10 Ways to Find the Perfect Web Design Agency
Here’s the hard truth about web design companies in today’s world: a whole bunch of them are frauds and fakes. And with thousands of dollars on the line, most businesses can’t afford to miss when comes time to choose a web design agency.
A quick Google search will reveal the sheer mind-numbing number of web design agencies out there. So, how do you sift through the thousands of pretenders to find the real deal? Today we’ll look at ten ways to find the perfect web design agency for your business:
1. They Communicate Clearly
There is no shortage of industry jargon in the web design world. And a lot of designers will use that jargon to hide behind. It is relatively easy to sound impressive with a string of coding jargon, especially when you’re talking with non-specialists. A quality web designer won’t feel the need to buffalo you with jargon – they will communicate clearly and in a way that you can understand.
Good web design agencies don’t just communicate clearly, they also are easy to contact. If it takes your designer days or weeks to get back you, either they are overly busy or just lazy. Neither of which is good news for you. If they are too busy, they will be rushed. If they are lazy, your product will suffer.
2. They Understand Marketing Principles
A well-designed site is beautiful, but beauty doesn’t pay the bills. If you need your website to do more than just look good (and who doesn’t?), then your web design agency will need to balance design with solid marketing principles. Understanding the importance of calls-to-action and information hierarchy is critical to a well-performing site.
Creatives and marketers working together is a recipe for success. The creative team brings the eye for colors, layout, and design; while the marketing team optimizes your website for conversions. The combination of marketing with design is necessary for today’s highly competitive marketplace.
3. Their Website Makes Sense
Before hiring a web designer, spend some time on their site. I’m not talking about the thirty seconds it takes to find an email address, instead spend a while exploring their website. Now, notice that I didn’t say that you have to love their website – it just should make sense to you. The style can be changed and was a subjective choice, but the underlying structural ideas are what they will bring to your website.
When you are exploring a potential designer’s site, look at their layout and navigation to get an idea of how they work. Is the layout cluttered and unattractive? Is the navigation confusing or poorly structured? Chances are they will do something similar to your site.
4. They’re Built to Last
Under this category, there are two pitfalls to avoid. The first is that of the inexperienced web designer. There are a lot of folks out there who are new in the industry and think they know everything there is to know. But the truth is they don’t even know what they don’t know. You might save a few bucks, but the quality will suffer. Make sure your agency has been around long enough to prove themselves.
The second pitfall is the agency that is on their last leg. They might’ve been around for a few years, but they have staggered along the edge of bankruptcy that whole time. It can be hard to identify these agencies, but there a few tell-tale signs: they’re overly desperate for your business, they don’t have a real office or their portfolio lacks websites that are still live.
5. They Work in a Variety of Styles
Some web designers can really do beautiful work, but they can only do one kind of work – they’re a one-trick-pony. That’s not always a bad deal if you know exactly what you want. But a true web design professional can work in a variety of styles to match your brand and voice. Make sure that your web design agency can match their creatively to your industry’s needs.
Additionally, an ability to work in various styles shows you that an agency is experienced. The ability to adjust your creative instincts to a customer’s needs is the mark of a true professional. Find a web design agency that understands your needs and can build a custom website that is tailored to your unique needs.
6. They Write Words Just as Good as Their Code
Tightly coded websites are important, and you want to make sure your web design agency can code with the best of them. But the words that appear on that page are just as important. It is common in the marketing world to say that content is king, and the same applies to web design.
A beautiful website filled with choppy, poorly written copy is a shame, and it will hurt the credibility of your business. If your web designer doesn’t write content, they should at least have a working relationship with quality writers. Make sure that your agency is ready to craft words that match the quality of their code.
7. They Don’t Hide Their Work
A high-quality web design agency will not try to hide their work. If you are left hunting for their portfolio or find only a handful of cherry-picked examples, then there is a good chance they have something to hide. Now, every agency has websites they don’t lead with (usually because of odd client requests) but they should be the exception, not the rule.
What’s more, you should check to see if their portfolio examples have live sites behind them. If a large portion of their built sites are no longer active, they probably didn’t function – even if they looked good at first launch. So, look for a web design agency that proudly displays their work – because they will proudly stand behind your work as well.
8. Their Prices are Upfront and Honest
The cost of a website can vary greatly – depending on the needs of your business. But one thing should always stay the same: upfront and honest pricing. That doesn’t always mean they put their prices on the website, but it does mean that they quote you a clear price without nickel and diming with add-ons.
Also, check whether you are buying your site or renting it. There are times when renting a site makes sense, but you should carefully count the costs before you commit to a site lease. Read your contract carefully to determine who owns your site and its content. Getting into a shady pricing or ownership structure can come back to bite you later on.
9. They Listen to Your Needs
A professional web design agency will have ideas for your website, but take time to hear your ideas, needs, and wants before getting started. If your agency doesn’t value your input, it is high time to find a new agency. No professional creative would turn away valuable insights into your customers and their needs before starting a project.
The relationship with your web designer should be a partnership. You know your business and your audience; your agency knows web design and marketing. It’s best when both are working in concert to reach your audience with a beautiful message that resonates with your target audience.
10. They Are Not Push-Overs
While a web design agency will listen to your needs, they also are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in. Sometimes clients have ideas that just aren’t good, and a strong agency isn’t afraid to tell them that. An agency that does whatever the clients want isn’t doing you any favors, they are just avoiding conflict.
As I said before, relationships matter when it comes time to build a website. But that relationship has to work both ways. You give a little and you get a little. If your agency is unwilling to give their professional advice, then you’re stuck in a one-sided relationship.
You and Us
I might be biased, but I think we really nail all ten of these categories. As a web design agency, we place a high value on communication and building relationships with our clients. As a vertically-integrated marketing agency, we understand marketing principles and have writers on staff. We’re experienced and have worked on websites in a variety of industries across the county.
But enough about us. We’d rather talk about you. We approach every project with a personalized touch, so we’d love to talk with you about building something together. We love to learn about what makes other businesses tick – and then come up with innovative ways to help them exceed their goals.
Building Something Beautiful
At Fusion Group USA, we have various plans that fit every business need out there – from a local service business to large eCommerce clients. And with every level of package, our pricing is totally transparent and upfront. You’ll know exactly what you are paying and what you are getting.
From a five-page website on the Business plan up to a 30+ page site on the Enterprise level, you’ll get custom design and personalized attention. It is our goal to exceed customers’ expectations every time. Check out our various plans by clicking here.
At Fusion Group USA, we care about your business like you care about your business. If you’re in the market for a new custom website, contact us today and we can get starting on building you something beautiful!