Choosing the right creative web design company can be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider, like the company’s portfolio, past clients, and the experience of the team members who will be working on your project. On top of that, there’s also another major factor: your budget.
We know that balancing these factors when looking for a web design company can be pretty stressful, so we’ve put this guide together to help out.
We’ll cover some of the most important factors to consider when choose an agency to work with, and list our top 10 tips to help you determine which company is the right fit.
A website is your brand’s most valuable marketing tool – it can help you generate more leads, establish brand awareness, and improve all of those important metrics you keep track of. So, before you start Googling “local creative web design companies,” it’s important to first list all of the goals you have for your project.
Define the features and functionalities you’re interested in, such as search-engine optimized content and conversion-optimized pages, eCommerce functionalities like diverse payment options, or the ability to fill in secure online forms.
Separate your “must have” features from your “nice to have” features. When talking about cost down the line, an agency will be able to get a clearer view of what they can offer you based on how your budget aligns with your must-have needs.
The cost of website design varies greatly. Key cost factors include the size of your website, i.e. the number of pages, the complexity of the features and functionalities, whether you opt for a custom design or template design, and lastly, the agency you partner with.
While template designs are typically low-cost and offer a quick turnaround, they’re also less flexible when it comes to customization. A custom web design, on the other hand, is more costly and time-consuming, but it allows you complete flexibility over the look, feel and performance of your website.
Hit the books and define a price range you’re comfortable with, that’s in line with the requirements you have for your website project.
Once you have your list of website requirements and your budget, it’s time to start searching for a potential partner.
As you may have guessed, Google is your best friend here. You can easily find all of the information you need on Google: basic information about each company, samples of their previous work, reviews and testimonials.
In addition to Google, agency directories will also come in handy during this step. These directories list agencies and separate them based on what they offer, then rank them and provide reviews and more, so you have everything you need in one place.
You can also ask around to see if anyone you know has worked with a creative design company and whether they were satisfied with the company’s work.
Any reputable web design company will display their portfolio on their website, so potential clients can look at their previous work.
Scroll through each portfolio and examine key elements from their previous projects. For example:
If you answered “yes” to all the questions above, list the agency down as a potential partner.
When searching for a web design company, you want to find a company with a culture that aligns with or compliments the culture within your own company. This alignment will help ensure smooth collaboration throughout the design process.
How exactly can you examine a company’s culture? You can check out their social platforms to get a look into their team dynamic. You can scroll through their website and look at the values they promote. What is their mission and vision statement?
Last but not least, you can get a good idea of the company culture when you set up a meeting with the team members who would potentially be working on your project. Do they make you feel welcome? Are they listening to what you’re saying? Are they transparent about your project requirements, expectations, budget and timeline? These are all good indications of what you can expect from a partnership.
Before you choose a web design company, make sure to read reviews and testimonials from past clients.. Most web design companies feature reviews and testimonials on their website, but it’s best to consult independent websites as well, such as agency directories, to make sure you’re getting the whole picture.
For instance, websites like Clutch, DesignRush Glassdoor feature reviews for many creative web design companies.
At last, don’t forget to visit the company’s social platforms. Check out their comment or reviews section and see if past clients have left any reviews or complaints.
The next step in the process is to set up meetings with your potential agencies. Choose the top 3-5 contenders based on your research, and set up either a face-to-face or video meeting.
Before going into the meeting, write down key talking points, such as your website requirements, expected timeline and budget, and any additional services you may be interested in.
Based on how this meeting goes, you should be able to get a clearer picture of the team members who will work on your project and what you can expect from the finished result, and throughout the project as a whole.
While a web design agency may offer limited services, such as web design and development only, a full-service digital agency will offer services that go far beyond web design.
These services can include marketing, branding, content writing, search engine optimization, social media management and more.
If you’re interested in long-term maintenance services, don’t forget to ask about this as well. Some digital agencies will offer to continue your partnership even after launch, to make sure that your website remains secure, updated and optimized for the weeks, months and years to come after it goes live.
Nothing is worse than having your or your client’s data hacked. In fact, nearly 90% of consumers are ready to take their business elsewhere if they realize their private data isn’t handled responsibly. Basically, you could lose most of your customers in case of a breach.
To avoid this, ensure that the web design company you’re hiring is aware of the importance of website security and is able to implement risk management in cyber security.
For instance, an expert designer in WordPress knows that you need multiple security plugins to ensure the maximum safety of your clients’ data.
Similar to the tip above, this step involves outlining a detailed talking sheet for your meeting. If you forget to cover anything during the meeting, make sure you have a point of contact so you can send follow up questions as they come up.
Whether this occurs through one meeting or several, it’s important to meet the team members who will be working on your project. Remember that senior designers won’t be the only ones working on your website. In addition to designers, your website team might include website strategists, developers, branding experts, marketers, copywriters and more.
As you meet these team members, ask questions. Inquire about their experience, their ideas for you project, past projects they’ve worked on and more.
Choosing the right creative web design company for your project can be a daunting task, but with these tips, you will be able to find the best one for your needs.
Simply follow the step-by-step process outlined above to perform through research, define your top contenders, meet potential partners and find the right agency for the job.