A website is the face of any business or brand. A website is vital creating a first impression on potential customers. Its features, visual effects, navigation, user experience, and even mobile responsiveness are vital aspects that need to be considered while designing a website. Any business, no matter how big or small must have an appealing website to remain relevant and visible in this digital world.

There are many things to consider when building or redesigning a website, but one of the most important decisions is choosing the right agency to partner with. Not all agencies are created equal, and the wrong one can cost you time, money, and aggravation. It is important to spend time researching asking the right questions to ask a web design company . This will help you find the right agency to partner with to create a website that accurately reflects your business.

Why do you Need to Ask Your Website Design Company Any Questions?

Websites are completely subjective and there are many ways that a website can be received and evaluated. However, ultimately it depends on the target audience you are appealing to and the client for whom you are making the website. Yes, there are some guidelines, practices, and a designer’s own perspective. However, as a client, you need to be satisfied and appreciative about your own website, or at least sure that you have one that completely meets your needs.

For that, you need to be sure that the agency you’re working with is the right one for you and your project. The last thing you want is to end up with a website that doesn’t meet your needs or expectations. Therefore, the first meeting is important to get a feel for each other and establish a rapport before getting down to the actual discovery session. It is a given that it is important for the web design company to ask questions to establish what the clients and needs. However, it is equally as important for the client ask a few key questions as well to check off some key details that need to be established to have a good working relationship and establish expectations.

12 Questions to Ask Your Web Design Company

Pixelstreet web design agency's case studies

Can you showcase your portfolio of web design projects?

When you’re looking for questions to ask a website developer, The most important one is ask to see examples of their previous work. This will give you an idea of their design style, skills and experience.

We have seen many people get uncertain responses from potential agencies. In the absence of a portfolio,  it usually leaves them with no information on which to base an informed decision about who would be best suited for the project at hand.

If this sounds like something that’s happening to you then definitely do not hesitate: Take ten minutes and shoot off some questions related to their portfolio, past work, and challenges they faced in their past projects.

Have you worked on projects in the same industry as my business?

The agency should have a few projects that are similar to what you’re looking for so that they understand your industry and can provide relevant advice. They don’t need to have worked on exactly the same project, but understanding the general trends, issues, and problems businesses face in your industry will help them identify possible solutions for you.

Prior experience in similar projects will enable agencies to provide insight and better recommendations for content strategy or user experience design skills that are helpful for someone who faces the same challenges within that same niche market. If they don’t seem interested in your goals, it is likely that they are more interested in their own agenda.

Can you tell me about your agency? (Time, manpower, any noteworthy clients, content writing services, etc.)

An agency’s project management process will give you an idea of how they will handle your project. It is important to know what to expect and when to expect it. This will help you set reasonable expectations for the project. It is important at the start of any project to set certain timelines for deliverables. For a client, this sets parameters in which they can expect certain results. This is an important criterion when choosing an agency

For example, some agencies may have a very detailed and rigid process for every project and certain timelines and deliverables that are preset. Others may be more flexible and adapt their process to the needs of each individual project, with negotiable timelines and more fluid communications. The agency’s methods for communication and collaboration will also affect the project. It is important to know how the agency likes to communicate and collaborate, and to be sure that this meshes well with your own preferences.

If an agency has noteworthy clients, it helps to establish credibility. Ask the agency who their clients are and if they have any case studies or client testimonials that you can review.

Lastly, it is also important to determine if your agency offers content management services among other add-ons. These services can be extremely valuable, but they come at an additional cost.

What do you need from me?

Value for service is important for any web design agency

In order to create a successful website, the web design agency will need some key information from you. This will include an idea of your target audience, your business goals, the functionality you require, and your budget.

You need to have a detailed discussion on what are the expectations of the website development company from the client’s side. This is a vital part of the scope of project discussion and leads to major goof ups if not discussed well in advance before going ahead with the project.

Do you want to be involved in the web development process? Do they have expectations for your involvement, or are their major decisions up to them and not yours. These are questions that must be made clear before the project starts.

What are the various project deliverables

To find the best web design agency for your project, you must understand the deliverables of the agency in the given quotations. Prices may seem expensive; however, when it is broken down into each part and has its associated deliverables, it can be seen as more economical than going with an agency that charges per hour or provides no detailed deliverables in their quotation at all.

These deliverables might include :

  • Revisions to the website design
  • Number of pages included in the website
  • Functionality of the website (e.g. E-commerce, contact forms, embedded video, etc.)
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • SEO consultation and optimization
  • Website hosting and domain setup

At the end of the day, the client should know everything about what they are getting at what prices so that there are not any surprises coming up during the development or final stage of the project. The client should also make sure that they understand all the terms and conditions of the quotation before signing it.

What is the process you follow with regards to their design and development process?

The process of developing a website varies greatly among different agencies. Some use intensive, case-to-case approaches while others work more systematically and follow guidelines set out in advance by the company’s design strategy or campaign brief; however, no two processes are alike!

