5 Questions to Figure Out Which Agency is Right For You
Hiring a web design agency often means templated websites aren’t cutting it for you and your organization or business. While many web platforms claim user-friendly experiences, many struggle to deliver on their promise. Templated websites oftentimes lack the functions needed for a business with complex needs. In addition, you may not have the time required to personally build and design your organization’s website along with crafting the countless paragraphs of text and pages of graphics needed. Beyond the building and launching of websites, many businesses build theirs, but don’t have the time or capacity to update it frequently or optimize after launching while handling all of the other aspects of the company. That’s where web design agencies come in to alleviate those headaches.
How do you know which agency to go with? Here are five simple questions to ask that should give you a strong idea of whether a web design agency is the right fit for what you’re looking for from a collaborative partner to elevate your presence on the web.
What is the agency’s history with web design?
It’s important when looking at an agency that they have a track record that impresses you. That doesn’t mean there has to be a huge amount of history. Some web designers knock it out of the park at the start of their careers. Some also have a massive number of projects on their resume. Neither is a wrong way to go, this is because their history of web design can speak for itself. Whether it’s a new agency with only a few impactful projects, or a storied firm with a diverse portfolio, both scenarios can work as long as they have a successful track record.
The follow-up question is which history works best for you and your business. When you see the website designs done by the agencies you are interested in, does the historical design resonate with you?
Does the agency understand your business needs?
While smart design can elevate your website, it can’t carry everything. If the functionality and user experience doesn’t make it easy to navigate and understand what you provide, no level of design will matter. It’s important that the strategy of your web design matches your company’s goals. If someone visits your website, but cannot get to actions you need them to, what does it matter? Make sure the strategy behind the websites the agency worked on is strong.
Did the agency take the time to really understand what success looks like for your company? When they do, it sets your website design up for success to get visitors where you need them and take the action of purchasing items from your shop, or filling out a form to reach a sales rep, or understanding the technical side of what your service-based company provides.
Can the agency work with your software and platforms?
Some businesses can wipe the slate clean on your website and use anything available. Sometimes that’s not a choice. You may have a shop already set up on a specific web-based storefront. You may have content creators who have been trained to use an established platform. If you have spent a long time building content, migrating all of the posts and pages may be too costly and decrease the organic SEO you've worked so hard to increase your rankings. That’s fine for a proven agency because they can often work with, or around, what software or website platforms you need to use. There are a number of reasons a business wants to use a specific hosting platform or doesn’t want to retrain the staff on an entirely new CRM. The web design agency should be capable of hearing what is flexible, what isn’t. In doing so, they can build a visually compelling, easy-to-navigate website as an agency for your company.
That’s why any agency in web design will hear what your company needs are, identify software and platforms you need to keep in place to succeed, and design with those in mind to avoid additional headaches or obstacles on your end.
Can the agency build a visual style you like?
The design needed for an accounting firm has one visual approach, it’s unlikely it would take the same approach as a food truck or clothing line appealing to Gen Z. Make sure your agency has a strong foothold in creating a visual style that works for your organization. See what industries the agency works with the most. Does their design style match the look you’re aiming for?
By seeing what their portfolio looks like, you get a glimpse at the visual style they aim for in their websites. If it doesn’t resonate, or have any examples in your industry, you may need to ask more questions to see if the agency can work to adapt to what you need. But if their portfolio is exactly what you’re looking for in your website, you may have found the right place to begin collaborating on your web design.
How does the agency’s process align with your organization?
You have a certain way of working. So do agencies. It’s important that the way they work, both separately and together, aligns. If you are open to moving without many revisions, it could help save costs. However, if you are the type that has several people who must give approval, or you are particular and know you need to be able to give feedback on multiple rounds, you may need to talk about what that process will be with the agency.
How many times do you get to see the web design? How many rounds of revisions would you like? At what points will those presentations or discussions happen? How often should you expect meetings with your web design team or the agency reps to occur?
If neither party knows what to expect from the other at the start of your website project, it’s prime for frustration. However, the more an agency knows about your business and what you expect from the process, the more accurate estimates will be and set the relationship up for success.
The bonus question that’s most important: why do you need an agency for your web design?
Knowing why you need an agency’s help frames the discussion. When you talk to an agency’s sales reps, or the designers themselves, getting to the core of why is the most important question to answer. Because if we know why we’re working toward a web design, then everyone can talk about how to solve your headaches and get your business moving toward the goals you want to achieve.
See some of our favorite web design work here to see if we’d be a good fit for your organization. If you want to learn more about web design, or chat with one of our specialists, please reach out here so we can answer these all too important questions for you.
A-Train is a full-service ad agency, providing web design services with multiple offices in the Denver-metro area of Colorado. In addition, our team can be found in virtual offices throughout the country, giving us the ability to help anyone needing a web design agency, or other services such as branding, strategy, digital marketing and advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and more advertising services.