It seems like everyone and his or her cousin can create a website these days. However, if you intend to stick around with your brand, you need to hire a professional web agency; especially if you want your website to generate results.
When it comes to evaluating your options, consider this:
The company website
Look at the company’s website you’re thinking hiring. Check the design, the contents, loading speed, broken links or others. As they say, “the shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot”, but on the internet that just shows unpreparedness and amateurism on the part of the web design company.
Website design: their portfolio
An established agency has a great portfolio with a solid track record of previous works for clients. Browse around their portfolio of websites, checking the description for each project to have a sense of what the client wanted and how the agency delivered the goods.
An established agency has a great portfolio
Agencies with good connections and relationships with their clients have no problem in putting you in touch with their clients. Ask the agency for at least 5 clients’ names, their emails and phone numbers. Call their clients and ask them about:
- Customer care – evaluate things like proactiveness, availability and technical knowledge
- Deadlines and delivery – of milestones, layouts, programming, contents
- Maintenance and support – if there is an ongoing maintenance plan and how happy are they
- Return on investment – if the website was developed according to plan and if it’s bringing ROI
- Pre-project and budgeting – how were the initial meetings with the agency
Don’t trust professionals or agencies that send you a budget without discussing things with you, knowing your needs, and knowing a detailed structure of what will be developed. Without a pre-project meeting it isn’t feasible to give an accurate estimate to the prospect.
By being thorough with your needs and your communication with the agency that is going to develop your website, you avoid situations like “Oh I thought this was included, now I’m having to pay extra?”
Sometimes prospects contact us and ask:
- How much is a website?
- And we ask: How much is a car?
- The client answers: depends on the car
- And we say: Depends on the website
The more complex the car or website, the more expensive it will be. So have an open mind and a detailed list of what you need for your website in order to minimize future problems.
Always set up some sort of agreement or contract. Both parties may act on good faith but sometimes things go wrong. When there is a solid agreement, both parties come out winning when they put their words on paper and layout the project.
It’s also in the agreement that things like milestones, payments, delivery, support and others will be listed and agreed between client and service provider. You should have 2 copies: one for you and one for the service provider.
An agency that develops websites should have a full team of professionals. They should have at least:
- one customer care/rep
- one designer (for the layout)
- one programmer
- one content manager
- one support/tech person
In some cases, there are smaller agencies or freelancers where it’s just one person that plays a number of these roles. However, a one-man shop cannot compete with the level of attention, detail and quality that a professional web agency can provide to a client.
Imagine if that one single person goes on vacation or is unavailable for any reason: what happens to your website if you need maintenance or an urgent redesign?
Professional agencies are up to date with all the right tools that they then provide to their clients. At Goweb we provide a site manager for our clients, as well as hosting and other services.
Make sure you work with a professional agency so you avoid headaches and have your website (or app) developed without hiccups or surprises. Get in touch with us and will help you get the website you deserve.