Investing in your company’s website is a pretty run-of-the-mill decision. Whether you’re having it built from the ground up or redesigning your existing website, there’s a general consensus that having a website is a good idea for a business. Choosing the right web design agency can have a long-term effect on your site’s success, and therefore your business’ success. So, to help you pick the right agency (like Sun Graphics Media!) here are nine questions you should be asking your agency before you choose to employ their services.
How will your agency approach my website’s design?
The truth is, any agency worth their salt will be able to make a visually appealing website. If not, you shouldn’t be bothering with them in the first place, should you?
The right agency knows a good website needs more than pretty colors and animation – it needs optimized images, headline tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.), a suitable structure, and local hosting. The agency you select should be able to explain these concepts, how they approach them when designing websites, and how they are going to design them to benefit your website.
Who will be working on my website?
The size of the agency working on your website isn’t as important as knowing who the team is. Are the designers UI/UX certified? Does the agency operate 100% in-house, or is the work going to be outsourced, leaving the agency you're hiring to act as the middleman when issues arise? Will you be able to contact them directly for immediate support? To figure this out, you should direct questions to your agency that either can or cannot be answered on the spot. Questions like:
- What web designs have you done for businesses similar to mine?
- What certifications has your team earned?
- What kind of challenges has your team faced in designing projects such as mine?
- What are some achievements your team has made when tackling similar projects?
The agency’s response to questions like these should help determine if they are the right choice for your web design needs.
Do I have to sign a lock-in contract?
A lot of agencies will suggest a six or twelve-month contract that locks you into relying on them for anything and everything. Want to change your front-page feature? You’ll have to call the agency. Have a great social media post you want to get out there? You’ll be calling them up for that, too.
An agency that values its customers will have a contract that allows you complete access to your business' website and social media pages to take ownership of your investment. The agency will still have to be there for SEO optimizing, major site updates, and other emergency situations, but your website should be owned by you.
Where will my site be hosted?
Canada? Nicaragua? Timbuktu? This seems like a silly question, but without a host, your website doesn't exist. Local hosting will provide more security and quicker, more efficient assistance. You should know if your website is going to be hosted locally (highly recommended) or outsourced (not recommended). It will also affect the accessibility of your site to visitors.
Do you have any customer testimonials?
When you meet your prospective agency, you should ask them for customer testimonials. This is a great way for you to evaluate their skills, and what clients they serve best. If they have 100 excellent reviews from fast food diners, your commercial real estate business might prove to be a challenge for them.
Do you have a portfolio of recent work?
After you are given reviews from your agency (all of Sun Graphics Media's reviews will be stellar, just sayin'), you should ask to see a portfolio of their recent work. Some agencies might hang on to one or two projects for years that they really nailed, so asking about their current projects will provide better insight into the work they are doing now. After all, staff can change over years at a design agency just like anywhere else. Evaluate if the agency is currently aligned with your style and website necessities.
How often is my website information backed up?
Things will occasionally go wrong, if only because they can. If it happens to your business, you want to be assured that your website's data is backed up and can be restored without having to start all over from scratch. A good agency will regularly backup your website data and have a plan ready to enact in the event that something goes awry. Websites should be backed up weekly or bi-weekly.
Asking proactive questions builds a positive relationship with your website designer. The answers you receive will provide insight into the agency's skills, experience, and creativity. Afterward, they will help you decide if the agency is a good fit for your business.
But in reality, it won’t matter for them because you’ll be hiring Sun Graphics Media anyway!
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