How to Choose the Right Web Agency

How to Choose the Right Web Agency

After working in this industry for ~20 years, we’ve heard it all, including some true horror stories like, “Our website got hacked and now our reputation is ruined, but our current developer is refusing to help us!”, or “We spent a lot of money on this website and customers are complaining that it’s slow and hard to use on mobile!”

If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to fire the agency you’re working with and get your business back on track!

Here are 5 things to consider before you choose your next web agency:

1. Objectives

Ask yourself what objectives you’re trying to achieve with your next web project. Is it to get more traffic? More enquiries? More sales?

Similarly, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this now?”.

How to Choose the Right Web Agency
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Are customers complaining about your website? Are your competitors over-taking you? Are you changing your business direction and goals?

Finding the right agency could depend on the answers to these questions, and they’ll be able to help you more effectively if they have a better understanding of your motivations.

2. Budget

How to Choose the Right Web Agency

Many people have different ideas of what a website will cost, and DIY web builders can lead to unrealistic expectations when comparing prices with a professional web agency.

It’s important to understand that there is a lot of work that goes into designing, developing, and maintaining a website, and if you’re looking to hire an experienced agency, you should expect to pay a premium.

When discussing budgets, consider that fixed/project-based agencies may offer a higher upfront cost, but this can be better value for you in the long run, as there aren’t any hidden costs associated with the project.

This is in contrast to hourly pricing where you may get hit with extra costs if the project takes longer.

If you don’t think you can afford the price tag, consider negotiating with the agency to see if you can find a balance that works for the both of you. You could negotiate by asking if/how they can reduce the price to fit within your budget – for example, consider monthly billing as opposed to large lump sums, or even offer company shares as an option.

3. What’s included?

If an agency tells you that they’re not a cheap option, be sure to ask them what’s included in the cost so you know what you’re getting for your money.

If they don’t include things like search engine optimisation, wireframes, information architecture, or content strategy, then consider hiring a specialised company to work alongside them to get those aspects right.

4. Outsourcing

Ask the agency about the people who will be working on your project, whether you’d have access to talk to them, and/or if they outsource any of their work.

Outsourcing to other local designers and developers may actually improve your project (if managed correctly) however, be cautious if the company admits to off-shoring any of their work as the results can often be sub-standard.

5. Content management

If your website needs constant updating like a blog, news site, or online store, you should have access to make any necessary changes. Talk to the agency about how this is achieved and whether they would provide any training.

If you are after a static “brochure” website, it’s not likely that you’ll need to make any changes after the site has launched, but talk to the agency if this is something you require.

We have had clients claim to require content management features and never end up using them, so consider that it may be a feature don’t need.

Conclusion

Vetting and choosing your project’s perfect partner can be a daunting task, but ultimately it’s about the people you work with and the rapport you build with them.

Listen to that feeling in your gut when you first meet someone, whether they be a builder, a mechanic, or a web agency. Do you trust them?

If you’re looking to spend money on getting the best results for your project, you owe it to yourself to shop around.

My advice would be to meet with multiple agencies, and go with the one that makes you feel the most comfortable, while also aligning with your core values.

How to Choose the Right Web Agency