So, you have made up your mind that you require a new website. If you currently don’t have a web design agency that you are contented with, you are probably wondering how to find the right company to make your site.
It is always good to begin with some investigation. Search online for a firm in your locality if geographic closeness is crucial to you or ask expert peers for recommendations. Also, if there are websites that you find irresistible, find out who designed them, and include them in your list.
Steps to Follow If You Want To Engage A Web Designer That Will Actually Deliver
- Visit the websites of your prospective agencies
The website that a web design firm creates for itself is a good clue of its technological expertise, capabilities and design styles. Determine if the site is easy to use, responsive, and impressive. It is okay if the site has a design that does not exactly match your style; an outstanding website design company in Singapore will deliver your style artistic and brand guides. The essential thing is that the website gives a good user experience, is highly functional, is appealing to the eyes, and is up-to-date.
- Look at some of the websites they have designed
Many website design companies in Singapore have a section on their website where they put some examples of their creations for you to see. Its usually found under “Portfolios”. Check whether the sites they have developed are simple to use and professional-looking and if the client businesses are equivalent to your business in size and scope.
- Contact them to inform them of your project and arrange a meeting
Be keen on the way they treat you in the call – are they friendly and accessible? Do they want to learn more about your company, or do they embark on selling their services immediately? This is an agency you will are expecting to offer you the best services, so a relationship is crucial. Even if the person who answers the phone might not be the one who you will be dealing with all the time after becoming a customer, he or she reflects the general character of the firm. So, ensure it feels suitable.
7 Questions to Ask Your Prospective Web Design Agency After Setting Up A Meeting
Have you created any other sites for businesses in my niche?
It is an added advantage to work with a web design agency with experience in your industry. Looking at some of the websites they have developed for others in your field will give you an overview of what you await from the project. However, a company that is new to your industry is also useful sometimes. They will do all their competitive research from scratch, and they will not get influenced by past projects. If the agency has never practised in your niche, ensure that they have experience in a wide range of other fields – you don’t need a company that deals with a restricted area that does not involve your niche.
How do you accommodate user experience in your website design strategy?
A good web design agency in Singapore understands that user experience is among the primary aspects that give your site top ranking. So, they have to guarantee you that they are strong advocates of designs that are user-centred. Request them to explain their specific strategy, including the approaches they use to ensure they put user experience first in their projects.
What content management systems do you use or recommend?
Most web design agencies in Singapore specialise in a single (or perhaps two) CMS platforms. Most sites are developed in open-source platforms like WordPress or Drupal or Magento, although some website development firms own their internal CMS platform. All CMS platforms have their benefits and disadvantages, and a suitable web design company will be willing to empirically discuss them with you to enable you to make the best choice for your organisation.
Can I connect with your crew?
Many web design “firms” in Singapore consist of a single individual who contracts out various facets of the project or even some freelancers who will tender on portions of the task. During such cases, requesting to meet the staff may exhibit some hesitation about remote locations and availability. For the best results, hire an internal team with workers who: are fond of working together, have worked for long in the agency, and will be there to cater for your needs during the entire project.
The most important person in their team will be their Project Manager. Make sure you interview him or her personally and not rush your decision solely based on your discussions with their sales executive who may be embellishing the agency’s capabilities. You need to be comfortable that the Project Manager is knowledgeable, experienced, knows how to plan ahead, troubleshoot and solve issues with a cool head and has been around the agency for a sufficiently long time. A Project Management position that keeps having high turnover is sure sign that the agency has had difficulty delivering its projects and hence the manager keeps quitting over overwhelming client complaints and demands.
Which steps will you use to develop the site?
A proficient web design firm will be able to comprehensively and quickly take you through every step of the project and give details of the process and what you hope for. Unless you have provided them with a very definite idea of what you want the project to include, they most likely won’t be capable of giving you the exact cost and time for the project, but they can be capable of giving you an estimation.
How will we make updates or changes to the site after the design process is over?
A successful web design agency in Singapore should have a basic guidance session for your workers to enlighten them on how to make updates and changes and to show them how things work. Create a list of aspects you think you will require to regularly update (like page content, forms, and events) and request the agency to explain the elements that can be edited using your content management system. For updates and changes that need professional help, the web design firm should give a quote for the total time the project will take, and the cost of the service.
Do you offer online marketing?
A good web design firm in Singapore should know the basics of search engine optimisation (SEO), otherwise you will find that your website might be delivered with many things that contravene’s Google’s idea of a good website such as:
- crawl-able for search engine spiders
- areas where you can insert sufficient content for search engines to understand your website objectives better and match those with search queries
- preferably a good CMS which allows you to regularly post fresh, unique and quality content
- good navigation which enables important keywords to be high up in the hierarchy
- URL should be enabled for important keywords
- current sitemap installed
- mobile responsiveness
- light enough for your website to be loaded fast (Google demands 3 seconds but can tolerate 5-7 seconds)
- and other ranking factors: read more here
Unfortunately many web design companies know SEO superficially and say that they do because they want that extra profit from you. And that is unfortunately very dishonest and very prevalent. So be sure to ask them the right questions to know if they really know.
