The reason for this of course is simple. This is the information age, where everyone and everything is connected to the World Wide Web in some shape or form. Indeed it’s become something of a business blasphemy to have a business that does not have even the most basic web site. As such, the beginnings of marketing starts on the internet. With that in mind, web design is crucial in securing business in an increasingly competitive market.
Of course, like many things in life, web design isn’t something you can just pick up and do. It’s an art and a science all of its own, and to someone who’s about as literate in computers as I am in Ancient Hebrew, it can all be a little daunting. Likewise, most website hosting sites don’t always offer the features, freedom or flexibility you need to get your business’s website credibility off the ground. Fortunately, like many things in life, there are people willing to do all that for you. For a fee, that is.
Web design agencies are plentiful these days, but that’s just another problem in itself -- who do you choose? How do you decide who to choose?
First and foremost, consider your needs and wants. Just what exactly do you envision your website doing for you and your business? A website orientated around a charity, for example, will have different needs to a website dedicated to purchasing used cars submitted by customers and users. Likewise you should want to consider the sort of customers you want to attract and sort of theme your business should have -- a banking website should void cartoony graphics and font, while a website advertising supplies for children’s parties should not look formal, stuffy or grown-up. Deciding on this quickly can help you determine what to tell the agency in terms of web design.
Once this is done, examine the sort of work the agencies in question have done in the past. Who do they normally work for? What websites are listed on their portfolios? Do they even have one? If not, strike those from your list. They’re either very poor agencies, or else very new and may not have the experience or skills you require. You should also look at customer testimonials, or even phone past customers to enquire about the service the agency provided.
Now, consider your costs. If your business is small and does not expect to attract large revenue, you should not fork out money for a company whose cost outweighs their gain. Minimal gains are also not to be considered. However companies that charge suspiciously cheap rates are probably just that -- suspicious.
Finally, contact the agency in question. Get into contact with them and grill them on their experience and skills in web design. Try to get an idea of how they work and what they’re like to work with.
Ideally the agency should be immediately responsive and helpful in their feedback and discussion. They should express immediate interest in what your company does and how they can help it, offering clear, concise strategies to build the website and get it into the consumers’ consciousness. This means asking questions about what your business does, your intended customers and how in-depth you want the website to be. They should not focus solely on themselves nor spend time selling features you don’t need or want.
You should also try to get an impression of what they’re like to work with. Ideally the conversation should be just that, a conversation. If it sounds more like a marketing pitch, you may wish to look elsewhere. Remember, these people will be working with you. In that sense, it is ideal that they treat you like a person, not a means of making money.
Most important of all is getting an idea of whether they know what they’re doing. They should immediately lay out a fairly detailed plan on how they intend to design your website, and give clear indications of how they intend to increase sales.
For more information about web design agencies, or for information about online marketing in general, visit the website of ExtraDigital, a successful Kent-based online marketing agency. You can also contact them directly by phoning 01227 686898.