Ranking The Best Web Design Agencies

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Important Questions To Ask Web Design Agencies

It can be an overwhelming to brainstorm what to ask a web design agency when it’s not your field of expertise or web technology is not part of your everyday knowledge base!  However, below are some questions that would be good to ask, with short explanations on why!

What services are included and do you offer?  Know what you’re getting!

Each web design agency handle web design projects differently.  Some web agencies may include a lot of services that are good to get an informational website launched quickly and easily.  Other website design agencies may specialize in an area like e-commerce, and provide design services very specific and focused on building e-commerce websites. One agency that is very focused on completed a quality site may charge more, however, if you depend on your website for business, it’s worth it!  See what is offered and what you will be getting. You might be surprised to find out that some agencies are a jack-of-all trades, which would be perfect for you, whereas others have the expertise to really focus in on a special type of website that you might need instead.

How does the agency communicate throughout the website design process?

Communication is key when it comes to talking about design.  Since design is usually a vision and collaboration of you and the designer, making sure an agency is open to communicating and values communication is important! It’s very useful to know when and how often in the process you’ll be able to provide your feedback on what the experts come up with for you!

How will you design to generate revenue for my site?

Discovering how a website design agency designs for revenue or interaction on the site is important because most likely, your website is for business. Ensuring the design agency has the user experience in mind as well as the business end is important. For instance, what do they think about having a website that is mobile friendly for your business? It’s often very important! What’s their opinion on button and video placement? It’s great to have these interactive elements, however, too many or none at all isn’t good for users or business!

How Much Does Web Design Cost?

It’s often hard to tell just by looking at a website how much you think it would cost to have one for yourself! Below are some things to consider that go into the cost of a website anywhere from $500 – $15,000.

DIY vs. Professionals

Building a website yourself with an online builder or CMS like WordPress can save you money.  However, having the time, design skills, and tech skills are very important for business websites.  That’s why most businesses that want to market themselves online need professionals. It’s important for businesses to have a website that works well to generate revenue and create interest for first time visitors. Spending money by hiring people that have the time, design skills, and tech skills to apply to the site ensures they you aren’t wasting their efforts as compared to the DIY way.

Time, Design Skills, Tech Skills

Time, design skills, and tech skills are three very important areas that ensure your site is functional and providing a great user experience for your potential customers or clients.

The time professionals take to work on a site is often spent taking care of any potential issues that could arise and putting their full focus on all the details to make it successful throughout the entire process until launch.

Optimal design ensures that users will be able to surf around your new site easily to understand information and make purchases. It may seem like common sense to place a button somewhere, however, web designers often know what works well right off the bat for optimal interaction.

Tech skills are, more obviously, very needed in web design since technology is always changing. If you are building a very simple site on your own with a website builder chances are it will be out of date quickly since it is more of a general service.

If you hire web design professionals, they should be on the cutting-edge of their web design technology and implementing the best details for your site that are functional based on your specific needs. A site that is informational versus a site that is geared for e-commerce take different sets of skills. However, the time, design, and tech skills involved for both are important to create a site that will be seamless for your visitors and customized for what you want or need.

How Long Does Web Design Take?

A website design project can take anywhere from one  to 4 months or longer. It all depends on how long the process takes.  Here are factors in a design process that can take varying amounts of time:

The level of complexity that is required

In general, there are many ecommerce websites that operate very similarly.  For instance, they all have shopping carts and a way to check-out. However, depending on a specific business’s needs, they may need something very custom.  For instance, think of an insurance business that would like people do develop a custom quote online, enter in their personal information, compare plans, and check-out.  That is more complicated than a simpler shopping cart solution. This often takes more custom programming, which takes more time.

In addition, the graphic design parts of a website can take longer or shorter, depending on how many revisions and edits a site goes through. Often designers will start with something very close to what a client wants and revise a few times to get a design approved.

Start Times

Often, web design agencies are not always able to start your website design project right off the bat.  In the beginning, it takes time in the process to discuss what your business needs, to come up with a web design solution for addressing those needs, and to provide you an overall structure of how the site will look. This is also why it’s a great idea to go with a design company that knows about marketing, they can design your site so that it successfully markets your business on the web.

After that, then the agency will look for a good start time where they can start your project.  Great agencies can be very busy and might not be able to begin your design for a few weeks.

Then, towards the end when the site is getting ready to launch, there can be small bugs for programmers to fix and content that needs to be tweaked and added to the site.  When it comes close to the launch time, usually clients will have many minor tweaks they want to make, which always adds time until the launch.

Picking the perfect Web Design Company

When you are trying to pick the perfect web design company for your future website, don’t get overwhelmed at the thought!  You will learn as you research and talk to agencies. However, below are a few things to keep in mind as your research and contact different design companies!

Have notes on what you envision for your site

Prepping your ideas for what you’d like your site to have is always beneficial.  First, it lets you state your expectations to see if the agency can do what you’re requesting.  Second, it allows for the design agency to give you additional ideas that you may have not even thought of.

Compare quotes of what you’re getting

Once you’ve talked to a few different agencies, think about what you are getting and what you need. Do you need a simple site where many places could easily make one up, a site that’s heavily focused on graphics and imagery, or do you need a site that will require specific types of site technologies, like e-commerce shopping cart solutions.  If an agency says they can meet all your needs, but the quotes don’t include time for more custom work that you need, the agency may not be for you.

Although one web design company may be more expensive, you an look to compare the quotes to see what value that price is providing.  Talking the quotes over will also help you learn what you are getting for the price you’re paying.

Talk about the communication and design process

When meeting an agency, ask them how they will communicate their design ideas and how often they will ask for your input.  Would you like the agency to take charge on the project while you only check in with the once in a while or are you the type that likes to discuss every step?  Talking about how communication and updates happen between you and the agency will teach you about their process and how they handle updating you. Ultimately, knowing how an agency will communicate throughout the site design process will give you peace of mind and allow you to get to know them better because you’ll know what to expect from them!