How to choose a web design agency in 2024

Last Updated 13th March 2024
Maze depicting vast number of choices in web design companies

This is a guide on how to find a web design agency, that you can trust.  We say agency but it could also be applied to a web design studio, company or a freelance web desinger.

With so many web design companies and agencies out there where do you start. You could start looking for a local web design  agency.  Web design is essentially a remote discipline so finding a local agency might feel comfortable but it’s not essential. You could work with a company in another country, you just need to account for time differences, language and culture.

Either way, you will need to ask the same set of core questions to ensure that your and your new ‘digital partner’ fit together.

This is a list of 20 questions that we have been asked over the years while discussing new projects with prospective clients.

Generally our initial meeting is about an hour.  There’s no fixed time but the web design discovery call as some call it usually takes that long.

Talk about budget first.

There’s no point in wasting your time discussing features and timelines if the budget doesn’t fit.  With websites costing from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands you need to know at least a ballpark figure for what you have in mind.

We need X, approximately how much will you charge?

If they try to run through a sales presentation, stop them in their tracks and ask if a simple conversation is okay.  You don’t need to be told all the problems you have and how they can be solved.  You know them all ready, Let’s just talk.

The Questions to ask.

What is your experience in web design, and how long have you been in business?

This question helps gauge the agency’s overall experience and expertise in the field. A longer track record often indicates a more established and reliable agency.

Can you provide examples of websites you’ve designed for clients in my industry?

Viewing examples of past work in your industry allows you to assess the agency’s understanding of your sector’s unique needs and design preferences.

What sets your agency apart from others in the industry?

Understanding the agency’s unique value proposition helps you differentiate between different service providers and assess whether they align with your priorities and expectations.

How do you approach the design process, from initial concept to final implementation?

Learning about the agency’s design process helps you understand their methodology, communication practices, and how they involve clients in decision-making throughout the project.

What is your approach to user experience (UX) design and responsive design?

UX design focuses on creating a positive and intuitive experience for website visitors, while responsive design ensures that websites function well on various devices and screen sizes. Ensuring the agency prioritizes these aspects is essential for a successful website.

Do you have experience with e-commerce website design, if applicable to my needs?

If you require an e-commerce website, it’s crucial to ensure that the agency has specific expertise in designing and developing online stores, including features like product listings, shopping carts, and payment gateways.

What tools and technologies do you use for web design and development?

Understanding the tools and technologies the agency uses can give you insight into their technical capabilities, compatibility with your existing systems, and ability to deliver modern, high-quality websites.

Are your websites optimized for search engines (SEO)?

SEO optimization is crucial for ensuring that your website ranks well in search engine results and attracts organic traffic. Working with an agency that understands SEO best practices is essential for maximizing your online visibility.

How do you ensure that websites are accessible to users with disabilities?

Web accessibility is essential for ensuring that all users, including those with disabilities, can access and use the website effectively. Ensuring that the agency follows accessibility standards such as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) is important for inclusivity.

Do you offer custom design or use pre-made templates?

Some agencies create custom designs tailored to each client’s unique needs, while others may use pre-made templates as a starting point. Understanding their approach helps you determine if they can meet your design preferences and customization requirements.

What is your process for handling revisions or changes during the design process?

Revisions and changes are a natural part of the design process. Learning how the agency handles feedback and iterations ensures smooth collaboration and satisfactory results.

Can you provide references or client testimonials?

References and testimonials from previous clients can provide insights into the agency’s reliability, communication skills, and ability to deliver high-quality work. It’s essential to follow up with these references for further validation.

What is your estimated timeline for completing the website design?

Understanding the timeline for the project helps you plan accordingly and manage expectations. It’s crucial to have a realistic understanding of when the website will be completed.

How do you handle post-launch support and maintenance?

Post-launch support and maintenance are essential for addressing any issues that may arise and keeping the website running smoothly. Learning about the agency’s support offerings ensures long-term success and reliability.

What is your pricing structure, and what is included in your services?

Clear pricing information helps you understand the cost of the project and what services are included. Be sure to ask about any potential additional costs or fees that may arise during the project.

Do you provide hosting and domain registration services?

Some agencies may offer additional services such as web hosting and domain registration, while others may focus solely on design and development. Understanding what services are included can simplify the process of getting your website up and running.

Will I own the rights to the website and its content after it’s completed?

Clarifying ownership rights upfront ensures that you retain full control of the website and its content once it’s completed. Ensure that the agency transfers all necessary rights and permissions to you upon project completion.

What security measures do you implement to protect websites from cyber threats?

Website security is crucial for protecting sensitive data and maintaining the integrity of your online presence. Learning about the agency’s security measures, such as SSL encryption and regular security audits, helps ensure that your website is protected from cyber threats.

How do you measure the success of a website design project?

Success metrics can vary depending on the goals of the project, whether it’s increased traffic, higher conversion rates, or improved user engagement. Understanding how the agency measures success ensures that your objectives are met effectively.

Can you walk me through your portfolio and explain the rationale behind specific design choices?

Asking the agency to walk you through their portfolio allows them to explain their design decisions, problem-solving approach, and creative thinking behind each project. It provides valuable insight into their design process and expertise.

Choosing the right partner is an important decision.

There are a lot of companies and individuals out there that can build websites.  From ‘I’ll build a website for £85’ on eBay or Gumtree to large agencies that charge hundreds of thousands, the options are almost limitless.

These are the crucial points to focus on:

  • Are they focused on measurable results
  • Are they accountable after the site goes live
  • Are they specialised and do they check every box.

If the agency that you talk to is then you are in good hands.

If you’d like to run through these questions with us then set up a call for a free consultation.