So you want a new website but don’t know how to choose a web design company?
It seems like every company is calling themselves a “web design expert” these days, so it can be tough to know who to trust.
Relax! We got you covered! In this post, we’ll give you 9 crucial tips to help you choose the right web design company for your business. We’ll also provide you with some questions to ask your website designer before hiring them.
Let’s get started!
What Is a Web Design Agency?
Web design agencies are companies that help you make a website. They can also help you with other online things. For example, maintaining a website and even helping you with SEO in some cases.
There are a lot of different types of web design agencies, but the main ones are national agencies, local agencies, and niche agencies.
National agencies are large companies that have offices all over the country. They usually have a wide range of services, from web design to online marketing to SEO. They’re a good option if you want a one-stop shop for all your online needs.
Local agencies are small companies that operate only in one city or state. They usually specialize in web design only and sometimes also other small services. For example, search engine optimization or another digital marketing service. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your needs.
Niche agencies are web design companies that focus on one specific type of website design. They might specialize in e-commerce websites, WordPress websites, or industry-specific web design like landscaping or construction.
This can be a good option if you want web designers that understand your industry. However, niche agencies can be more expensive than national or local agencies. But the price is not always the most important thing as we will talk about further down in this post.
1. What Are Your Needs and Goals?
Before you can choose a web design company, you need to figure out what your needs and goals are.
For example, ask yourself these questions:
- What do you want your website to do?
- Who is your target audience?
- Do you want a conversion-focused site?
- How do you want the website to look? Do I have any reference websites?
- What goals do you have with the website?
Answers to these questions will help you narrow down your options and find the right web design agency for you.
In today’s modern world a website should be a business and marketing tool. So to ensure you get the best possible outcome with your web design company it might be a good idea to have a list of your needs and goals. Also, it is immensely helpful for the web designer if you know what you want.
Such a list could look like this:
- Generate sales
- Have a FAQ to not get called with all these simple and basic questions
- Have a contact system to manage all quotes and requests from clients
- Collect payments on the website
- Have a blog
- Improve online visibility
- 5 pages (Home, About, Services, Blog, and Contact)
- Any specific features
Once you have a list of your needs and goals it’s time to think about what you are willing to invest in a new website.
2. What Is Your Budget?
One of the most important factors when choosing a web design company is how much money you’re willing to invest. It can be good to think about this. Especially, before you actually have a call with a web designer so you have a ballpark figure in mind.
Be honest with yourself about how much money you can invest and find an agency that fits within your budget. Don’t be afraid to ask for quotes from multiple agencies to get the best price possible.
Just remember that the cheapest web design is not always the best one. For example, a website can be expensive but at the same time provide a lot of value. For example by increasing sales/leads, creating an effective booking system, building trust, etc.
It all depends on what problems and needs you have. And how a good web design company can best solve those issues for you. That means if they can solve big problems and needs then that will be reflected in the price of the website.
3. Look At National and Local Agencies
Now that you know what your budget and requirements are, it’s time to start searching for a good web design company.
Searching locally the best way to start. Begin by typing “web design agency [city/state]” into Google and seeing what comes up.
But also search nationally and even internationally. Especially now with products like Zoom and Mircosoft Teams. These products have made it easier to collaborate with businesses from all over the globe.
There are a few advantages and disadvantages you should consider when choosing between local or national web design companies.
Here are some advantages of working with a local web design companies:
- They have an understanding of the local market and your business
- Easier to communicate with and no timezone issues
- More accountability because their reputation is at stake
- Sometimes but not always they are also cheaper
- More personal experience for the customers
For national web design companies, the benefits are:
- They have more resources and a greater ability to scale
- More trust. That is because they have worked with a wider range of companies from different industries
- Offer a wider range of services, for example, social media management or digital marketing
Ultimately, the best choice for a web design agency depends on your needs and budget. Once you have found a web design agency or have a list of them it’s time for the next step.
4. Check Their Websites
Don’t overcomplicate this too much and spend hours on it. Basically, just scan through the website to get a feel for it and see what they are about.
For example, what is the history of the web design firm, what services do they offer, and do they have transparent pricing? These are some of the things to look for.
Basically, see what makes the web design agency stand out from the rest. Because if they have trouble standing out then they might have difficulties doing the same for you.
Another thing worth checking out is their blog posts and Youtube channel. That can also give you a good indication of what the business is about, how they provide value to people, and what areas of web design are important to them.
5. Go Through The Portfolio
When looking through a web design company’s portfolio, it’s important to keep in mind a few things:
- Make sure that the agency has a good understanding of your business and the industry you’re in.
- Check to see if they have experience in designing websites that solve the specific problems and needs you have.
- Look at how well-designed their websites are. Are they modern and stylish or do they look dated? The overall design of a website is very important as it can influence how customers perceive your business.
Another thing to look at is if they have case studies as well. Because then you can see what value they actually provided to their clients. And what the thoughts are behind why the website is the way it is.
