Whether your business is a startup needing a website or an established company whose online presence needs a fresh look, your website is an extension of your brand, so it’s important that it represents you or your company well. WordPress is a popular, easy to use content management system (CMS) that serves thousands of companies world wide. If you haven’t worked with WordPress before, hiring a professional web development agency is a great way to make sure your website represents your brand in the best way possible.
However, WordPress’s popularity also means that there are a plethora of web development agencies who specialize in WordPress. Deciding which agency to collaborate with can be a bit overwhelming. We’ve put together a list of tips to help you make the best decision when choosing a WordPress agency for your new website.
Tip #1 – Know What You Want
First and foremost, it’s important that you set some goals for your website project. You’ll need to do some preliminary thinking about what you want out of your website before you can even think about what to look for in a development agency.
- What kind of project are you working on?
- Is it a short term or long term project?
- Does the website need to have any specific functionalities like an internal membership page or ecommerce section?
- What are the goals of your website?
- Gain more subscribers
- Increase clientele
- Sell products or services
Once you have a general understanding of what you hope to gain from your website development project, you can start comparing agencies based on the following 3 criteria:
- Web Development Approach
- Company Culture
- Previous Work
Read on to learn what to look for in each category!
Tip #2 – Web Development Approach
Every agency has a different approach to web development. Some are more hands-on while others rely on a lot of work from the client. Likewise, agencies differ in whether or not the client strictly interacts with the project manager or if they have regular contact with the whole development team.
It’s important to recognize what role you would like to play in the development process. If you have a lot of concrete ideas and just need the team to put them in place, an agency with lots of client participation would be beneficial. However, if you are planning to rely heavily on the creativity and ideas of the development team, then be sure to look for an agency who is willing to assist with every step of the process. This includes considering post-project. Knowing yourself and your company, decide if you would like a WordPress agency with an updates and support team or one that will train you on how to edit and change your website.
Tip # 3 – Company Culture – Find the Right Fit for You
When looking for a WordPress development agency, you should also consider the company culture there and how that aligns with your personal preferences and needs. Is it a large or small sized agency? This can make a big difference in your experience as a client. With a small agency, your primary contact might be among company leadership, and it’s likely that the agency specializes in something specific. However, if you choose a larger agency, you will probably interact with your account manager and be one of hundreds of ongoing projects for that company.
Take the time to learn about how the agency prioritizes clients and what would be a projected timeline for your project. The size of the agency may also determine how quickly they can take on your website or if you would need to coordinate with them months in advance. It’s important that you choose a WordPress agency with a company culture that will adhere best to your needs, timeline, and budget.
Tip # 4 – Previous Work
Pay Attention to their Portfolio
Portfolios are incredibly helpful when deciding whether or not you’d like to work with a particular agency. Most web development agencies will feature some sort of portfolio on their website. If this is not easily accessible, consider that an immediate red flag. Take a look at the design elements, writing style, layouts, and functionalities of their different examples and see if there’s one that appeals to you. Additionally, consider if they are relevant to what you’re looking for.
…But Don’t Make the Portfolio Your Only Focus
While it is important to make sure there are examples in their portfolio of previous work that you like, don’t base your decision on that alone. It is common for agencies to hire third party designers, copywriters, photographers, etc. for their projects, so if you really like the layout and design of an agency’s portfolio, take the time to learn whether or not the agency actually carried out that aspect of the project (or if you would be able to work with the same outside company for your project). This helps put the portfolio into perspective.
Additionally, don’t forget to look past the initial visual aspects of the portfolio and dive into deeper questions about an agency’s previous work such as:
- Are the websites optimized for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
- What is the user experience on mobile?
- Is the website effective at accomplishing its goal(s)?
We want you to have the best web development experience possible, and choosing the right agency is a huge part of making that successful. Overall, remember to choose an agency that supports the goals, strategy, and view for your project.
At BuildThis, we pride ourselves on being one of the top WordPress Development Agencies in Chicago, and we would love to hear from you about your upcoming website project! Contact us today to learn more about our web development strategy and company culture, and check out our portfolio here!