A lot of work gets done during the process of creating a website. However, an equal amount of effort is needed to improve it, measure its performance, promote it, and optimise it. If you do not have a team of experts, who are ready to undertake all the aspects of digital marketing after your website has been created, hire an agency that is dedicated to digital marketing. You will be sure that your site will be offering the results you need. Preferably, the web design agency of choice should be there to assist you if you wish to enhance your commitment to the current digital marketing enhancements and strategies.
Do you use pre-made templates or custom design websites?
In most cases, web design companies offer clients both options depending specific needs and preferences. However, there are some pros and cons that are associated with pre-made templates. One of the drawbacks is that companies offering similar services may have used the same template and so standing out from the crowd online with your new website will be an uphill task.
If you want to establish a strong brand in Singapore, go for a custom website that is designed as per the needs of your business. Such a site will have a unique appearance and functionality that will place your business ahead of the curve.
However, if your business does not rely solely on online presence, you can save time and money by directing the Singapore website design agency to use a pre-made template. Be sure to ask for a price comparison for the two to make the right decision.
Which strategies will you use to ensure my website generates revenue?
Just like any other investment in your business, your website should be able to offer a return on investment (ROI). The web design agency you contract should be just as concerned about generating revenue using the site as you are.
As such, the team should provide a list of proven strategies that are in line with your objectives. An appealing and attention-grabbing slideshow on the homepage, a business phone number that customers can use to reach you, features sales and products on every webpage, and call to actions are some of the strategies that they can recommend to enhance the website conversion rate.
Will your team audit my current website before making any new design recommendations?
If your business already has a website, it is prudent that the team audits it to identify the flaws and areas that need to be improved. Maybe not all the pages need to be redesigned especially if they are performing well. Contact every web design agency in Singapore on your list to know if they will analyze your current website metrics.
The analysis or audit will help them to identify the strengths and weakness as well as come up with an ideal plan on how to make the changes. Virtually all professional and accredited agencies will do this before presenting any recommendations.
What is your policy regarding creating websites for my competitors?
First, it is important to point out that this can be a bad or good thing for your brand. For instance, if the company has developed websites for other companies in your niche, they have an in-depth understanding of how to go about it. They know the features that work and those that do not.
It is prudent to ask this question to avoid any inconveniences later such as conflict of interest and too many similarities. Do not rule out an agency entirely if they designed a website for one of your competitors in the past but do not have an ongoing relationship with the said company.
How will my website design project be managed?
A website design project has four distinct stages namely:
- Site development
- Launch and Evaluation
Understanding how your project will be managed will help you to know if the agency is committed and determined to ensure that the venture is successful. Most professional agencies will delegate the project to a specific web designer who has the skills and expertise required to oversee all the processes. They also have project management systems that are used to manage and keep track of every project. Ask for timelines for each stage and the manner in which they will send progress reports to you.
What are the qualifications of the people who will be working on my website?
Knowing the qualifications and scope of the persons who will be working on your project is essential. Do not shy away from asking for samples of other websites that the team has worked on in the past. Discuss their experience using various web development and design tools and ask for client references. The client references will help you to get a clear perspective of their expertise and also give you an idea of what you should expect at different stages of the project.
How much input will I have on the project
This is one of the questions that you should ask in the first consultation session. During this session, the website design agency will ask you questions that will help them to get a clear understanding of your business, the style, and tone you want to portray to the target audience, and your preferred web design styles.
Most professional web design agencies in Singapore have an open and consultative web design process. Working cordially with the client at each stage of the project ensures that they deliver a website that meets their needs and preferences.
What happens if I do not approve the first design?
There is no guarantee that you will like the first design that will be represented by the team. It is essential to look at every eventuality and come up with a plan on how to handle each of them to avoid any constraints later. In most cases, the initial project agreement calls for either a specific number of revisions or unlimited changes.
Some agencies have multiple sign-offs on proposed images, fonts, design layouts, and colors. Agree on an ideal review process to save time and ensure that the project is completed on time. Most agencies provide details about this in the policy document so take time to read it before signing any document.
What materials do you need from me to start the project?
Typically, you will be required to provide text, images, and other content that you want to be added on the website. However, most of the web design agencies in Singapore have in-house copywriters who can write the content. All you need to do is provide the necessary information about your business to assist them to churn out the best content.
Note that if you provide your copy, the team may decide to make a few changes to it for better design presentation and search engine optimization. Whatever the case may be, you should be alerted in advance of any revisions to ensure that none of them contradicts your brand image and objectives.
Developing a website should be taken as an investment as it uncovers your brand to a whole new world of opportunities in the digital platform. The internet is a heavily competitive market. So, you should hire an agency that can arm your business with the best technology and techniques to maximise your profits. Know what you need to ensure that all your needs are dealt with.