If you want to hire a web design agency’s services, it is vital for you to know how they go about their design process to know and what kind of work they will be doing for you. Additionally, you should also know what you can expect from them at every phase, and also what kind of input they will need from you. This will allow both parties to resonate with each other better resulting in an output that more aptly suits you. If you want to know how an agency works and what their specific process entails, it’s best to ask them directly.

What kind of research do you do for your projects?

It is important what a web design agency’s approach to research because it will give you a general idea of how they think and what their working style is. It will also clue you in on what kind of questions they will be asking you and what areas they will be focusing on.

This is important as having an eye for detail and understanding of the target customer will assure a great user experience to customers and guide them to find out easily all the relevant information they are looking for on the website.

A developer should know:

  • Does this website appeal to my client’s target audience?
  • Do I know enough about my client as an enterprise with specific goals in mind?
  • What makes my client different from their competitors?
  • What does my client’s brand stand for and how can we show it off on the website?

The more research they do about the company, audience, industry, and competition, the better will be the website.

Will my website be custom coded or done with a CMS?

Source: YouTube (CMS VS Custom Coded Websites)

A good web design agency should have experience with both custom coding and popular content management systems. Depending on the project requirements, one may be more suitable than the other. If an agency only offers solutions in one area, it might not be the best fit for your project.

Custom-coded websites are usually more expensive and take longer to complete than those built on a CMS. However, they offer a higher level of flexibility and can be tailored specifically to your needs. Content management systems are less expensive and quicker to implement, but may not offer the same degree of customization.

Some agencies may want to use a particular CMS because it is what they are familiar with. Be sure to ask why they recommend that particular system. If they can’t give you a good reason, it might be because they are more interested in selling you on their own capabilities rather than finding the best solution for your project.

Both custom and theme-based options have their pros and cons. To know more details about them, you may have a look at our detailed blog on Custom vs Template Website

What technology do you recommend and why? Can you show us a demonstration? For example, will the website be optimized and responsive?

This is a technical question. However, it is important to understand what technology the web design agency uses before hiring them. If an agency is using outdated technology, it could mean that they are not keeping up with the latest trends and best practices. This could end up costing you more in the long run if you have to switch agencies or redo your website.

For example, it is a basic requirement for a website nowadays to be optimized for various criteria including compliance, accessibility, and mobile responsiveness. An agency should be familiar with these concepts and be able to explain how they will address them in your project.

Are there any hidden costs that consumers are unaware off.

Hidden costs questions that most agencies tend to skim over. However, transparency is vital in today’s market and allows the client to also gauge the depth of his investment. Some of the hidden costs in website design include :

  • Domain name
  • Web hosting
  • SSL Certificate
  • Website content
  • Design revisions
  • SEO
  • Security, including encryptions.

These are few of the hidden costs. You need to enquire about and chalk out when selecting a website design and development agency.

What are the various project milestones that you acknowledge and report? What are the payment T&C?

A timeline detailing project milestones that are crucial to ask a web design agency

Source: Reddit

When you outsource your website design and development project, it is important to know the various stages of milestones that the web design agency has set for itself. This gives the client assurance that the agency is aware of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and by when it needs to be done. Some agencies might not have a set process in place. This can often lead to project delays and a host of other problems.

Some of the various project milestones include:

  • Discovery and research: Project goals are prioritized and defined along with tentative timelines (2-10 weeks), scope verification, and budget alignment.
  • Design: Project designs are created and selected, including mockups, feedback, and revisions. Design mockups may include homepage designs, multiple internal page designs, desktop views, and mobile views.
  • Content writing and assembly (5 to 15 weeks): The nature of, creation, arrangement, and alignment of content is finalized. This happens simultaneously with site creation.
  • Development and programming (6-15 weeks): This is where the website comes to life. It is set up by bringing together the designs and the content and integrates with the technology to make sure your website is up and running.
  • Beta testing and review (2-6 weeks)
  • Site launch (1 day to 2 weeks)

These are important milestones that are integral to any web design and development project. There are various ways to make a payment, depending on the size, nature, and scope o your project. These need to be ironed out before the start of the project to ensure the least complications

Will you be providing hosting, SSL, and maintenance of the website, and at what cost?

Hosting, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), and website maintenance are essential for keeping your website online and secure. Find out if your web design agency will be providing these services and at what cost.

Many companies have their website hosted by their web design partner to avoid having to manage the process internally. While this is frequently advised, your firm must understand the type of hosting environment provided by the agency. This also incudes the security measures kept in place to prevent intrusions.

The client should specifically discuss with the potential web design agency regarding services like hosting, SSL, and maintenance services. This should also include the web development package.

Conclusion

All these question help you ascertain the credibility of an agency, including their ability to complete your project as specified. These questions should give you more insight into what you can expect from working with a certain agency.

At Pixel Street, we are a web design agency that takes pride in our work and has a proven track record of satisfied clients. We would be happy to discuss your project with you and answer any questions you may have. You can contact us here.

We hope this article was helpful. We wish you the best of luck in finding the perfect agency for your project!

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Khurshid Alam
Founder

Khurshid Alam is the founder of Pixel Street, a web design company. He aspires to solve business problems by communicating effectively digitally. In his leisure, he reads, writes, and occasionally plays a game of table tennis.