In the digital-first era we live in today, a website is one of the essential tools for a business. Whether you're having it built from the ground up or redesigning your existing website, there's a consensus that having a website is vital for companies to connect with and inform users. Choosing the right web design agency can have a long-term effect on your site's success, and therefore your business's success. So, to help you pick the right agency (like FifthColor!), here are seven significant questions you should be asking your agency before you choose to employ their services.
How will your agency approach my website's design?
Design and user experience are critical elements in building a good website. Still, it needs more than pretty colors and animation – it needs optimized images, headline tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.), a suitable structure, and local hosting. The agency you select should explain these concepts, how they approach them when designing websites, and how they will design them to benefit your website.
Who will be working on my website?
The size of the agency working on your website isn't as important as knowing who the team is. Questions like: are the designers UI/UX certified? Does the agency operate 100% in-house, or will the work be outsourced, leaving the agency you're hiring to act as the middleman when issues arise? Will you be able to contact them directly for immediate support? To figure this out, you should direct questions to your agency that either can or cannot be answered on the spot.
- What web designs have you done for businesses similar to mine?
- What certifications has your team earned?
- What kind of challenges has your team faced in designing projects such as mine?
- What are some achievements your team has made when tackling similar projects?
The agency's response to questions like these should help determine if they are the right choice for your web design needs.
Do I have to sign a lock-in contract?
Many agencies will suggest a six or twelve-month contract that locks you into relying on them for anything and everything. Want to change your front-page feature? You'll have to call the agency. Have a great social media post you want to get out there? You'll be calling them up for that, too. An agency that values its customers will have a contract that allows you access to your business' website and social media pages to take ownership of your investment. Of course, the agency will still have to be there for SEO optimization, major site updates, and other emergencies, but you should own your website.
Where will my site be hosted?
Canada? Nicaragua? Timbuktu? This seems like a silly question, but without a host, your website doesn't exist. We host all of our websites in the cloud, allowing faster loading times wherever your users are located in the world. At FifthColor, our hosting is managed locally, which provides more security and quicker, more efficient assistance.
Do you have any customer testimonials?
When you meet your prospective agency, you should ask them for customer testimonials. This is an excellent way for you to evaluate their skills and what clients they serve best. For example, if they have 100 excellent reviews from fast food diners, your commercial real estate business might prove to be a challenge for them.
Do you have a portfolio of recent work?
After you are given reviews from your agency, you should ask to see a portfolio of their recent work. Some agencies might hang on to one or two projects for years that they nailed, so asking about their current projects will provide better insight into the work they are doing now. After all, staff can change over the years at a design agency just like anywhere else. Evaluate if the agency is currently aligned with your style and website necessities.
How often is my website information backed up?
Things will occasionally go wrong, if only because they can. If it happens to your business, you want to be assured that your website's data is backed up and can be restored without having to start all over from scratch. A good agency will regularly backup your website data and have a plan ready to enact if something goes awry. Websites should be backed up weekly or bi-weekly.
Asking proactive questions builds a positive relationship with your website agency. The answers you receive will provide insight into the agency's skills, experience, and creativity. Afterward, they will help you decide if the agency is a good fit for your business.
Our team of experts has extensive experience in website design and development. Having built over 100 custom websites, Jared, our Director of Front-End Development, oversees all front-end development projects, maintains 60+ live websites, and manages in-person and remote team members. His focus and insights allow him to create award-winning custom virtual experiences using various technologies from HTML5, Bootstrap 4, JQuery, CSS3, and PHP.
Jared builds pixel-perfect sites, leveraging best practices and the latest technologies to ensure future growth for the client. Forecasting issues, problem-solving and troubleshooting, bugs and beyond, is a skill set Jared leans on daily.
Jared's expertise is backed by practical experience, and as a rated expert in CSS on Pluralsight IQ (204) with an Associates in Applied Science in Mobile Application and Development.