With more businesses moving to online marketing it’s critical that your website lives up to your customer’s expectations, but it’s not all about looks and features. You want a website that will increase revenue, save you time and increase customer satisfaction. A good web agency can and will work with you to achieve your goals.
You’ll likely put substantial investment into ensuring that your website is perfect, which is why finding a web agency that delivers quality work, on time and budget is vital.
Here is a short list of what to look for in a web agency:
- Good testimonials from previous clients
- A detailed portfolio of prior work
- A good work ethic, and friendly approach
- A transparent process, and services
- Most importantly, are they interested?
Review the web agency’s testimonials
A recommendation is worth its weight in gold, especially when it comes to services like web design that tend to last longer than most.
Look for testimonials that detail the web agencies work ethic, process and personality; a testimonial that ssay “they were great” shouldn’t be possible since there is so much involved in any project.
Here’s one of our testimonials for a two-hour piece of work we did. Short testimonials are irrelevant.
Sometimes it can feel like IT related people are speaking another language (or at least it does to me). However with Digital Ducks they couldn’t have made things easier. Toby replied in minutes, sorted the problem out in no time at all (despite others telling me it was a huge problem that would take days to sort out!) and were so so reasonably priced. I would recommend to anyone experiencing any kind of website problems and will 100% be returning to them should any problems arise in the future! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Don’t just stop at a written testimonial, find out who the client is and send them an email, the worst that can happen is they don’t reply.
- Read both good and bad testimonials
- Ignore short testimonials
- Email previous clients for more information
Look at the web agency’s portfolio
Every good web agency will have detailed case studies, take a look through them and determine if the style they typically use matches what you’re looking for.
Be sure to read and not just look, a good agency will detail why they worked the way they did, usually based on research, common practice and customer feedback.
Nothing goes perfectly
As business owners you know that nothing goes exactly to plan, and in web design that’s no different. A good case study should reflect the project, process, problems and solutions; since anything less won’t help you get a feel for the agency.
- Look at their previous designs, for a style you like
- Read the case studies, looking for explanations of why they designed the way they did.
- Be cautious of case studies that don’t explain anything.
- Be suspicious of case studies that didn’t have any problems.
Find a web agency that you want to work with
Typically a bespoke website will take weeks, if not months, so being able to work together is vital.
When looking for your web agency, ask yourself these two questions:
Can they do the job
Based on testimonials and their portfolio you should have a good idea as to whether they can do what you want them to, but to be sure schedule a face-to-face meeting or a Skype call.
You want them to understand your goals, and to help create a plan to reach them; any agency that doesn’t help come up with ideas isn’t worth the money.
Would they pass the beer test?
The beer test is a simple question; would I spend time outside of work with them? That’s it; you want someone that you feel comfortable around and who you enjoy talking with.
Transparency from a web agency is essential
You hear it all the time “We’re a transparent company”, but they rarely are; with hidden fee’s, miscommunication and empty promises, it’s tough to find an agency that means it. So look for clear descriptions of services.
Do they detail their process?
A web agency will always have a set process they follow, for example here at Digital Duck, we use a seven step system of:
- Web Design
- Website Content
- Web Development
- Web Hosting
- Training & Support
On occasion, you will find agency’s that don’t talk about their process. In instances like that, I’d either contact them for more details or avoid them. If they aren’t saying it, then they’re likely trying to hide it.
Are their services clearly described
The best service comes from companies that clearly explain what you can expect from them, and for your money.
Don’t be fooled by jargon; because you don’t want to be paying for something you’re not benefiting from; so, as a rule of thumb if you don’t understand it, ask for clarity and if they still use technobabble then avoid them.
Do they advertise fixed prices?
If you’re looking for a bespoke website then showing fixed pricing isn’t a good thing. Remember, bespoke means “made for a particular customer”, so how can anyone give a price before knowing what’s going to be involved?
Instead, organise a face-to-face meeting to explain what your goals are and discuss your options. If you have a budget in mind be upfront about it because, even if it’s below average, any good web agency will still talk you about costings and create a plan to suit you, or at the very least work out a payment plan.
- Look for a clear project process
- Look for understandable explanations
- Avoid fixed pricing (You’ll likely get an off the shelf theme)
- Be upfront about your budget
- Try and organise a meeting even if they are outside of your budget.
Is the web agency excited to work with you?
A web agency is supposed to guide you to the best outcome for your business, so look for one that genuinely seems like they want you to succeed.
You can tell if an agency is a good choice when you go to a meeting, and they show a genuine interest in your business by:
- Asking lots of questions
- Coming up and explaining ideas
- Giving constructive feedback to your ideas
- Not saying yes to everything
That last one is important because a good web agency won’t be saying yes to everything, instead they’ll be asking questions, and giving constructive criticism.