How to Choose the Best Web Design Agency for your New Business Venture? - 7 Top Tips for Web Design Success.
It seems today that almost everyone is a web designer! Search online and you will be inundated with so-called design agencies, app developers and online specialists. Of course, they all claim to be the best, with the latest technology and skills to rival NASA, but how can you tell which agency you should trust with your hard earned cash!
Get it wrong and you can find yourself not only paying out top dollar for a website which doesn’t meet your needs but paying again to find someone who can do it right! So, save yourself the grief and follow our simple tips to find the right web designer first time.
1. Expertise and Experience:
Ask to see their portfolio. Some companies may be somewhat selective in what they display online and may not show all their work samples. Ask them to show you work they have completed similar to your own project. This will give you an idea if the company has the capability to deliver similar functionality. Unless your project is unique, you should be wary of a web designer who cannot provide you with working examples of previous projects.
Have an idea of what you need to spend on your project before you speak with web designers. You want to have a quality product and this may not mean selecting the cheapest quote.
To give you an idea, gain an understanding of how many hours the project is likely to take. Developers you ask to quote should give you the potential number of hours which you can multiply by the industry’s average hourly rate which should give you a ballpark figure as to what you are likely to have to spend to get the project right.
Whereas you may not wish to go for the most expensive quote, it is vital to understand what the project may cost in order that you can afford the best possible implementation.
Technology is a vital part of any web system and should play a key part in your decision-making process. You will find that various agencies will specialise in certain technologies like programming languages and frameworks for what they have experience in.
Ideally, you should look to select a technology which is both portable and scalable in order that any future changes or growth can be accommodated without a massive upheaval. For example, Ruby on Rails is a modern programming language, however, it is not used by as many agencies as opposed to PHP based frameworks like Laravel or Codeigniter which are used by the majority of development houses.
In terms of scalability is it vital to ask what would happen if your web traffic, products or customers were to increase over time and what would be required to ensure that your site is still able to maintain a good level of services. This may affect the decision made about the underlying database which supports your site, however forward-looking decision at the inception could save considerable time and cost in the future.
4. Customer Review:
What previous clients have said about your selected web development company is vital. Ask to speak to some of the previous clients, an agency with nothing to hide will be more than happy to make an introduction. Also, look for online reviews and comments.
You will be starting what could be a major project and you need to be sure that the promises made by the sales team are backed up in reality with good service and support throughout the life of the project.
5. Copyright Terms:
Once you have shortlisted what you think is the ideal agency you need to ensure you read the contract and the small print. Who will own the source code and copyright for the work? Will they transfer the full copyright or hold onto part of it? - This could leave you locked into the same developer for any future changes. Do they use third-party software or add-ons, if so who controls the ownership of these and will there be ongoing costs?
An honest agency will be up front and not try to hide behind overcomplicated terms and conditions. You should easily be able to find out who owns all parts of the project and what ongoing liability there may be.
6. Non Disclosure Agreement:
Do not be afraid to protect your ideas and concepts you should ask for a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). This protects you contractually from a third party copying or disclosing your ideas and it an important requirement if you feel any part of your project is commercially sensitive.
7. Aftercare Service:
Aftercare service is vital, you need to know that, once your site is live that you will be able to get the original developers to support any potential issues or changes. You need to understand the level of service offered, this can range from full hosting and maintenance through to on-demand service. Will they back up and manage the servers? What is their response time? It can feel like a long time if your main website is down and you are waiting for your contractors to respond.
If your chosen supplier does not offer the required aftercare do they have a partner company or can they recommend someone who supports their development? Above all you need to understand the costs for the service, it is vital to have the level of service you require at an affordable price.
Follow these simple tips and you will be sure to find the right web developer and ensure that your project will go without a hitch!