What to Look For When Hiring a Web Design Company

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What should you look for?

Planning to have a new website or need to refresh your current website? Choosing a web design company can seem a bit daunting.

Having provided creative design for over 30 years and web design for over 15 years, here are a few of my tips, highlighting what to look for when choosing a web company to partner with.

These days a website is no longer build it and they will come, building a website requires an ongoing relationship with your web partner, so it is key make sure they have the expertise you need. Creating a website takes time, expertise and input from both parties. Make sure you both have a clear communication process from the start of your relationship.

1. Established business

Make sure your web company is a well established business. Your website is your most important asset, so the company you work with you needs to be a well established with a good track record.
• Check they have the range of skills needed to complete your project, either in-house or via their trusted partners.

Will you need to source branding, photography, copywriting or can your web company supply this for you? Saving you time in additional communications and sourcing.
If you need bespoke functionality, e-commerce or automated marketing funnels can your web company provide these? Again, saving your additional time and sourcing.

What to look for:

  • Outstanding track record - with great case studies
  • One point of contact, for efficient communications
  • The very best project management systems – for efficient communication and sharing of assets
  • Friendly and easily communicate with – your going to be communicating a lot during the project
  • They can demonstrate a strong skill set
  • A complete range of services – so they can handle all of your project, not just a bit of it
  • Can demonstrate they'll make the whole process easy

Don't use family connections. Just because you have a nephew or niece who took a class in web design at colleague doesn't mean they can create a business driving website. Friends and family don't make good partners when developing your online presence. Unless they are creative directors of their own digital agency!

2. Endorsements

If the web design company produces great work, they should have some great endorsements from current clients.

Endorsement could cover:

  • Proof of effective client communications
  • Ongoing support - providing you with website care
  • Help with technical issues - websites are technical there's no getting away from it
  • Are willing and able to give you the priority support you need

3. Previous Website Projects

This will give you a guide as to the style and breadth of the work produced by the web company and if it fits with your tone.
Do they have a wide range of website design solutions which show skill and expertise in creating websites for business?

They should have a comprehensive showcase of work and be able to demonstrate their processes.

  • Strong project management skills
  • Outstanding creative design
  • A well defined process for website mapping and structure
  • Up to date knowledge of information architecture
  • Well designed, unique graphics and images
  • Unique photography and photoshoot art direction
  • Strong User Experience design techniques
  • Well presented copy, and have access to an SEO copywriter
  • Ideas for promoting your site after launch
  • Knowledge and defined process for marketing funnels and lead generation techniques

4. Advice on the best type of website for your business

Can they advise on what route is best for your business, not just the route they know? When starting out on your website project your website company should be able to advise you on what type of website platform your business will need.
Do you need a bespoke build to meet an exact project specification or would Open Source be better for your project?

For e-commerce there are some very robust solutions that your web company use to fit your store needs.

Types of website projects:

  • Bespoke build - useful for very unique functionality or back end system integration
  • Open Source - Such as WordPress and  WooCommerce
  • Hosted platforms, for example, Shopfiy

5. That something extra...

Will they go the extra mile, and provide consistent support.

Once your website is designed and built, what next?
Creating your website is just the start of marketing your business on-line.

You will need comprehensive ongoing support and a creative partner, who can provide you with the following:

  • Ongoing Content Marketing
  • Ongoing Search Engine Optimisation
  • Blog Development
  • Blog copywriting and photography
  • Email marketing
  • Off line marketing - print design, exhibitions, direct mail
  • Creative ideas - to make your business really stand-out

"Our firm has worked with Belinda [Arttia Creative Limited] for over seven years. Prior to this we were with a large agency who liked to start every meeting with a rather pointless presentation on branding which took up quite a lot of our time. Belinda is able to help with many things. She has designed leaflets, built our blog, recreated our website to be mobile friendly. She manges our news page which she SEO’s for us and adds beautiful photographs. She manages our competitor analysis and monitors our Google ranking positions for our free listings. In short, Belinda is able to offer a holistic service to help us get noticed, not just by our competitors who copy us, but by our clients. Thanks to Belinda we are able to punch well above our weight as far as the God Google is concerned. Believe you me that’s a hard thing to achieve but together we have done it."
Managing Director, Large Law Firm.

The Takeaway

When planning your next website project do your homework and research a digital partner who will deliver the best for you.

Bargain websites are not bargains at all. Often the source of website development disasters is down to lack of investment by both parties. Your website is your key business asset when marketing business online. Invest to get the returns you need.

A great web design partner will support you during and after your launch. With ideas for content marketing, blogging, Search Engine Optimisation, deciphering Google Analytics data and getting the best traffic and leads from your website, providing the very best long-term results.

We ask many questions right at our first meeting. We'll dig deep into all aspects of your project. The more questions we ask, the better we can understand what we need to deliver for you to get the results you need.

I hope these few points assist you in choosing web company a little easier.

At Arttia Creative I specialise in website design, that's all I've done for the past 16 years. I've spent those years putting into practice the very best website design, SEO and content marketing techniques. I can probably predict the next 5 problems you will have with your website project and because I've worked through them and solved these problems, so you don't have to.

My level of in-depth experience will end up saving you both time and money on your website project.

Looking for web design and development?

From people who understand every nuance of the website, SEO and digital marketing landscape.

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About Belinda White

Belinda White, Website Consultant, Digital Strategist and award winning Designer with over 25 years’ experience of developing and creating successful brand, print and digital campaigns for her clients. Belinda knows upcoming industry trends, best practices and a talent for interpreting her client’s businesses, both on and off-line. Past creative industry experience includes working on creative projects for BP, Shell, P&G, Marks & Spencer, Nike, WH Smiths, Master Foods, Co-op, Argos and Sage to name a few. Expert in Life Science Web Design and Digital Consulting. Crafting all aspects of print design, branding development, front-end web development, user experience design, search engine optimisation, email marketing campaigns and 10x content creation.