Choosing a web development agency to design your website is anything but an easy task! Many people think it's enough to click on the first search result on Google to find the right provider.
Let us tell you that your search will take more time (and effort!) to find a web development agency that won't disappoint you.
If you're already ready to launch your business website, searching for different providers may delay you further. This situation can quickly escalate, and your website building project may become a painful experience.
This shouldn't discourage you, though. We will share tips to help you with your search for a web development agency. Bonus! We will even show you the right shortcut to save you all these worries! (If you prefer, feel free to jump directly to the last section of this article).
Choosing a web development agency: not an easy task!
- How will the web development agency bill your website creation project? Hourly? Daily? Package-based?
- Are there any "hidden" fees that don't appear on the agency's quote or possibly on the final invoice?
- How many contacts will you have before, during, and after the website creation project?
If you're already asking yourself these questions (and many others), it means you're level-headed and off to a good start! One last question would be:
- Is there a one-size-fits-all solution to save you all these worries?
The short answer to this question is: YES! The slightly longer answer can be found throughout this article.
Before choosing a web development agency: 3 main questions to ask yourself.
While waiting to find the right provider and get to know them, you need to know yourself! To do this, it's easy. Just find realistic answers to these 3 main questions:
- What is the purpose of my website: marketing, corporate, or something else?
- What is my actual budget right now?
- When do I need my website? (Urgent? Not urgent?)
11 things to check before signing a contract with a development agency
1. Know and define your actual budget
Whether you have a lot of financial resources or just enough to start small, the same question applies. Having a clear idea of your allocated budget will help you choose the right web development agency.
Our advice: be honest with yourself and be as realistic as possible!
2. Obtain the agency's pricing (a fixed package is better)
In general, web development agencies provide a "Request a quote" button on their website. It's a good initiative from these providers and an opportunity for you to initiate contact and ask the right questions.
Our advice: Ask all the necessary questions, without beating around the bush!
3. Visit the agency's website and check its reputation
The old adage is quite clear: Charity begins at home!
The agency's own website will provide you with information about its image and seriousness. If you feel something while browsing their website, whether positive or negative, you should take it into consideration. For example, you wouldn't entrust your website design to a company whose website already looks bad on your smartphone!
Our advice: Don't even try to find an excuse for a development agency with a mediocre official website!
4. Contact the agency directly, by phone or in person
You may not realize the information you can get from a phone conversation. Even if you have the email address or contact form of a website development agency, call them and discuss directly.
Tip: While remaining polite on the phone, feel comfortable asking your questions! (Remember to have a notepad and pencil handy!)
5. Inquire about fees (both apparent and hidden)
On this point, be direct! Successfully choosing a web development agency depends on the level of transparency it displays. Here are the types of questions to verify:
- Are SEO, information architecture, and content strategy included in the price?
- Are design and development included in the cost? Or is it just the cost of design?
Our advice: Equip yourself with a website creation checklist to identify the different billing elements.
Also, consider reading our article: 5 reasons to build a professional website yourself
6. Identify the agency's former clients and obtain feedback
If possible, get in touch with these clients: a self-respecting web development agency proudly displays its references on its website and commercial brochures.
Our advice: Try to find out what worked and what didn't from these former clients of the agency.
7. Look for reviews about the agency
In addition to the client testimonials the agency may display on its official website, you will always have the option to check its reputation elsewhere. There are review sites where clients (satisfied or dissatisfied) will post their opinions about the agency in question. This will surely help you choose a web development agency.
Our advice: Don't forget to type the agency's name on social networks and read the various comments before forming your final opinion! (But be careful!)
8. Ask who will be personally responsible for your site
This is a question not to be overlooked! If you don't want to be "led by the nose," you need to know who does what and who reports to whom.
Our advice: Ask to speak with the future project manager of your website and discuss the most important aspects with them.
9. Inquire about the agency's customer support service
Choose a website development agency that is ready to support you before, during, and after delivering your turnkey site. Ask to know clearly what promises the agency makes to its clients regarding customer support and after-sales service.
Our advice: Make sure to have a clear idea of the knowledge transfer process the agency plans to implement to help you take control of your website and fly on your own!
10. Ask/specify who will be in charge of updating the website
This step directly connects to the previous one. Make sure you know who is responsible for what in this sense, to react appropriately and adopt the best strategy for a successful website project.
Our advice: Negotiate a good maintenance contract to ensure the future operation of your website.
11. Check if your site will be moved to another hosting
A very important question as it involves technical and financial arrangements to make. If you already have an initial version of the site online and want to improve it with an agency, this could mean moving your website to other servers.
Our advice: Check with your original hosting provider what they are willing to guarantee as you decide to move to a competitor!
12. Set concrete and achievable criteria and objectives, with realistic deadlines
Here, we're talking about project management. Treat it as if you were building a house: define what is needed, with the help of experts, to have a clear preliminary idea of the final deliverable. Deadlines should be as logical as possible: neither too fast nor too slow!
Our advice: Ask the future project manager of your website design for a draft timeline.
Are you still interested in choosing a web development agency?
You see? Choosing a web development agency is not an easy task and requires time, energy, and probably more money than initially expected!
What would be a good alternative? We promised you a shortcut earlier that could save you all these troubles. Have you heard of NindoBuilder?
The NindoBuilder alternative to choosing a web development agency
Why choose NindoHost's website creation service instead? Check the following elements to find out:
- Turnkey solution with full control of the website by the client, without the need for technical knowledge;
- Saves time and money;
- Transparent offer, no hidden fees, and suitable for various audiences;
- Single point of contact: domain name, hosting, and website maintenance;
- Guaranteed 24/7 support.
Ordering website design and deployment is not a one-time task that you will quickly finish and never return to!
It is only the beginning of a long journey to bring your website and online business to life.
So, you can easily guess that choosing a web development agency (or a similar provider) means finding a trusted partner who will accompany you for a while.
NindoHost aims to assist you on this journey by offering a website creation service where you have control over every aspect of your website, allowing you to get your hands dirty! After all, don't they say "no one serves you better than yourself"?