If you are new to the digital world, or you are seeking an updated website, choosing a web design company can be both a daunting process and a confusing one. With the largest variety of web design companies available right now, it’s important to understand exactly what to look for in a company.
From the design to the style, and of course, the budget, there are many different facets that businesses must take into consideration. At Black Flag Creative, an award-winning web design agency, we wanted to help make your process of picking a web design company that much easier.
So, without further ado, here are 10 tips to consider when searching for the best web design company.
This may be singlehandedly the most important tip to keep in mind when choosing a design company. To start, all design companies range in prices from shoestring to Rolls Royce pricing. This all depends on a variety of factors from experience to products that they use. With that said, knowing your budget is the first start to a successful relationship. However, expect this budget to fluctuate depending on the recommendations of the company. If you have not taken the time to read our blog about how much a website costs, be sure to do so! It provides some valuable insights as to what you can anticipate!
For instance, depending on your business model, brand design, and overall design desires and needs, your budget will raise because of add-ons and customization. It is important to keep in mind that your overall budget may rise depending on specific requirements or design elements you may desire. For instance, custom fonts, welcome videos, and graphics can cause the overall price of a simple website to raise due to the additions.
To add to this, custom designs tend to be more costly than utilizing minimal graphics and stock photos or videos. As the last point to cover, it is important to develop a budget and when discussing your project and budget with the web design company, only introduce about 70%-90% of your budget. This will give you some wiggle room during the negotiation process or if adding add-ons or specific design elements to your website.
As the second most important tip of advice when searching for a high-quality web design company, knowing your budget is crucial alongside knowing their budget. It is important to note that there are plenty of companies that are well above your budget as well as below. Therefore, it is important to shop around, much as you would shop for a car or furniture. Not only do you want to ensure that the web design company you are choosing is up for the job, but that it falls within the parameters that you have chosen.
With that in mind, ask the web design company bluntly what you will be getting as far as service for the budget in mind. Questions to consider are: does this budget come with monthly maintenance? Will I be receiving monthly updates to the template? Is the design custom or is it a template? Are their added costs for plugins and specific designs? Overall, transparency is the best method of communication to ensure that this relationship between you and the web design company is fruitful.
As one of the tips that you cannot miss, looking at the web design company’s past clients is a must. Every web design company will have a series of their preferred “testimonials” or clients that they will want to show you. However, make sure to always ask about other companies they have worked for that are not publicly on their website or social media channels. At Black Flag Creative, we take pride in sharing all our success stories with you. Take a look at our treasures here!
According to Web Design Rankings, the goal is to “learn from websites that came before you.”
Reach out to these companies and ask them about the agency itself. Was it worth it? Did the agency deliver on time and within budget? This is where doing your “homework” and making sure you read into the history of the company is important!
When selecting a quality web design company, look for out of the norm review methods and the many different only social platforms the company is listed under. Do not just go to their website and read their testimonials or reviews. Go to their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other important social media platforms to better get to know the brand and what they can do. With that, reputable brands will have a quality social media presence alongside a following. If the brand is newer to the scene, they may have fewer followers and comments. However, it is important to look into the comments and reviews on their social media channels.
Outsource Insight mentions that “a strong social media presence is a reliable indicator of a good web design company.”
Once you have started looking at both their history and comments, now it is time to get to the nitty-gritty of the company. It is important to evaluate the many different areas of experience the web design company may have. The reason being is that a web design company with well-rounded experience in numerous areas is more likely to create high quality and impressionable results that stand out above the competition. To add to this, web design is not a straight and narrow road. It involves design, coding, marketing, and many numerous factors. Therefore, it is important to note what the experience of this company is within these many factors.
Most agencies will not only offer web design, but also monthly maintenance services alongside marketing, digital media maintenance, email marketing and more. The rule of thumb is that if they get you results in one area, consider the same company for the other areas!
Now, this is a tip that is often overlooked. Many individuals feel that, as long the web design company is doing their job and you can see what they are doing, then all is smooth sailing. With Black Flag Creative, it is smooth sailing! However, you can also reach us easily and that is a factor that is crucial in the work environment. When considering a web design company, read their reviews, get to know the company, and consider their level of communication. Do they respond in a timely manner? Do they have proper communication skills? Can they be reached easily? Do they also communicate in proper English? A company’s English and grammatical skills are a great indicator of the level of care they take into their communication. With that in mind, choosing a web design company is not only about their history and quality work, but also your relationship with them and how they treat you.
A quality and experienced web design company should be able to layout project deadlines and an overall estimated timeframe to complete the website. In short, project deadlines give the website design company more credibility and you a clearer scope of work to be able to understand what is required from this process.
With that said, ShivarWeb talks about the importance of a contract. “A written contract helps *everyone* in the project. The contract should spell out “deliverables”, costs, responsibilities, intellectual property rights, and an adjudicating body.”
All in all, a contract puts everyone on the same page and lays out all of the things expected from this project ranging from budget to added costs, the scope of work, and maintenance.
A quality web design company will never create your website and make it “live” without you seeing the initial mock-up and giving in your input. With that, it is important to consider if the company you are considering allows for multiple revisions of your website. How will you be receiving the mock-up? When should you expect a rough draft of the design? How many times can you request changes? It is important to consider that no quality and valuable design company will have you conduct unlimited changes. If so, the project would take longer and they would ultimately lose money by always doing revisions. With this, it is important to consider that the web design company is the professional, so if they suggest against a specific design element that you are requesting, consider why.
Although this aspect is often overlooked, it actually happens to be one of the most important aspects to consider when selecting a quality web design company. The reason being is that you want to ensure that the company that is creating your website is using a quality hosting service to create the website. To add to this, you want to be able to log into this host and also take it over if you need to once the website is complete and finished. However, many individuals not familiar with web design do not fully comprehend the importance of the web host. Not only can using a different web host can slow down a site, but it can also cause many different problems such as load speed issues and server errors.
According to Web Design Rankings, if your website is being hosted across the country or on the other side of the world, it may affect the way it shows up online to visitors compared to the competition. So, always make sure you know where your website is hosted.
It is important to always ask for the credentials of your own website. What is the point of having a website if you cannot log into it to yourself? With that, a quality web design company will always be transparent enough to give you the needed information and credentials to sign into your website. In short, this is crucial to ensure that you always have control over your website domain, website design, and the backend of your site.
Now that we have discussed ten of the best tips to consider when selecting a web design company, we want to share a list of questions to ask and consider when selecting a company to create your website.
With all of these tips and questions in mind, you are now fully prepared to choose your expert design company. Not only will you be able to conduct proper research, but also get to know more about the field and the variety that there is out there. The most important step is to have a variety of companies to consider and to take your time. Website design is not a one-week process. Often, this relationship can go on for months and you want to ensure that it is both fruitful and starts off on the right foot.
With Black Flag Creative, communication and transparency are key. Therefore, our goal is to sail you towards your ideal website. With that in mind, if you are seeking a design company that has a special touch with every client, consider Black Flag Creative and contact us today to begin sailing the seas with us.