With 1000s of web design agencies in the UK offering what can all seem like the same services, how do you choose who to ask for a quote? It can be tricky to find a professional WordPress company.
The best way is to ask the right questions before you ask for a proposal:
- Has the agency built previous sites similar in size and scope to your requirements?
- Do they have the capacity to complete the work within your timescales?
- Do they do all the work in-house or outsource it offshore?
- If they use a content management system, what is it, and do they customise it to your needs?
- If they use WordPress, do they use an off-the-shelf theme, or do they build you a bespoke site?
- What assistance do they offer with content planning, SEO and optimisation?
- Do they support the site once live with maintenance and tools such as MOZ and Google Analytics?
- Do they have project management tools to ensure the project runs smoothly?
- What web page design experience do they have – can you see examples?
New web development – it’s all about the process.
So you have answers to your questions, and you’ve got some quotes from a few website design and development companies.
These quotes are the next clue to who you should commission to build your new site. When you’ve received all the proposal documents, check that they:
- Clearly outline the process that the agency will follow to give you the best web design service
- Break down all the costs into stages of the project and detail what happens during each stage
- Have initial stages that include provision for planning, content, keyword research and information architecture
- Talk about visitors, user persona’s, site journeys, calls-to-action, landing pages and conversions
- Do not simply talk about designing websites. The design is a crucial stage of the project, but it’s only part of it
- Cover-off what happens after your site has gone live (don’t forget that there’s also web hosting and ongoing design services you may require)
If you receive proposals in the body of an email, bin them. Any agency that offers the best web design service will have a tried, tested and polished process that they adapt to each project and client.
No two web design projects are the same, so if it looks like you’ve been sent a proposal that’s been thrown together, look elsewhere.
Fast and cheap is not the best web design service.
While it might be tempting, don’t opt for the cheapest quote. Any agency offering to build your site on a shoestring budget and have it live next week and going to cut corners, produce scrappy work and leave you wishing you’d gone with a professional web development agency.
It’s estimated that most web project expectations exceed the project budget three-fold.
Your new website, done properly, will cost £1000s, not £100s. It should win you new business, so the spend is an investment that should pay dividends – another important reason not to opt for the cheap option.
You don’t just need a website.
Web projects have a start, but they certainly don’t have an end. Once your new site has been launched, the real work begins. Therefore, to get the best web design service you need an agency that:
- Has an ongoing support plan or options for your site – can they offer all the web design services you need moving forward?
- Talks to you about blogging, content marketing, keywords you should be targeting and how to rank in the search results
- Repeatedly mention SEO, email marketing, list building, reporting tools and optimisation
- Uses the term ‘return on investment’ in relation to everything that’s going to cost you money
Every pound that you spend on your site should get you a return. The best web design service provider will know this and will have conversations about that before the project starts. They should ask you about your business, objectives, market, customers and so on.
If they don’t, the chances are that you’re going to be delivered something that works, looks nice, but does very little else.
Pushing the button.
When you’re satisfied that your shortlisted agency has answered all the points above, and you’ve arrived at a project spend that works with your budget, it’s time to get started.
Before you do, there are a few other things to check.
Never commission a website without reading through the agencies terms and conditions.
Ask for a copy of these before starting the project and make sure once you’ve paid your bills, the code and site are yours – you’d be surprised how many agencies build you a site you think you own, only to find later that you’ve just been ‘renting’ it from them.
Find out about payment terms.
Web agencies that offer the best service often ask for a project deposit. If you’re a new client, this is pretty standard, but double check the payment terms with the agency.
Ask about future costs.
If they’ve not covered it in their proposal, ask about ongoing support and maintenance costs. Remember, the day your site launches, it starts to get old, so keeping all the software updated and ahead of the hackers is crucial.
Once you are satisfied you’ve ticked all the boxes, sign on the dotted line and get started. By taking the time to seek out the best web design service, you’ll end up with a website that works hard for you and wins you new business.
Need a new site? Get a quote from Toast – we build sites that work hard.Need some help with WordPress? Get in touch.