Are you on the hunt for a team to design your new website? You're probably feeling a bit stressed, and we get why: You have a lot of options to choose from, many of which look exactly the same. To make this process easier for you, we're outlining the most important things to look for in a web design agency, along with necessary questions you need to ask.
6 Things a Qualified Web Design Agency Will Do
1. They Teach You How to Be Autonomous Long-Term
You hire a web design agency because they do something that you can't: build one heck of a website.
However, you don't want to be at their mercy until the end of time.
If you're totally reliant on your agency to make minor changes and keep the site updated with the correct information and fresh blog content, something's off. You need to have at least some control and some knowledge around how the darn thing works.
For instance, it's neither time- nor cost-efficient to have to reach out to your web design agency every time you want to post a new blog.
Rather, this team should set you up for success by building you a content management system (CMS) and training you on how to use it. This way, your company stays in the driver's seat.
What to Ask
How will you help us learn to manage our own site?
2. Your Web Design Agency Should Reiterate Your Site as Your Company Grows
Of course, for bigger asks, you can and should reach out to your web design team.
Websites aren't a static, one-time, set-it-and-forget thing. They're dynamic creatures that need to grow alongside your brand.
Any web design agency worth its salt knows that their relationship with you doesn't really end. Your site is going to evolve over time, and this will require the dedication and loyalty of your agency.
What to Ask
How long do your client relationships typically last?
What kind of maintenance, upkeep, and updates do you provide for your clients?
3. It Should Have Developers That Are Actually In-House
We want to be very clear here: There's nothing inherently wrong with an agency that outsources some of its tasks.
However, if it's a web design agency, a good bulk of their web design work should be done in-house.
Much of this purely boils down to communication. If you need something or have a question, you should be able to call or email the team and get the answer you need straight away.
But if you call them, and then they have to call their contractor, it's going to slow down the process and leave too much room for details to slip through the cracks.
What to Ask
Are your developers in-house?
When I need something, who do I reach out to and how?
4. They Should Offer a Streamlined Process
There are a number of factors that play a role in web design; and with so many moving parts, things can get messy. It's okay for you to be confused. If your web design agency is confused, we've got a problem.
Yes, there's the build of the site itself. But there are also elements like graphic design, SEO, and written content.
That's why you're working with a team. This should be a group of people who will together manage these various aspects. And, importantly, they should make this process and all communication very frictionless for you. You should have at least a general idea of who is managing each element.
What to Ask
How will you manage the various steps of development, like building the infrastructure, creating the content, and designing graphics?
What order is this done in?
Who will be managing each aspect, and do I contact them directly with questions or feedback?
5. Your Web Design Agency Should Be Able to Customize Your Site and Experience
A lot of agencies work off of templates for the sites that they build, and that's perfectly okay. This allows them to do a better job, and you don't have to wait as long for the finished product.
However, you don't want a stale website that looks like everybody else's. That's not going to be a good way to stand out from your competition, right?
This means you want the best of both worlds. It can start with a high-quality template, but then the agency should have all the freedom you want and need to customize it to your liking.
If you start hearing "Sorry, but the template won't allow for that" over and over again, it's time to have a discussion with them.
What to Ask
Do you design every site from scratch, or do you use a template?
If you use a template, how much freedom is there for customization?
What's an example of something you can't customize?
6. The Agency Should Have a Portfolio That They're Thrilled to Share With You
With a qualified web design agency, you won't have to ask twice to see their previous work.
In fact, you shouldn't even have to ask once, because they should be itching to show you what they can do.
While a portfolio (here's Adlava's!) won't show the entire picture of what it's like to work with that agency, it will help you answer a vital question: "Am I so impressed with this portfolio that I want to be their next client?"
What to Ask
Can you show me samples of previous projects?
Do you still work with this companies? If so, in what capacity?
We know that it can be difficult — even overwhelming — to settle on an agency to build your website. It's a big investment in both time and money. So, it's not something you want to mess up.
Rest assured, though, that if you follow what we've outlined in this blog and ask these important questions, you'll make the best decision for your business.
Now, to the really important stuff: When it comes to web design agencies, you know who checks all the boxes?
We'll give you one guess.
Book a free strategy call with Adlava today and let's talk about your project.
Psst! Want to keep reading? Check out our blog on building a responsive web design.