How to Choose a Web Design Company
The best web design companies have an idea-driven philosophy, full-suite design capabilities, great turnaround time, a collaborative design process, openness to ideas, and additional services to choose from.
A well-designed and responsive website can be a huge selling point for any business. It may also be the deciding factor between meeting ROI goals and struggling to generate even half the projected traffic. This is why it’s extremely important to know how to choose a web design company.
That said, with so many companies promising to deliver an amazing website experience, it can be tricky to choose.
Worry no more! In this article, we’ll go over what you need to look for in a web design company, as well as how to choose one that’s right for your business.
Let’s get started.
Choosing the Ideal Web Design Company [An Overview]
Here are some pointers that will help you decide the web design and development firm that’s right for you.
1. Evaluate Your Business Goals
Your short and long-term goals will determine whether you need a full-suite design company or a basic design group.
Evaluating business objectives has two distinct advantages:
- Companies can better allocate vital resources for more efficient problem-solving.
- More importantly, they can project resource requirements for future projects.
Doing both will provide you with budget details that you can cross-reference with web design company pricing. You can also use this model to predict if you’ll need additional services in the long term.
All in all, knowing what you want the web design company to do for you (and the ideal results of those services rendered) can help you make a smarter decision.
2. List Your Website Requirements
Create a list of what you want in a website, including all the immediate feature requirements and future enhancements.
These requirements can include how design-heavy it needs to be, how many pages it needs, and whether you need a standard website or an ecommerce platform.
Putting your requirements in writing can not only help you polish your vision for the business, but it can also prevent wasted spending on features and services that you may not need. Plus, you can better decide the ideal service repertoire of the web design company of choice.
Once you have the required service list, it’s simply a matter of searching for a web design firm that fits well into that service bracket. While you’re at it, you can also decide if their pricing falls into the budget space you’ve made for the project.
The ideal way to list your requirements is to involve your internal product managers and executive teams in the decision process. You’ll have the insight, plus any additional input about requirements that you may have missed.
3. Confirm Your Budget
Keep an eye on the budgetary limitations of your website project when choosing an agency.
Oftentimes we see companies putting more and more money than is necessary into a project, only to be left with insufficient funds for other operational running costs. This is a very common trap, especially if the service providers produce great results immediately.
It usually leads to companies investing in additional, redundant services. However, if you already have a clear target in terms of business goals and a list of website requirements, you should be safe from this.
The best way to confirm your budget is to bring in the finance, operations, and website management teams. Get estimates from every stakeholder regarding how much the day-to-day will cost the company and how much you can allocate to outsourcing the web design.
In case you’re falling short of your initial projections, you can involve the senior management to shift the budget around and maybe create some room.
4. Look at Online Reviews
The best reviewed agency definitely should have some merits in terms of design capability and service cost.
Luckily, we live in a democracy of opinions and there’s no shortage of review aggregator sites such as Yelp, Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn. All of these sites have comprehensive and brief reviews about service quality, price, turnaround time, customer service, overall expertise, and other factors.
Now, it’s also true that online reviews are not the defining factor of what a web design company can deliver. There are companies who might have excellent service but no reviews. However, they are an indicator of quality in most cases.
Although a quick run-through will give you all the insights you’ll need, you should consider making a list of quality criteria and use the reviews to decide whether a company falls into that criteria.
5. Make a Collective Decision
Bring your marketing, operations, and executive teams together to make the final decision. Yes, it may seem excessive to include non-stakeholders in the decision, but that extra bit of advice can mean the difference between effective and wasted website design spend.
Companies today are adopting a collaborative decision-making methodology instead of having only the primary stakeholders sign off on something as important as a company website.
This is great for long-term digital growth since the entire company has a part to play in the growth and improvement of the business platform, as well as the scaling of the website.
The ideal way to go about collective decisions is to set up conferences and brainstorming sessions with key members of each department and get their views on the company based on what the latter offers.
6 Qualities to Look For in a Web Design Company
Here are some of the top qualities that an ideal web design company will have:
1. Idea-Driven Design Philosophy
A good agency will use established design concepts, but a great agency will let creativity and innovation lead the way.
This is not a new philosophy, but definitely one that you’ll need to adopt across the board for optimal digital growth.
The web design company in question should be driven by new, unique, out-of-the-box ideas that engage, entertain, and convert as well. The last one is important, since all the branding won’t do your company any good if the website is too dull and formulaic to convert visitors into leads.
