It doesn’t matter what type of business you run; you need a website. Gone are the days where people are flicking through the Yellow Pages to find companies that will cater to their every whim. It is all about searching online nowadays. If your company isn’t working with a web design agency to optimise your online presence, you aren’t getting found.
Luckily for you, by stumbling across the website for Sanders Design, you have already shown that you know that you need a website. However, navigating through the myriad of web designers is akin to walking through the maze at Glendurgan Garden. If you don’t know where you are looking, you are going to get lost.
I decided to make things a little bit simpler for you. I want to tell you everything you need to know about choosing a web design agency. I won’t beat around the bush. While I would love for you to work with us here at Sanders Design, my concern is making sure that you get the right web designer for your needs.
Understand what you need for a web design agency
Before you go searching for web design agencies, you will need to be putting in a little bit of work yourself. You need to think about what you want from a website, i.e. what do you expect people to do once they land on your website? Do you want them to make a purchase? Do you want them to get in touch with you? Do you want to collect their email address so you can send them promotions? Are you looking to build a social media platform based on your interests?
It is exceedingly rare that you will find a web design agency that can cater to all of your website needs. As brilliant as Sanders Design is, we specialise in creating websites for small, medium, and large businesses. We probably wouldn’t build a site that would rival the behemoths like Twitter and Amazon.
Once you have a basic outline of what you want from your website, it makes your life a lot easier. Even a couple of lines of info could tell a web designer whether they will help you or not.
Ideally, you will want to search for companies like ours that use WordPress as the backbone of your site. These sites are highly adaptable, and, for the most part, a web designer will be able to incorporate just about any feature you need for your business. It shouldn’t take too long either.
Look for a local web design agency
Sanders Design is a fierce advocate for using a local website development company. This isn’t just because we believe that business should be kept local, although it should be wherever possible.
Using a local web design agency means that communication becomes a lot easier. For example, if you are a hairdresser based in Truro, would you rather try to convey your needs to a web design agency in the US, or would you rather speak to somebody a little closer to home in the UK?
It would be best to remember that a local web designer would know how business works in your local area. For example, when we design websites for our London-based clients, we have a solid idea of what the London market is all about. We know what potential customers they want. We know how to give websites uniquely British charm that web design agencies on the other side of the globe wouldn’t.
Read reviews for companies that design websites
Web design is an investment for a business. Proper web design can help to generate unfathomable amounts of business. Bad web design? Well, it could send a company the way of the dodo. Businesses are made and broken on the strength of their website. This means that you need to get it right.
I highly encourage you to read as many reviews as you can for any web design company you are looking to deal with. This means both their positive and negative reviews. Get a feel for the experience that others have had with the company. Have other people felt that they didn’t get their money’s worth? Have some people commented on the fact that their business has exploded due to their site design? Absorb all this information.
Remember, companies do get negative reviews on occasion. This is part and parcel of doing business. I am sure that you have had a couple of negative reviews too. As much as a company would love to please everybody, they can’t. This is why you need to also focus on the positive reviews. Focus on the words of the negative. Discover whether this is an issue that you are likely to run into yourself.
If you work with me, I am more than happy to provide you with testimonials from past clients that I have worked with.
Check the web design company’s past projects
Any website design agency worth its salt will maintain a portfolio. This portfolio should be up to date too. After all, the world of web design is changing faster than the tyres at a Ferarri pitstop. Well, almost.
Going through the portfolio of a website design agency will give you a feel for the work that they can tackle. Remember, sites are not just about functionality. They are about beauty too. Any web designer will see the websites that they create as works of art. The chances are that you won’t like every work of art that you will ever set your eyes upon. As we said, a company can be the best in the world at what they do. However, they won’t be able to please everybody.
What you are looking for in the portfolio of the website design agency is:
- A site that functions well
- A site that plays into your design tastes.
If you check out my portfolio, you will notice that the work carried out here at Sanders Design is pretty varied. The art styles that I can tackle will be varied. This means that I feel that I accomplish most products that come in my direction.
Communicate with the web designer
Stumbled across a company that is ‘cheap as chips’ and noticed that they barely respond to your calls? Well, that is what happens when you sell an inferior service. If the whole business philosophy is stacking those customers high, then customers will never be able to get one-on-one time with their designer. The customer will have no way in which they can convey what they want from the project. This means that they are less likely to end up with the site design that they want.
When I put together my price list here at Sanders Design, I spent a lot of time ensuring that I could get that delicate balance between affordable websites and being able to offer that personal service to my clients. Whenever I work on a website design project, I always try to ensure that I am available.
You should expect nothing less from a website design agency. When you are looking for one, make it a point to speak to the website design agency. See how they respond to your requests. See how willing they are to take your feedback onboard. If a company isn’t ready to do this, then give them a skip. Without fail, I can promise you that you will end up with a website that you are disappointed in.
Remember, a website is meant to be a statement for your business. It is meant to be unique to your company. It is part of your branding. You don’t want a site that looks like it has been made by somebody that clicked a couple of buttons and called it a day. That is what you will get if you work with non-responsive companies.
Look for a web design agency that offers responsive web design
Did you know that more people than ever are looking for products and services from their mobile devices nowadays? You may even be reading this article from your phone or tablet.
Sites don’t just display appropriately on phones or tablets by magic, though. A lot of design work has to go on behind the scenes to create a website that can adapt to any screen size that it is displayed on. This is known as responsive design.
If you are on a desktop computer, you should try opening up this website on a mobile device at some point. You will notice how the site changes based upon the device that you are on. This is exactly what you want. You want a site that is easy to browse for your customers no matter what device they are using.
It isn’t just the customers that you need to be on the lookout for either. Google is doesn’t look favourably upon websites that do not have responsive designs. Therefore, if you do not have a site with a responsive design, you may end up being tough to find in the searches.
You are future-proofing your website by working with a website design agency that will build your site with a responsive design. You don’t have to change things up later on. Believe me, if a website design agency didn’t create a responsive design for you, you would probably end up needing to create a new website in a few months. This is just more expenses for your business.
Check that they offer SEO/SEM services
Having a website that looks good and functions well is only half the battle. You need a website that can actually be found online. No self-respecting website design agency will leave you in the lurch.
You want a company that is willing to do a spot of search engine optimisation on your website. This means doing a few things behind the scenes to ensure that your site can be found online. This means making your site good for both Google and for your customers.
One of my main focuses here at Sanders Design is to design brilliant websites and help businesses get found. I work hard on SEO, and I can even offer ongoing SEO services.
Just like with the responsive design, if you do not choose a company that works on SEO when designing your site, you will need a new site designed sooner as opposed to later. I am positive that your accountant won’t be a huge fan of that.
Does the website design agency offer ongoing maintenance for your site?
Sites need ongoing maintenance. They need regular updates to ensure they continue to function correctly. They need patches to cover any security flaws. They need sprucing up to ensure that they continue to load as quickly as the day that they were created.
No business wants to do site maintenance themselves. It is tough to tackle, and it is rather time-consuming. This is why you should use a website design agency that offers ongoing maintenance services. For a small fee, you can save yourself the headache of updating your site. Let somebody else do it for you. It will allow your business to continue to thrive online!
Get in touch with Sanders Design
Luckily, if you are looking for a website development company, you won’t have to look very far. I have been doing business as Sanders Design for a long time now. I have helped countless companies in the UK and further afield. Many of these have ended up being hugely successful online.
When it comes to web designers, Sanders Design offers the complete package. We have the skills to tackle almost every web design project. My team are easily reachable and responsive to your needs.
Get in touch with me here at Sanders Design so we can discuss your web design project together.