A new website, be is a re-design or brand new build, is no small undertaking - there's loads to think about and get in to place in order for the end result to look the way you imagined it. Fundamentally, the most important thing is that you're working with a designer that you trust can get the job done effectively, on time and on budget.
There's an endless number of web design agencies out there and available with a quick Google search: some crazy cheap, some super expensive, some incredibly creative and some total rip-off merchants...
So what can you look for to make sure that you're working with one of the good ones?
Their own site
The first key indicator is their own web presence and identity - Is their own website any good? Is everything totally clear and easy to use/navigate? Was it made by them?! It may seem obvious but it's always double checking the footer for build credits.
Any credible designer or agency should have a clear portfolio and be proud to showcase their work on their own website. Do they have a particular style that you like/are looking for?
Do they have additional information and links to live website's as well as screenshots/images? We recently came across a web design site that had a portfolio of 10+ website projects, only 1 of which was a live 'real' site that we could have a look around!!
Make sure they provide links to previous project so you can take a look around and (again) check the footer for a designer credit!
Are they interested in you
Working with a designer or agency shouldn't just be about the website - your chosen designer needs to understand you, your business and it's brand culture in order to effectively translate that through your new website. When your making enquiries a designer/agency should be asking you questions about your business, how it started, who works there and what is it like there?
Working on a new website should be a collaborative process, a good web designer is open to your own ideas/aspirations and needs to be able to put your ideas into action. At the same time, they should be willing to provide creative solutions and bring their own ideas to the table in order to get the best possible result.
Is their process clear - either on their own website or through your initial communications with them?
The sort of stages you should be looking for are:
- Initial Consultation
- The Actual Project
- Ongoing Maintenance
Find out how things work during the build project itself - once the website is finished do they manage things in the long run? Do they provide basic training so you can keep your new site up to date? That's how we work!
You also want to look for a designer/agency that clearly communicates every step of the way and ensures that you understand exactly where you're at, at any given point! Communication between client and provider is the most important aspect so you need someone who is responsive, reliable, honest and clear.
This one may seem obvious but is it clear that they know what they're talking about? Do they specialise in a particular aspect of web design, platform or technology? If so are they any good? It's not always possible but do they have any clear creds?
As as example, we specialise in Squarespace design/development and are incredibly proud to be one of just a handful of UK registered Squarespace Specialists that are recognised by the platform itself as a designer providing quality websites for clients. As such we're able to display our Squarespace Specialist badge down there ↓.
Do they have any other services that can be incorporated into your relationship? Additional expertise will add longevity to your relationship with your chosen designer/agency. Perhaps they can help with a new logo design or offer a launch campaign as well as the new design itself!
Does this all sound good to you?
It just so happens that we tick all of these boxes!!
If you think we might be the right designer for you we'd love to chat! Call us on 0117 230 2782 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.