Company websites are growing ever more important and it's vital that they are kept fresh and up to date. If you're looking for a company to spruce up your site - whether it's from scratch or just a few tweaks to the functionality- it's imperative that you research web design companies before you agree to work with one.
Before you even start looking for a potential web developer, it is important to identify the measures by which you would judge the potential candidates. Write out a list of qualities you look for in an agency and aim to get all or the majority of the boxes ticked. Your first contact will give you a feeling of their professionalism, but the most important quality you are trying to unearth is trust. For many companies, their website is critical to them, so you want to invest time and money into business you can trust and build a relationship. You don’t want to be looking for another web developer in six months.
With your list of measures now at hand, it is time to research into the agencies. Basic information from how long the company have been established, to the types of businesses they work with should give you a sense of how good they are and if they are suitable for your business. It is also important to find out how much experience the agency has with working on sites within your sector.
If the web development company you are considering looks reliable, then it is time to find out how they operate and manage projects. What reporting processes do they adopt? How do they manage priorities of your work and other companies they support? What response times can you expect from phone calls and e-mails? These are the types of questions that need to be asked to find out their approach to tasks as well as their availability. Ensure that they can offer flexibility with their project management, as tasks are always changing and the agency need to be quick to react to these changes.
Before signing on the dotted line it is important to clearly define what it is you will be paying for and the rates you will be charged. Knowing when and how you will be invoiced for projects will allow you to forecast your spend, plan budgets and clearly see what you are investing your money in. If you decide to work to a timesheet basis, ensure you get regular updates and push to obtain forecasts for time remaining, otherwise costs can escalate. However, if you are quoted a time and amount for a project ensure that it's agreed that the agency swallow any extra costs if they exceed this time – they are in charge of accurately forecasting their time. By not clarifying this up front, you might find a bill that includes extra time loaded in and you could quickly find yourself out of pocket.
By being clear with what you want from an agency and being blunt as to how you want to work, you’ll ensure you will find the right agency for your business and start to establish a long term relationship. No matter if you sell inflatable animals or leaflet holders , if they already have an understanding of your industry, the more likely it is that they can develop a site that works closely with your business objectives. The more you invest now in getting this right, will ensure you don’t have to repeat this again for some time and don’t need to learn from any costly mistakes.
Adam Singleton writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.