Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store or an exclusively online business, your website is at the center of your success in the world of online shopping. A great website that’s a breeze to use and a delight to look at is a win-win for your potential customers right from the word go.
In spite of the long-established fact that a website can make or break an online business, e-tailers, and local small business owners in particular, don’t pay as much attention to building and maintaining a great website as they should.
If you feel that your e-store does not represent the spirit of your brand; does not offer your customers the superlative user experience that you want it to; or is not generating sales despite your best efforts, it’s time to hire a professional digital expert to analyze your current website and give sound recommendations to overcome technical and design-related flaws.
With so many digital agencies out there proclaiming to be the best of the lot, it can be difficult to choose one that has the technical know-how, an eye for exceptional design, and the experience to make successful business websites. To make the task a little easier, here are three tips that will help you pick the right web design agency for the job.
Review the web design company’s experience in designing websites for business
Before you ask for a quote, go through a web design company’s portfolio to know the kind of websites they have built in the past. Spend some time on the agency’s website to learn more about the core team, past and current clientele, services and capabilities and the process employed in site design and development.
Do they have a blog? Read a few posts to get a sense of how they approach their work and whether they have a grip on the art of success in website design.
In a nutshell, look for the following information when reviewing a web development partner for your site: number of completed and ongoing projects; the scale and range of projects; visual and aesthetic appeal of websites designed by the agency; capability for customization; and technical expertise.
Review the capabilities and services offered by the web design agency
Designing a website is different from developing it technically and implementing customized technical enhancements as per the client’s brief. Does the agency you’ve shortlisted—or have been recommended—have the expertise to offer you the whole package of services required to make a successful and well-performing website? Do they have a team of seasoned designers as well as developers? Do they offer digital marketing services such as SEO, lead generation and content marketing?
Whether you’re planning to hire a freelancer or a full-fledged digital agency, and whether you’re opting to redesign your existing site or build a new one from scratch, ask what services are included in the offer. Ideally, professional web development experts should not only be able to create your site as per your brief, they should have the capability and know-how to optimize it for SEO and test its performance post launch. So find a freelancer or an agency that can offer you the full gamut of services needed to turn your site around into a profitable, money making online business.
Consider the cost of the project and get quotes from a couple of different vendors
Cost is a key consideration for business owners when it comes to website design and development; however, remember that trying to cut costs by hiring a mediocre agency may backfire and you may be left with a website that either does not have the design aesthetics that you hoped for or is not as technically sound as you’d expected.
When you’re given a quote by a web design company, consider if you can afford the cost; however, also take time to consider what all is included in the quoted price of the project and what is likely to be the quality of work based on the agency’s portfolio of sites they have built in the past.
Also, ask the agency if they will bill a preset lump-sum amount or an hourly fee. Will the price cover maintenance costs for a specific period from launch? What if you don’t like the way the site is shaping up? Will redesign or alteration requests be entertained? What support will the agency provide post project completion and at what price?
Take into account any additional expenses and ask specific questions to understand the expected total cost of the project.