Choosing a web agency

How do you choose the best web design and development agency in the North East to handle your new company website? There are lots of different companies out there big and small so how do you choose who to get in for a meeting, never mind choose for the project

Whatever you end up deciding on for your new website, it is the face of your company in the digital world and will more than likely have a life span of around 2-3 years before being looked at again so it needs to be right. However don’t just decide on a company based 100% on designs they have done in the past, a website is more than just a bunch of polished images and text it needs to work for you.

Let’s look at the factors involved in the process

1. Understand what the website needs to actually do

It’s not just about making it beautiful, an Aston Martin with no engine may be nice to look at but other than that it can’t be used for anything. It’s the same for web design, it must be functional and easy to use. Parallax scrolling images are great but put a tablet in front so a 60 year old and ask them to work their way around a website chocked full of that and see what happens “we know we tried it at Way Fresh” :)

Making a website look good and perform well for conversions doesn’t always go hand in hand you tend to have to negate one for the other, and that’s the way it should be. The days of designing a website in static format in tables and pixel perfect layouts were when you created a visual in Photoshop and it ended up pixel for pixel in the browser sliced are long gone, thank goodness.

At Way Fresh we will discuss what you need from your website, not everyone just wants sales. Most do of course but there are lots of B2B companies that need their website as a tool for other reasons.

2. Longevity and a track record to boot

Have a look at website companies portfolio and not just screenshots, look at the live websites. Does it have their name at the bottom? Is the website just a bought template with a logo attached? If it is then is that the type of website design company you want to entrust your online presence with? You want something unique not what the hairdressers down the road have with a different logo and text!

Way Fresh only create custom handmade websites that never come from templates and this assures you that you get what your business needs and also means your site isn’t a clone of another. You get a one of a kind website that will serve your company for years. We also use our own Content Management System developed in house to allow you to manage this yourself.

Web agencies come and go so have a look at how long they have been around, do they have some bigger long standing clients? A few years is good going for a web company and once you get to 5+ years then you can be assured your looking at one with a solid history that will be around for years to come. At Way Fresh we have that exact background. With a large client list such as SMG Europe, Jennings Motor Group and Mosaic Spa & Health Clubs, we have large, established companies that have put their trust in us for their online media. That gives any new potential customers a good idea that we aren’t going anywhere! And yes Way Fresh will be 7 years old this year.

3. So who is actually doing the work?

Are you talking to a true web design agency or a sales person?

Many companies (not just web companies) outsource client work to all sorts of different people, some of which not in the UK, it can make the agency more money on the production side of things, but is it right for you and your business? No is likely going to be the answer, you want a company that is doing everything in-house. How can you be sure of this? Well one good way is to see how long it takes for responses to your queries. A solid reliable company should be getting back to clients and prospective clients within the hour and some may say that’s over the top. Not for Way Fresh. We pride ourselves on service and you may think that all web companies are the same but trust us they are not. We always get back to our clients as soon as we can and if it’s a weekend or bank holiday it makes no difference to us.

If an agency is up front about out sourcing perhaps a small aspect of the work, maybe video work or some parts of marketing then that’s fine, be up front and ask.

You want to be able to communicate directly with the people involved, ask questions, bounce ideas around, get instant feedback and hold them accountable - generally speaking to a sales person isn’t the way to go, you want to talk direct to the people developing your website.

4. A commitment to responsive design

As the internet expands and evolves, so are the different ways users interact with it.

A large amount of users view websites on tablets and phones now, the days of desktop viewing is dwindling however again it depends on your needs. Some companies that are B2B will be targeting users that may be higher desktop based, something to discuss with your web company. Most though are looking via mobile and with the world average at around 70% it’s something that needs to be at the core of the website design from the off. Indonesia now sits at a whopping 91% mobile viewing!

If a visitor lands on your sites and its broken on a mobile or the message is lost, that’s it they are gone!. You have a few seconds to entice, use them wisely.

A new website design is a significant investment in your business and it needs to be perfect!

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