If you’ve done your homework, you know that if you want your business to be a success, you need to establish a strong web presence. No matter what industry you work in, your online exposure is crucial to the future of your company. The first step you need to take to establish yourself online is to create an amazing website that converts. A powerful business website will promote your brand by providing value to its customers and get your business in front of viewers worldwide.
Even if you have some experience in setting up a website, your business needs to hire a qualified web designer if you want to leverage the most success for your future. So, how do you pick the right fit for your business? And, how do you know that a web design agency in Vancouver has the experience needed to bring you the best results?
There is no doubt it can be overwhelming to choose a web designer. It seems like there are thousands of web development companies and web design agencies everywhere you turn. How do you know which is the right for you?
Before you lose your mind, take a deep breath! We’ve created the ultimate list of 13 tips to help you hire the best web designer that fits your needs and helps your company grow.
We’ll begin by going over the fundamentals of what to look for in a web design company before you jump on hiring them. Of course there is a lot that can be covered in this topic, but we need to cover some basics. Before we do that, let’s take a snapshot look at the tips we’ll cover in this article:
- Discuss their experience
- Ask for their portfolio
- Check references
- Talk about communication
- Find someone with experience in digital marketing
- Understand the scope of your project
- Be specific with what you need done
- Plan for the future
- Set your budget ahead of time
- Find a team focused on customer satisfaction
- Find a proactive web design agency
- Be upfront about deadlines and expectations
- Trust your gut
Understand the Team Members Who Make Up a Web Design Agency
Before you take your first step to hire a web design agency, it’s important to understand the industry. What are you trying to accomplish? Who can help you make that happen? There are several components that go into creating a website and establishing your online presence.
In order to establish a strong online presence, there are many professionals who come together to make up the perfectly balanced team that can make that happen. For starters, you’ll need to discuss your needs, create a strategy, and build or upgrade your website. The following people will go into making that happen:
- Project Manager – Meets with you to get a clear understanding of your project and its requirements. Works with designers, developers, writers, and marketers to make sure you get what you need.
- Website Designer – Hears your vision and designs your website. Graphic designers will put together the framework for your website. They will make sure your website flows and all the graphics, colors, and layouts work well together. They understand what it takes to turn your vision into a tangible website and will work with the developers to transform what’s in your mind into your finished website.
- Graphic Designers – Create custom images, ads, icon, logos, and prints for your business. They will help customize your website. They are a huge part of creating and building your brand.
- Web Developer – The development team takes your vision and the design your graphic designer created and brings it to life. They use special codes to tell the internet how to display your website. They are engineers that solve technical problems and make sure your website functions the way you need it.
- Copywriters – Create content for your website that helps deliver your message. Copywriters use specific guidelines to make sure your website meets search engine standards. They help you captivate your audience while also building your online presence with content targeted to SEO.
- SEO Experts – Help improve your website’s ranking on search engines so that more traffic comes through.
Top 13 Tips to Pick the Perfect Web Design Agency
Now that you understand the different professionals who make all this happen, let’s look at the steps you need to take to make sure you pick the best web design agency for your business.
1. Discuss Their Experience
Before you hire a web designer, you need to discuss their experience. Make sure they can handle the type of project you are looking to do. Find out if they have experience doing similar projects. Be sure they have the technical skills and background needed to bring you the best results. Web designers and web developers have experience in a variety of different skill sets and technology languages that go into creating your website. You need to make sure you find the agency that aligns with your development needs perfectly.
It definitely helps if they have awards, certifications, and reviews to further help their credibility. For example, BragDeal Inc. is recognized as a top Website Design Company on DesignRush.
2. Ask For Their Portfolio
It’s one thing for a designer to say they have the skills and its another for them to show you the proof. Any good web designer is going to already have a portfolio created that showcases their previous work. Ask for specific examples of projects that match the scope of the work you need to be done. If their portfolio impresses you, there’s a good chance their work will exceed your expectations when it comes to your own project.
