Has the agency been around for a while, or are they a start-up? If it’s a well-established agency, their longevity suggests they must be doing something right.
Don’t immediately write-off the newbies though. Take a closer look at the key people who’ll be involved in your project; how long have they been doing what they do?
If your website’s very simple, you know exactly what you want, and you’re not fussed about the website working all that hard for your business (and there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that – your marketing effort might be better spent elsewhere), then planning and strategy aren’t going to be at the top of your wishlist.
But most businesses and organisations need a website that delivers an impressive return on investment and to maximise ROI you need a site that’s well-planned by people who know what they’re doing.
It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re weighing up who you should choose for your website project, but don’t underestimate the importance of good standards of coding and design. Will your website be W3C compliant and adhere to best practice with regards to accessibility and usability?
Definitely make sure your new site’s responsive and gives users the best experience on all devices, including tablet and mobile. This goes beyond simply resizing menus and images – a well-designed responsive site considers connection speed and how our behaviour changes when we’re using different devices, and adapts accordingly.
What do you actually get for the price of the project? Will the site be populated and ready to go live or will you need to put your content into an empty site? If the website is populated with your content, how much effort goes into styling it properly, or is it just an exercise in copy and paste?
How much will you have to do?
Who writes the content? What about images/video/other stuff? How much do you, the client, have to do?
Ask yourself how much time you have to put into the project. Are you better off having the experts doing everything for you, or would you prefer to save a bit of money and do more yourself?
You need to know you’re going to get on with the people you’re going to be working with. What impression do you get from the agency’s website, the way they responded to your enquiry, your email communications?
Do they seem like your kind of people?
Can you work with these guys?
How well does the agency communicate with you? Do they understand where you’re coming from and can explain their ideas clearly, or are you left befuddled by marketing speak and jargon?
What’s also important is how you’ll communicate during the project. Will it be face-to-face, over the phone, or just by email? Sometimes things get lost in translation when you’re only able to talk over the phone or by email.
Article adapted from Tomango