17 questions to ask when hiring a web design company
Building a website is the first and the most important strategy to promote your business. It is an important investment that gives your business pretty fast returns. It is highly recommended to ask or interview the web design company you’re considering to work with.To help you select the right web design agency, we have prepared a list of questions that you can ask or interview your potential design firm today.
1. Can we know your core services?
Web design agencies, these days, they are a complete package. They can do all design and development work themselves and even have marketing strategies. You need to find out whether the agencies you are looking into have all these services and how good are they with their services. The competition between the agencies is fierce these days and to beat each other they claim to provide the best and quality service, which is proved to be a big lie later. You need to know how good they are with all their services so that you can fully entrust them with your project.
2. How big is your team and how long have you been working in the industry?
A good agency is that agency which has a full team with them; design team, development team, testing team and marketing team. Most of the design agency lacks the development and marketing team which are very important needs in the processing of your project.
You should also question your agency how long have they been in the industry. Experience highly matters here. An agency, been long in the business and which has done similar projects like yours will easily be able to handle your project and give you desired result.
3. How do you base your pricing?
You need to find out the pricing policy of your design agency. Find out how they are basing their pricing, is it hourly or linear rate based on the completion of your project. Most of the agencies, they send their pricing plan on their proposals. It is always better to clear the pricing of the project before hand so that you don’t get trapped in additional costs later. You need to make a proper analysis of the price, it might be too higher than your estimated budget.
The best way to find out the working capability and creativity of a design firm is by analysing the previous websites they have built for their clients. A website tells a lot. From the navigation bar to the font selection, each small detail matters. See whether the website they have built is of the latest design, user-friendly and how much the design matches the business style of the respective client. You can also track how well the site is competing online.
5. How will my project be handled? Can I know the process?
Ask the working process of your potential website design agency. Each design firm has their own internal web design process which may vary from each other. We have 5 stages of website design process here in Nirmal Web Studio:
- First stage: Research and Planning
- Second stage: Designing
- Third stage: Developing
- Fourth stage: Testing
- Final stage: Launching
Get to know the project manager or the respective personnel who will be involved in your project. Ask him/her if you could get the ongoing updates and report of your project time to time so that you can know the progress of your project and too, give your necessary feedback to them.
6.Will my project be handled fully in-house?
It is found that most of the web design agencies in Sydney outsource their projects to other third party companies. Mostly, the development portion of the website is left to be handled by the third party company. You might only care with the project completion of your website and totally be okay with your project being out-sourced. It might not seem an important matter but, it is surely a matter to consider. If the potential agency is outsourcing their projects then, do find out to whom they are outsourcing it and make sure that your project is completed on given deadline within your budget and meets all your requirements.
7. Who is going to take care of the content?
Content plays a vital role in engaging your readers and bringing traffic to your website. It has been an important factor for the ranking of your website in the search engine. Most of the business firms are investing more in content marketing these days. If your website has high quality and unique content with the use of keywords that matches your business then you can rank even higher in Google. A web design team with a good knowledge and skill of writing SEO optimised content with designing creative graphic images is the best to hire.
8. How much knowledge do you have of SEO?
If a website is a car then SEO is the fuel for it. Without fuel, a car cannot run and is of no use. Similarly, only building website will not bring you business you want. Without doing SEO and ranking high in search engine, you will never be able to find the business or your potential clients. Find out whether the team has a knowledge onSEOo friendly web design or not. A website which is designed fulfilling all the criteria of search engine optimisation will surely be able to index well and rank high in search engines, especially Google.
9.Will you fully custom design my website or use the customised theme?
First of all, you need to know the difference between the custom and customised theme. In a custom built website, every pixel and layout performed by the firm itself and the website purely hand-coded by the qualified developer of the firm. It will be unique and you will be the only one supporting it online. Whereas, the customised theme can be used by anyone. It is far affordable as we have both the free and premium options of the theme. Many web design firms use customised themes to build a website which is far easier, faster and affordable way. Ask your potential firm how they are going to build your website and mention them your interest too.
10.Will my website be responsive and mobile-friendly?
A responsive website is a website which can be viewed on all devices like mobile, desktop, tablets, etc. Google has confirmed the fact that more searches are found on mobile than desktop. After rolling out the Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm, Google has been giving more priority to those sites which are mobile friendly. Find whether your web design team is well aware of this update and ask them to make your site mobile friendly.
Source: Breakdown of facts and data extracted from Search Engine Land
11. Will I be able to make changes to my site in future?
Once your site is built and launched, you might need to update it in future. To do that, you should be familiar with your website and should be comfortable to make updates yourself. Some of the design teams train you or your staffs and allow you to make future updates through content management system whereas, the remaining does not allow you to do so. They only allow the changes to be made by themselves with an additional charge. So, you need to find out the policy of your potential website design company on this.
12.If I don’t like the initial design, then what is the process?
Every web design agency has its own initial project agreements, which may include the call for numerous changes or a certain amount of revision. You might not like the layout of your website and want to change to different one. The colour and font style might not match your concept or your business concept. So, you should be able to tell your design team about these changes and they should be okay with it and make the changes as per your wish. It is one of the important things to be taken care of before signing any deal so that you don’t have to face any kinds of dissatisfaction and arguments with your potential design agency later.
13. How long is it going to take to complete and launch my website?
Deadline is an important thing to be taken care of. Most of the professional web design agencies in Sydney provide a deadline for your project and stick to it. The length of your project may depend on the size of your website and if your potential design firm is experienced and professional, they should be able to estimate the time that may take to the completion of your project and should give you the timeline at which they will complete your project and handover it to you. You can also ask for the references to know the timeline they had given to their previous clients and make calculations.
14. How do you measure the success of your work?
Business owners invest on the website in order to bring their business online and get good ROI. It is surely a marketing channel to grab your potential clients. If your website does not attract visitors and does not rank high in search engine then, it is of no use. Find out whether your potential design firm is limited on designs only or they also track their success through the website traffic and conversions.
15. Do you also offer domain registration and web hosting services?
A website needs a domain name in order to go live. Domain name registration is handled by the most of all web design agencies; web hosting services might be optional. Ask your design firm whether they include domain name registration and web hosting services in their service package. Find out whether the name you want for your site is available or not, if yes then tell them to register it for you and if not, ask them for suggestions. You too need to find out for how many years is your domain name registered for and the overall cost. After going through all these, you too need web hosting in order to keep your site going on. If your design firm provides web hosting service themselves then, find out with whom is their server and is monthly maintenance included. If they don’t have this service, then ask for recommendations.
17.Do you also do A/B testing?
A/B testing validates new design changes using the data and statistics and helps you improve your conversion rates. You can find lots of best tools for A/B testing, but, I prefer “Unbounce” of all. You can check out the shocking results business owner got after performing A/B testing of their site. This test has produced a staggering 439% uplift in leads of the website. You can also go through these case studies which has the lead rise in conversion and sales of the business. Very few web design agencies may offer this service as a follow-up service. Ask if your potential web design firm has this service and if yes then, how much will be the cost be.
18.Can we have your client references?
Going through the client references is the best way to know how capable your potential website design and development company is. Ask your website design company for references or you can also check them online. If the company is well reputed and been in the industry for long-time then, you will surely find the client reviews somewhere. See how happy their old or existing clients are with their services and results.
With these 17 questions, you are surely going to find the best web design company and avoid the major pitfalls which are the reason of the failure of the projects. Don’t rush in finding the web design company, take your time. Pour all queries that you have to the potential web design firm and after you get all your queries cleared and if you feel you can trust the firm then, hire them.
You should make sure you know what you’re getting into before settling on any website design company.