How to Find the Right Web Design Agency for You

Enlisting a professional web design agency is a serious investment, and one you shouldn’t take lightly. Your website is the digital face of your business, and you want to make sure everything is absolutely perfect. You only get one chance to make a first impression on potential customers.

We’ve put together some general criteria to help you find the perfect web design agency for you and your website.

Decide What Type of Website You Need

This should be your first step. Are you just looking for a redesign of your current website? Or do you need an entire website built from scratch? Both options have different costs associated with them, and certain agencies may specialize in one but not the other.

Something else to consider is what your next step is when you finally do have a gorgeous new website. Do you have a content plan in place, or will your website simply serve as a placeholder while you scramble to put some awesome content together?

There are strictly web design agencies, but there are also full-service digital marketing agencies out there. If you don’t necessarily have a plan in place for your new website, it’s definitely worth it to look into full-service options at the very least.

If you get your design work done with one agency and then later decide to outsource your content creation as well, you may run into compatibility issues because your content creator isn’t familiar with your website’s design. If you go to a full-service agency from the start, there will be no such issues. Most full-service agencies have specialized teams to handle all aspects of digital marketing, and they work together to ensure a cohesive end result for all clients.

Ask Web Design Agencies for Portfolios and References

Web design is a very reference- and proof-based industry. If you want a gorgeous website, you want to contract it from an agency that has produced gorgeous websites in the past.

Asking to see a portfolio should be your first step. Most web design agencies have their portfolios prominently featured on their websites in the first place. If you can’t find any mention of a portfolio, proceed with caution.

If you then ask for a portfolio and they don’t jump to provide you with one, find a different agency to work with. There’s absolutely no reason a web design agency would be hesitant to show off their past work, unless it’s of poor quality.

Even if the portfolio looks picture-perfect, it’s always a good idea to ask for references as well. Talking to businesses that have worked with the web design agency in the past gives you a sense of the design process as a whole, and not just the end result. Even if the finished product is beautiful, would you want to work with a design agency that misses deadlines and is uncooperative? Talking to references ensures you know what you’re getting into, from beginning to end.

References are doubly helpful if you can talk to one that’s in your industry. They’ll be able to tell you if the design agency understands the industry, designed in accordance with industry trends, and so on.

Establish What Your Site Will Cost Early on

Pricing can vary greatly in the web design industry, so comparing prices won’t do you much good. Instead, you want to see how willing each agency is to talk about pricing in the first place.

Ambiguous pricing models, the inability to give you even a set range, and so on are all big red flags that you might be talking to the wrong agency.

If you’re given a strict price up-front, before they even know your project parameters, it’s best to proceed with caution as well. No two design projects are alike, and the best agencies are thoroughly aware of this fact.

Outside of project pricing, any design agency worth its salt will offer a free consultation or free project quote. Any agency that refuses to do so is wasting your time.

Beware of Industry Buzzwords and Sneaky Upsells

While you may encounter terms you’re not familiar with when dealing with design agencies, there’s a difference between warranted technical terminology and empty, befuddling buzzwords.

If your point of contact is talking a mile a minute and you can’t understand every third word, ask him to slow down and walk you through the process. Proper design agencies are more than happy to sit down and work through the entire project on a conceptual level so that you have a thorough understanding of what they’ll be doing, and how they’ll be doing it.

Upselling is something else to watch out for. While most agencies will offer additional or higher-tier services at least once, be wary of those that try to upsell you right out of the gate.

These two are not necessarily deal-breakers, but are often signs of design agencies that simply want your money.

Don't Be Afraid to Look Around, Pick the Best Agency For You

Most web design agencies know how much competition is out there, and many will pressure you to commit to something early on. The best agencies refrain from doing so, and let past projects and references do the convincing for them.

It’s always in your best interest to take advantage of free quotes and consultations, as you’ll eventually run into an agency that just feels like a good fit for your business.

In Conclusion

Don’t rush the vetting process when searching for the perfect web design agency. Take your time, ask questions, and don’t let anyone pressure you into making a decision.

Again, comprehensive web design is a serious investment that warrants much thought. Don’t cut any corners, or you’ll be less than pleased with the result.

Try Our Free Website Cost Calculator Today!

Web design services are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to establishing a web presence. Managing your own website can be a daunting task, but we’ve got you covered.

We put together a free website cost estimate calculator that will help you gain a better understanding of what goes into the website creation process. It provides you with an overall cost estimate based on your personal needs, so you’ll have a point of reference going forward. Get your free estimate now!