10 important questions to ask when hiring a web design agency
How can you be sure you’re choosing the right web design agency to create your company’s website? Now that mobile devices and smartphones have made online searches so convenient, the Internet has become the first place consumers go when searching for a local business. In fact, 90% of consumers use online searches to find local companies or services, according to a consumer tracking study sponsored by BIA/Kelsey and ConStat. Your company website plays a key role in determining whether a consumer chooses to do business with you, which means the web design agency you hire holds your company’s future success in their hands in a very real way. To help you make this critical decision, we’ve put together a list of the 10 most important questions to ask when hiring a web design agency, in no particular order.
- Do you have any specific experience in our industry/vertical?
Depending on the type of business you have, experience designing websites for your specific industry may be very important. For instance, specific experience is critical when designing a site for real estate professionals, because your web designer will need to incorporate an IDX feed, MLS listings, etc.
- Will you use responsive web design for our website?
Mobile devices and smartphones have become the most popular means of accessing the Internet. That makes responsive web design, which ensures your website will deliver flawless performance no matter what device it is viewed on, the only design system that makes sense.
- Are you experienced in SEO strategies?
In order for your website to perform well in online searches, it needs to be designed with SEO strategies in mind from the start. Google considers everything from page titles to image names when assigning position in search results, so make sure any design firm you hire is experienced and skilled in creating SEO strategies.
- Can I speak to your client references?
To get a true picture of the experience of working with a web design company, you need to speak with companies that have employed their services. Consider it a clear warning that something is not right if a web design firm is unwilling to have you contact their clients.
- Will all of the design work be done in-house?
Many “full-service” web design agencies actually farm out some or all of their design work to outside agencies and freelance designers. This can pose a problem, because you have no way of knowing the professional capabilities of any subcontractors, and no guarantee they will not drop your project midway through. The most secure option is to choose a website design company that performs all design work in-house.
- How long will it take to design my website?
A professional web design company should be able to give you a solid timeline, with a variety of benchmarks that will be completed at specific dates.
- Will I retain ownership of all design source files?
This is a critical issue with long-term ramifications for your company. Ownership of the design source files for your website needs to be clearly assigned to your company in your contract. Otherwise the design agency can refuse to release your files if you part ways, forcing you to pay another design firm to recreate your entire website.
- Who will own the web address?
Some web design agencies register the URLs (web addresses) of the sites they create in their own name, rather than in their customers’ names. While this may simplify billing in the short term, it can have devastating consequences for your brand. If you decide to sever relations with this agency, they can legally retain the rights to your company’s web address and website name, forcing you to abandon all the good will, search authority, and name-recognition you have established.
- How do you price your work?
There are a few different ways that fees for web design services can be calculated. The most common three are project-based, where you are charged a flat rate for the entire website; component-based, where prices are assigned to each of the different elements (pages, videos, transitions, etc.) used on your site; and time-based, with charges figured by the number of hours it takes to complete your site. There are pros and cons to each; before signing a contract, be clear on which pricing model the agency will use.
- What support services do you offer after our site is up?
Will the design firm simply post your site and leave you to manage its operation on your own, or do they offer a full list of website management services? Some firms offer everything from basic maintenance services to comprehensive monthly SEO packages, complete with blog writing services, social marketing services, and more. Discuss what services your company will need before you finalize your choice of web design firm.
As you interview web design firms to create your company’s website, consider Blue Interactive Agency. As a leading Fort Lauderdale website design agency with a full roster of satisfied clients, we have the experience and knowledge to create the ideal website to introduce your company to new customers. Our dedicated staff includes expert web designers, graphic artists, SEO copywriters, and skilled social marketers, all ready to create a winning website design to help ensure your success.
Contact us at Blue Interactive Agency today at 954-779-2801 for a dedicated web design agency with the skills and knowledge to ensure your company’s online marketing success!