It will help you get a better understanding of what problems the web designer’s clients had and how they solved those problems.
6. Take A Look At Their Reviews
An important factor when selecting a web design agency is to take a look at their reviews and testimonials.
These reviews will give you an idea of how satisfied their clients have been with the work they have done for them. This can be a great way to know how well the agency works, how reliable they are and how much experience they have.
When reading reviews, it’s important to remember that everyone has different expectations and requirements.
For example, some may be more satisfied than others. But overall the reviews should reflect how well the agency meets their customers’ needs and how helpful they are throughout the process.
Look at the online profiles of web design agencies such as:
- Social media like their Facebook page
Here agencies can showcase their work history, skills, and portfolios in various categories like SEO services, mobile applications, digital marketing, and more.
You’ll find ratings from previous customers which can help you make a decision on whether this is the right fit for your business needs.
These online profiles are also worth looking at because reviews on a website can be easily faked. But are more difficult on these online platforms.
7. Ask Friends and Family
Besides looking at customer reviews on third-party websites, it’s also recommended to ask for referrals or recommendations from friends or colleagues. Especially if they have worked with a web design agency in the past.
This will give you an even better understanding. Particularly, of how well the web designers work, how professional they are, and how much value it can add to your website project.
8. Contact The Web Design Company
By now you should have a list of website design companies that you can contact and potentially work with.
Some of the businesses can look good on the surface, the ultimate test will be once you start talking to them.
The truth is if you want to find the right web design company, they should be willing to understand your problems, and needs and help you achieve your vision.
This shows understanding, transparency and a genuine desire to you help you. Obviously, you need to know what you want and have an idea of what kind of new website you desire.
Questions can ask yourself when contacting a website design company:
- What’s the customer service like?
- What is the overall feeling you get when talking to them?
- Do they seem to understand what you want?
- Does the business seem like they want to work with you? Are they excited to work on your website?
9. Use A Stable Approach
The fact is that today building just a basic website with website builders is very easy. The difficulty is to build websites that generate leads and help a business grow.
A website is a very important marketing tool that many businesses don’t fully utilize. This is especially true for local businesses like landscaping, HVAC, construction, etc.
It’s not just the website though. It has to work together with other channels like social media, SEO, and other digital marketing to maximize sales.
So you want to find a web designer that you are certain can achieve that.
Questions To Ask A Website Designer
Below you will find some questions you can ask a web design company. We also answered all the questions so you know the answers to these questions already.
What does your web design process look like?
Our design process looks as follows:
- Have a short call with us so we can understand your needs and goals
- Build a custom web design strategy that focuses on solving your problems and needs
- Manage and optimize your on- and off-page SEO to dominate your local market
Do you use a content management system, if so which one?
Out of all content management systems, we predominately use WordPress. That is because it is popular and powers about 40% of all websites on the internet. On top of that it’s great for SEO and it’s lightweight and easy.
Will you do any research on my business, if so what will you research?
As a web design company, we will do some research on your business. This is to better understand your unique situation and what you want to achieve. Exactly what we research will differ from business to business. However, in general, we look at your website, online presence, social media, and reference websites.
Do you do SEO or any other online marketing as well?
We do have monthly SEO services. Based on the web design package you choose there may or may not be SEO services included in that. For example, the Basic package that starts at $1800 does not have SEO. But the Accelerator package that starts at $7500 has three months of SEO.
Are you going to review my current website before you build the new one?
Yes, as part of the research we do on your business we will review your website.
Do you have a portfolio project you can show me?
Yes, we have a portfolio with websites and case studies that we have worked on.
How long will it take to complete my web design project?
The goal is to finish the website in 10-12 weeks. Though that is very dependent on project size, the responsiveness of the client, and clarity of the vision among other things. All these factors affect the time of completion. However, if you need your website to be completed by a certain date then tell us during the initial call and we will include that in your proposal.
Is there any content you need from me to start building the website?
Each project has different requirements so we might need more or fewer things based on the project. In general, though we need:
- images you want on the website
- content for pages
- hosting and domain log in details
Will I own the website once it’s done and live?
You will own 100% of the website once it’s done. We will transfer all the details and everything required in order for you to run your website.
How will the website generate traffic and leads?
The main way we drive traffic to our clients’ websites is with SEO. This is a process of optimizing a website for search engines with for example keywords. However, that is just one way. There are many different ways to get more traffic and leads. For example, Facebook ads, Google ads, email marketing, etc.
One thing to remember is that to also get leads, your website needs to be optimized for that. If you have a lot of traffic but your website looks bad and doesn’t have a clear structure and thought behind it you won’t get any leads.
When it comes to how to choose a web design company, there are many things you need to take into account. It is also important to keep in mind that not every web design company is the same.
However, making sure you have a process for choosing the right web design company is really important. This will assure you find the best web design companies.
If you are looking to grow your landscaping business and get started with SEO check out our Landscaping SEO Cheatsheet!