In most cases, your website will be the first point to create an impression on your customers to start doing business with you. To do this, it is important to have a good website that really does what its meant to be doing, creating leads to your business. Maybe you are a small startup looking for creating your online presence or a large corporate looking to revamp your existing website. Either way, you have to deal with the task of choosing the correct web designing agency to do your website. There are so many web designing companies operating in Sri Lanka, how do you decide what company is the best to create your website?
So how can you overcome this tasks? How to find the perfect web design agency for your website development? Here are 14 tips for you to consider when selecting a web design agency in Sri Lanka.
The best way to identify a good design agency or even a person is through your references. This is the first thing you must do before you even start looking for agencies online. Because your colleagues, friends or even your customer might have the contact to the perfect agency with a good experience and good work ethics because work ethics is something you can never find out before start working with any agency, so it’s the best to get other’s opinion.
Do they listen?
You are the expert in your industry, so you know in and out of the business that you are in. You know what you are selling, what your target audience is, how the market behave, etc. So if a web agency doesn’t want to listen to your ideas, then probably you should not start working with them. The web agency you choose should be able to bring your ideas to reality rather than trying to sell their ideas.
Do they give suggestions?
While you want an agency who listen to you, you still don’t want an agency that just say yes to everything you say. You are the expert in your industry, but they are the experts in online context. So you will want to hear some suggestions from the agency if they just do nothing but nodding their heads to whatever you say, you will definitely not get a quality output. The agency you choose should bring really nice ideas into the table about how you can be successful online not only through your website but aligning your social media marketing with your online strategy.
Your first impression on them
First impression is crucial in any business regardless of the industry they operate. So what is your first impression on the agency?
Here are some points to ask yourself about the agency,
- What is their website like?
- How quick and professional their response to your enquiry?
- Do they agree to meet you without hesitation?
- Did they understand exactly what you want
- Did they listen to your requirements?
Do they have experience in different industries?
Web design agencies often work with so many industries, because every business needs a website and they can’t just stick with one industry. So check if they have work with many diversified industries. If they are specialised in only one or two industries, then probably that might not the best web design agency for you to consider.
Do they keep up with modern trends and technology?
Last thing you would expect from a new website is a design that is old and outdated. Web designers must keep up with the modern technologies and design trends to make the websites stand out. Good web design companies practice this by keeping their own website up to date with the latest technologies and trends. So check their website and the features it has when evaluating the company.
Content management system (CMS)
In modern world, the websites will have a content management system to manage the content in the website easily. There are frameworks like WordPress,Joomla, Drupal, Magento that enables CMS functions for the customers to have control over the website content. Make sure your website is built on top of a reliable CMS that can be upgradable to patch security issues without affecting your website. Last thing you want is your website got hacked and the developers say you have no option but to redevelop the website. One of the popular CMS for developing websites in Sri Lanka is WordPress, which is flexible and user friendly.
It is important to have a portfolio for a web design agency, this is the proof of work they have done in the past. Check their clients section to see the client they work with, also visit these client website to see how those looks like. Don’t get fooled by the logos of giant companies in the portfolio, no matter how big the client is if the solution provided was not up to the standard.
Ask for the process they follow
The process is very important for a project to run smoothly. You must ask the process the agency follow from the start to the end of the project on your first meeting to get a better understanding about the rollercoaster ride you are about to take. Any hiccups in the process can badly affect the quality of the final output. So if you are not comfortable with the way they do it, better find another party that you are comfortable to work with. Here is a really good article about the typical web design process for you to get a better idea.
When you give your requirement clearly to the agency, they should be able to give you a proper estimate on the cost for your website. If they have right resources, they should be able to give you an accurate estimate based on your requirement. Make sure you ask if there are any additional cost for you along the way and get everything sorted at the initial stage. Usual costs that can incur will be the cost of plugins, SSL certificate, hosting, domain name, extra change requests. It’s always better to ask if they have any terms that you need to know about additional costs.
Before you talk to the web designer, it is important for you to finalise the requirement. Most of the cases businesses contact the agencies without having a clear requirement that will lead to unpleasant situations. Having clear requirement will not only makes things easy for the designers when it comes to quoting, but it will also help you giving a clear direction for your online marketing strategy.
Content and images
Websites need to have text content and images to make it look attractive and relevant, in most cases the web design agency will ask you to provide content. But if you are not in a position to write attractive and relevant content or provide images, you must ask the agency if they have resources to get these services done. Most design agencies work with writers and photographers and also use stock image galleries to source images. If they don’t have any of these, specially good writers, then you are looking at a long journey to finish your website and put it online.
How long will they take?
Time is really important for your business, getting your website up and running fast would be your main objective to start your marketing to generate business. The time to finish the project therefore is crucial. If the designer is telling they can finish your website in 3-4 days, stay away from that agency. Average website development time would be 3-4 weeks depending on how you provide the content and images for the website to be completed. The agency and you need to work together to complete your website.
Don’t go for the cheapest guy
Your website would be the front face for your business on the internet, therefore this is not an area where you can afford to cut corners. If you want a website that’s going to work for your business, you have to be willing to invest in it. There are so many web designers in Sri Lanka coming up with many pricing options. But it is you who should decide whether to spend less now and spend more later or to spend the right amount to get the work done in one so.
It’s clear there is a lot of things to consider when looking to select the right Web Design Agency. The great thing to remember is that most of these agencies will answer your questions before you even ask them. It’s a standard practice for these companies to share a little bit about themselves, company history, about the team members during your initial meetings. Its their job is to impress you with their track record and skills.