So you need a new website and you know that you can’t do it yourself.
You’re off to a good start.
What’s more difficult than making a decision on something that you know nothing about? Nothing.
When it comes to web design, your options are endless. From freelancers to local dev shops to full-scale digital marketing agencies, it’s easy to get driven into decision overload very quickly. Making a decision on something that is expensive and not a one-and-done project makes it even more difficult. You may be tempted to cut corners in the beginning which may mean paying more in the long run.
In order to narrow the scope of potential web designers, we recommend asking yourself the following 5 questions:
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Designing A Website
In order to make the most informed decision possible, we encourage you to take a step back and think about what you really need from your website. By answering these questions you’ll be able to narrow down what kind of web designer is best for you.
1.) What does your business do?
There are many different kinds of websites. What kind of website do you really need? What industry are you in? Are you selling a service or a product? Knowing who you are as a business or brand is important before finding the people to help you with it.
2.) What are your website goals?
Set your goals ahead of time. What are you trying to get users to do when they come to your website? If you’re new and trying to introduce your audience to your brand then you’ll need a very different plan than if you have a high-trafficked e-commerce website.
3.) Who is your target audience?
Who is coming to your website? Are you targeting a specific industry or size of business? What attracts one group of people can deter another, so knowing who your audience is ahead of time is crucial. Not sure how to define your target market? Here’s a helpful article: How To Define Your Target Market >>
4.) What is your budget?
Define your budget. This is so important. As with other purchases, you get what you pay for. If you have a modest budget, don’t start by searching for the largest web design agencies.
5.) What is your deadline?
Have a ballpark date in mind before looking for a web designer. Is there a specific event or occasion that you need the website launched by? If working with a shorter turnaround, can the project be broken into phases?
How To Choose A Web Design Agency
Amongst many others, here are a few different routes you can go when choosing a web design agency: freelancers, boutique firms, or full service digital agencies. All three options have their pros and cons and none of these are one-size-fits-all.
Freelance web designers are self-employed designers who generally take on small to medium sized projects from clients.
Hiring a freelance web designer is going to be your most competitively priced option because they don’t have a team of employees and multiple departments.
On the same token, because freelancers are responsible for handling all aspects of their own business, you do take on a bit more risk as a client. As a one-person team, they may have limited availability due to splitting their time amongst multiple projects.
Boutique Web Design Agencies
Boutique web design agencies are often specialized in their service offerings and streamline their focus to only one or a few programming languages or platforms.
Boutique agencies are a great option for businesses that find themselves wanting a modern and secure website without the pricetag of a full-service web digital agency. They can often be a great combination of budget and value.
With a boutique web design agencies, you need to do your due diligence to see how they approach projects. Do they have a standard process? Do they offer a lot or seem too good to be true? Some boutique companies offer many services but don’t have experts for everything, which may mean utilizing multiple firms for different services.
Full-Service Digital Agency
If budget is not a concern, consider working with a full-service digital agency. They are a one stop shop for all of your design, branding and ongoing marketing needs. They have in-house experts to tackle virtually any question you need answered.
That said, large companies typically charge a significant fee for this luxury. By identifying your needs ahead of schedule, you may be able to find a boutique web design agency (or freelancer) to accomplish your goals at a more affordable price.