, but we’re confident that our web design agency ticks all of the boxes. If you’d like to discuss your website project – or find out more about Radical Web Design and our services – just drop us a line.