Look at how the designers approach the process, from start to finish. Do they send over some templates that you can find on the internet, or talk in detail about design plans for brand new ones? Do they come up with entertaining new ideas for each specific design feature?
The answers to questions like these hold the key to a creatively charged design process for your website.
2. Full-Suite Design Capabilities
Any agency that offers a ground-up design service for highly responsive websites of any kind is worth the investment.
Yes, templates are a dime a dozen and there are even some good ones on the internet. However, nothing beats one that’s been designed from scratch, with the entirety of the design process taken care of in-house.
There are a few major advantages to having the design taken care of by a single company with talented designers. For one, you save time, money, and other resources by sticking to a single vendor. Additionally, you get to communicate your own ideas and vision more accurately.
The latter part is important because you can work much better in the long run with a single group of designers who understand your business goals, values, and vision. Plus, in case you need changes when scaling the website, you don’t need to go over the entire philosophy again.
3. Great Turnaround Time
Turnaround times are obviously a baseline concern for any business and the web design company you choose should have a track record of short or accurate turnaround times.
That said, this quality is tricky to determine since you only have reviews to base your decision on. Trying out the design company with a sample project could be too time-consuming if you need a short turnaround, but it could be worth it if you’ve budgeted time for it.
Luckily, a lot of modern review aggregator sites have detailed reviews, including those for turnaround times.
One important thing to note about turnaround times is that they’re not always an indicator of talent. Sure, they show that a design group is efficient and has the appropriate number of hands on the project. However, sometimes the process takes a little more time for the right results to come out.
Considering that, make sure to know your priorities beforehand — whether you want the outcome before or by the deadline, or don’t mind it going over the deadline a little if you’re getting amazing results.
4. Collaborative Design Process
The ideal agency should work with the client to bring your ideas to life, instead of simply using a standard process that they have developed, or worse, using some other agency’s methods.
This is vital because every brand should have a specific design philosophy that stems from the company’s internal values. The ideas that come out of it should be very on-brand and synonymous with “how they do things.”
This can only happen if the design agency takes the time to listen to the brand managers and idea-generators at the company. They should work as a single unit, bringing their own ideas to the table, finding common creative ground, and turning them into design solutions.
Of course, there’s also the issue of tailoring the solutions to the unique requirements of the brand. Again, this can only happen if the agency has a collaborative design process which brings everyone in to produce work.
5. Openness to Ideas
Despite their expertise, a web design company should always be open to ideas, regardless of who they’re coming from.
This leads back to the previous point of great design stemming from a collaborative design process. The latter won’t exist if the design company is not open to input at all, and if they prefer to use a templated approach that they developed a long time ago.
Openness to ideas in an indicator of three major things:
- It shows you that the designers want to produce a solution that suits your brand to the letter.
- It indicates that they’re inherently creative yet driven toward improvement.
- It tells you that because your input was taken, the project may not go through as many revisions as it would if the designers simply went off on their own ideas.
That last item is perhaps the most important, as extensive revisions can create costly delays.
6. Additional Services
The design agency should also offer various other services that complement the design process, such as development and marketing.
Full-scale digital marketing is already the primary marketing type in the modern business world. New companies are going digital-only, established companies are going digital-first, and even corporations are ramping up their digital marketing game.
Then there’s web development. Needless to say it goes hand in hand with web design and is part of a greater business platform development process.
If a design agency also offers the aforementioned services, you can be sure that they know what they’re doing when it comes to brand awareness and growth. Not only that, but they have the right combination of services to develop and expand an online presence.
One important point to note here is that a full-service digital marketing agency offers multiple marketing services, like content marketing, related to the individual marketing channels.
To make a better choice, you should look for one that markets web design, development, and digital growth more than others.
Why Choose EBS as Your Web Design Company?
Simply put, we bring the best in innovative, responsive, and creative design with every project we take on, no matter the size and scope.
By choosing us as their website design partner, our clients get:
- High-level web design and development by industry-leading experts.
- Design expertise that’s primed for modern platform demands.
- Tailor-made marketing strategies created to take on today’s unique marketing challenges.
- Expert branding and growth-oriented performance marketing.
- Regular performance tweaks to ensure flawless functioning before and after launch.
In addition to the above, our clients receive consistent support and performance monitoring to make sure the business doesn’t suffer any growing pains as the brand grows.
Contact us to learn more about our services and get a quote today!