Your business – especially if it is a new one – is virtually unknown to its target audience. The website will be the window through which they will get a peek at it. Thus, for providing an insight into your business, your company’s website cannot be anything less than stellar!
When you hire a development company, you’ll need to ensure their work is good enough to achieve the desired marketing goals. This applies to both revamping of existing websites and designing new ones.
Just as you would do due diligence before appointing a new employee, so should you be doing before hiring your next web design team. You’ll have help because below, we have distilled some of the most important questions you’d need to ask before you sign:
1. Which services are they offering?
Even though many people will lump together services, such as digital marketing, web development, copywriting, hosting, and e-commerce solutions, they aren’t the same. In fact, the experts for each type of services use a different skillset.
We’d recommend that you don’t just assume that a company is good at all of those, just because those services are on offer. It is common practice in the Web Design field to do so. But don’t buy into it until you have proof of expertise.
2. Will you use templates or do you custom design your websites?
Before you plunge into what else they’re offering, confirm if they are good at web design or not. Ask potential companies which kind of templates they use.
If your business doesn’t just rely on its online presence, you’ll be okay with a customizable template-based website. However, if you are after a strong brand establishment, you should go for a unique look and functionality that only comes with custom designs.
3. How much experience do you have, and can you show me the back-end of your previous work?
Ideally, the firm you choose should have been around the web design block for a considerable amount of time. Even if they are relatively new, a peek at the back-end – or content management system – should show you their worth.
In the long run, only websites designed for quick, intuitive editing, can be maintained with success. Their back-end potential will help you decide if you can do such maintenance yourself. Having to call the design team for every little change will soon get old, so choose wisely!
4. Are you going to outsource any aspects of my project?
This brings us back to our discussion about the first question. Check whether the company you select has the in-house capability to deal with certain aspects or not. For the latter, they will be outsourcing that part of the task.
Your concerns in this area should involve:
· How good is that third-party vendor at their job?
· Is the web design company charging you more because of the outsourcing?
· Who answers any questions regarding issues on the outsourced aspects?
· What scheduling challenges can you expect?
Look for agencies that proclaim they are self-performing or offer design-build services for best results.
5. Will you walk me through your research process?
Necessarily, a web developing team should take time to familiarize themselves with your goals, missions, and image. An insight into their research process will demonstrate how important they consider this step. For instance, will the company be researching your target audience? This is crucial for businesses with a niche audience.
6. How often will you implement any changes I suggest to my website design?
Keeping things fresh help in retaining traffic and getting new visitors. This is something that a professional web design company should already understand. Therefore, they must have room to accommodate the changes you suggest and implement them quickly to minimize any downtime.
7. Will support for ecommerce be part of the design?
Retail businesses that do their selling online will need this! You might need a simple button for online payment added on your home page. Alternatively, you may require a multi-functional ecommerce shopping cart. But is the web design company capable of doing that?
8. Can you show me how well your previously designed websites are doing?
It is true that a website design plays a limited role in contributing to its success. Factors, like content and SEO, are what help it make money. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t essential – for instance, it greatly affects the user experience.
Asking them for information on how well they did in the past is surely a good idea. Professional firms will already have a portfolio ready. The data in it will have an easy-to-understand format, yet there will be complete transparency.
9. What role will your website play in helping me achieve my goals?
Okay, the secret to the answer to this question is that, there isn’t one right answer. But you already know, that isn’t what you are asking. What you should be looking for is a clearly phrased response that aligns with the goals you have explained to them.
10. When can they start working?
In most cases, web design companies that say right away in answer won’t be worth your time! Sure, you need the job done quickly. But if the designers are conducting research before, they will need time before getting started.
11. Do you have any experience in marketing?
As an example, consider a web developing team that allows your site to host its own videos. Imagine the reach of the same videos were they hosted on YouTube instead! Embedding a link that leads back to your website is no biggie. Meanwhile, on YouTube, a description, and some keywords, there should be enough. You get the benefit of the video giant doing your marketing for you. But more importantly, your site wouldn’t be overburdened with the bandwidth needed to launch a video. A marketing-savvy developer would know this!
Hire a team that answers most of your questions with truthful and good answers. Your website may only be as good as its designers, but you will be the one who decides how good they are!