It’s definitely a bonus if there are case studies that clearly show the process that the agency went through. Not only does it show transparency and confidence, it also provides you with a clear picture of how they operate and the love and care they put towards each project.
Every designer has their own style. When you find a design team that has experience with the type of work you need and whose design style compliments your taste, you’ve truly struck gold. If a web design agency can’t offer a portfolio of their work, don’t even consider doing business with them!
3. Check References
In addition to their portfolio, ask for a list of references. Just like any other job interview, you should talk to their clients to see how well they worked with others in the past. Reach out to their references by phone or email. You don’t have to get too crazy, but you should do your research. If you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to their references personally, you can ask for links to some of the websites they’ve designed and developed. Check through the websites to see the layout, site speed, responsiveness, and functionality.
4. Talk About Communication
Clear and honest communication should be a key focus of any business. Web design agencies are no different. If you need to chase your designer or development team, they’re definitely not the best choice. You need to be able to get in touch with your design team, and they should update you throughout the process. We’ve covered this point more in detail in the “Get Better Graphic Design with These Communication Tips” article.
The goal should be to choose a development team or graphic designer that will work with you as new projects arise. This creates consistency with your brand. Since your website will require regular maintenance, finding a one-stop shop for all your website needs is beneficial. As your brand grows, you might also add additional services to expand your reach. When you find a team that is easy to communicate with, you’ll see how much easier the process becomes.
Some time ago, we’ve created this vlog about how to Communicate Your Vision to Your Designer. In case you missed it, watch it here:
Clear and honest communication should be a key focus of any business and that includes web design companies. If you have to chase the designer through several texts or phone calls to get a quote and clarify any questions then they’re not the best choice. Designing your actual website is only part of the job of a professional web designer. They should also be good listeners and good communicators. It’s unlikely that they’ll design a website that captures the essence of your business if they can’t respond to a simple text.
5. Find Someone with Experience in Digital Marketing
While you might not be ready to launch a digital marketing campaign at the outset, most businesses will benefit from the services at some point. Once you have the right website to sell your business, marketing your brand online is easier. While you can find a great web design agency that focuses solely on design and development, finding one that can deliver additional services is even better.
The majority of businesses who work in the IT industry develop long-term relationships with their clients. When you find a web design agency that can deliver additional services to establish your online presence, you can talk to them about building your website with the future in mind. Ask if your team has experience in search engine optimization. SEO goes hand-in-hand with building your online presence as it helps your website rank higher in the search engine results. You can also discuss additional services such as PPC and SMM campaigns.
6. Understand the Scope of Your Project
What exactly do you want the web designer or developer to do? If you want to effectively communicate with your web design agency, you need to have a clear understanding of what needs to be done. Understanding the scope of your project will also help ensure you hire the right professionals. Do you need to create a website from scratch? If so, you would need to hire an entire design and development team. Do you need some custom graphics to help build brand awareness? You will need to hire a graphic designer.
The only way you can be sure to get project results you expect is to fully communicate your needs and expectations. To do this, you need to understand the scope of your project and be able to explain the project requirements.
In order to have a general idea of the full website development stages breakdown, under our services area we have listed our web design process.
7. Be Specific with What You Need Done
Web design and development cover a variety of needs. There are several elements that go into designing and creating a website. You need to consider how many pages your website needs, what functionality you need, and the message you want to deliver with your website. The more specific you are, the more closely your web design agency will be able to deliver your vision. Being specific will also save time and money in the long run.
8. Plan for the Future
Any good web designer will tell you that you need to keep the future in mind when planning your website. Your website will be the platform you use to deliver everything you want viewers to know about your brand. That’s why you should create a website that is scalable. This means it can easily be expanded as your business grows. If your web design agency is not open to creating a scalable website, or they don’t know how to do so, you should keep looking.
