Having told you all about how NOT to choose a website design agency last week, this time we’re going to talk about the best way to ensure you end up with a brilliant, wholly suitable web design partner.

What do great commercial relationship look like?

You need someone you can trust to deliver graphic design excellence every time. You want a designer capable of pulling together all the disparate pieces of information about your organisation to create a powerful, attractive, eloquent whole.

You need a talented web design partner who you like and respect, someone completely professional who genuinely understands the power of design. Someone who responds to your queries quickly and efficiently, someone with a well-developed business conscience.

You need to find someone who understands the ever-changing technical side of web design and the eccentricities of search engines. You need someone with an appreciation of on-site SEO. You want the whole thing to be good value for money. And you want to get on well with your website design expert from the start.

As we explained last week, pitches, on spec work and tenders are off the menu, a bad idea and something to avoid. So how do you pick the right web design agency?

7 steps to choosing the best web design agency partner

Website design is much more than creating eye candy. It’s about building a finely-tuned, hard working marketing tool. Here’s how to identify the very best web design provider for your business.

Find out whether the agencies you’re considering have experience in your sector, or have worked on a similar project in another sector. This’ll tell you whether they have the right capabilities and expertise. If someone has no experience at all but just enjoys dabbling in graphic design, walk away.

  • Do they make an effort to understand what content you need, your site’s essential functionality and what your target audience wants? If not, it could be a sign you’ll need to spoon-feed your agency… not good!
  • Find out how they operate from a project management perspective. What does the creative process look like? How do they plan? How to they do research and win insight? And how do they report their findings back to you? Professionally or via a crappy, poorly-written email? This’ll give you a good idea about the agency’s likelihood of repeating their former successes.
  • Do they have a recognisable house style? If so, will it suit your brand or look silly? If not, can they demonstrate a broad spread of design styles suitable for different sectors, or are they a one-horse outfit with limited creative ideas? That’ll tell you whether or not the agency’s output and skills are right for the job.
  • What about their technical nous? You can find out by asking how they tackled the last big Google algorithm change from an on-site optimisation perspective. If all you get is a blank look, they won’t have what it takes.
  • Do you get on well with the creative team? Did you click straight away with individual people or find yourself less than comfortable? A good working relationship is really important.
  • Do the provisional costs the agency came up with dovetail with your budget, along the right lines, or are they out of the question? If it looks like a poor financial fit, find someone else.

We love to work with organisations who trust the strength of our portfolio, which speaks volumes about our business. We’re happy when a client comes to us through a word of mouth recommendation, something that happens a lot. We’re also delighted to provide the information you need to make a sensible decision about whether to partner with us. The only thing we won’t do is pitch for your business. We’re better than that, and we hope you are too!

Let’s talk about website design

We do things right. Contact us to find out more about our excellent website design services.