9. Set Your Budget Ahead of Time
Before you begin planning, it’s important to create a clear cut budget for your project. This will help your web design agency successfully identify your options and allocate your budget in the most effective way.
Most decision makers base their decisions on ROI when they make an investment for their business. When considering your budget for web design and development, you need to consider the long-term value of establishing your online presence. You may need to spend a decent amount of money up front, but you should begin to see a return immediately. And, the return on this type of investment will continue for years to come.
10. Find a Team Focused on Customer Satisfaction
There are several large businesses that offer web design and development, but most of these businesses outsource their work. Therefore, you deal with a middle man who goes between yourself and the people who are actually working on your project. When it comes to customer service, these businesses are seriously lacking. This can be detrimental to your business. You may save a small amount of money up front, but you get what you pay for.
Larger web design corporations don’t place a direct focus on customer satisfaction. If can be difficult to get in touch with your team. Pick a web design agency that has its own team of web designers, developers, and graphic designers who have a customer-centric focus. This will breed better results for your business.
11. Find a Proactive Web Design Agency
Being proactive in anything in life is an asset, but it can be particularly helpful in the IT industry. A proactive web development team will detect issues early on and find a quick solution. They will also stay on top of tasks and deliver your project on time. When you find a proactive team, you’ll build a better relationship and develop a higher level of trust than you would with someone who is just meeting your needs. When your team is proactive, your business will benefit in the long run.
When you talk to any web design, graphic design, SEO, or any other similar type of service provider, it shouldn’t take long to get a sense of their level of expertise. A professional web design agency should be well spoken, listen carefully to your questions, take proper notes, provide you with a detailed quote, and they should know their stuff! It’s not a bad idea to compare a web designer’s professionalism with other businesses or services that you’ve been satisfied within the past. How do they compare?
12. Be Up Front About Deadlines and Expectations
One of the best tips we can offer about finding the right web designer for your business is to be upfront about your deadlines and expectations. The more open you are about doing business, the easier it will be for your team to cater to your needs. Discuss your deadlines before you hire an IT professional. You need to be sure they can fit your project into their schedule and meet your expectations.
When it comes to the expectations you have for your website and graphic design projects, share as much information as possible. Even if it feels silly, talking openly about your vision can help bring your designer closer to your goal. They are an extension of your business team and it is important you keep an open line of communication and a high level of honesty when it comes to your needs and requirements.
13. Trust Your Gut
You should never be afraid to ask a lot of questions when meeting with potential web design agencies. At the end of the day, the perfect fit for your business is a team that you can truly trust. Don’t leave any stone unturned. There are so many options available when it comes to web design, web development, and graphic design. Don’t just settle for the first company you meet, especially if it doesn’t feel right.
Trusting your gut can go a long way in the world of web design. You really want to find a company who cares as much about your brand as you do. Ask the right questions and do your homework. As long as a company matches the most important tips listed above, if your gut feels like you’ve found the right match, follow it! At the end of the day, you want to make sure you find the perfect fit for your business. It will not only make the process easier, but it will also ensure that your business gets the best results when establishing your online presence.
The Bottom Line
We’ve thrown a lot of information at you when it comes to picking the perfect web designer for your business. Take it all in! Remember, this is good information that will help you ask the right questions and take the right action to get the best results for your business.
Discuss your project thoroughly. Be sure the web design agency you choose can handle the scope of our work. Ask for their experience, portfolio, and references. Find a team that is proactive and delivers open lines of communication. Don’t forget to plan now with the future in mind. Be specific with expectations and deadlines. And, always trust your gut. If a team doesn’t feel like the right fit, don’t settle. If they check off all the important qualities of a good web design agency and you vibe well together, go for it!
When you create a high-quality, captivating website, you will benefit from a long-term return on your investment. When you invest in your web presence, you meet the necessary standards every business needs to get ahead in today’s competitive market. By having the right web design agency work alongside your company, you’re on route to great returns on your investment.