Before looking for a web design partner, it’s important to know what to look for. Without this knowledge, you risk choosing the wrong firm, and that’s no good for either party. To protect you and your business from making that mistake, it’s important to know and understand the following criteria.
1. SET A BUDGET
Before you even start looking at a web design firm, you need to set a budget for your development project.
This budget can range from shoestring to unlimited funding, but you should have a number in mind before you start pursuing agencies.
Now that you have a budget in mind, create a low and high range. Flexibility in your budget to make sure you get the most for your money.
Here at Keza Media, we strive to stay on or under budget. However, there are often times where we’ll recommend additional functionality that vastly improves your ROI, and having a budget range will allow you to maximize your ROI.
2. GET QUOTES
After you have your budget figured out, it’s time to get quotes. You’ll then want to share your budget information with your short list of selected agencies, along with all of your technical requirements. This process usually requires in person meetings or conferences calls where the agency can form a comprehensive understanding of your needs. This assures the best results and allows you to compare apples to apples, within the same budget range.
3. INQUIRE ABOUT ADDITIONAL FEES
Now that you’ve received a quote, you’ll want to inquire abut fees. Some firms have a list of fees and charges that they may issue for various tasks. They might be in the fine print of your contract, or they might not list fees anywhere at all. But if you partner with an agency without asking about surprise fees, you could quickly find yourself over-budget with a website that you don’t like. Keza Media does not charge any additional fees.
4. LOOK AT PREVIOUS WORK
Every established web design firm will have previous clients. If you want to know what to expect from a perspective firm, look at the work they’ve done for other companies.
This will show you what you can expect. Also, it’s important to ask for client references. Keza Media proudly shows of the work we’ve done for our clients, it can be seen here www.keza.co/work
5. WHAT IS THEIR RETENTION RATE?
Along with looking at a firm’s previous clients, you can also ask them about their client retention rate.
Most firms will hover around a retention rate of 50%. Anything below that should be a red flag. Conversely, retention rates of about 75% or above show exceptional client satisfaction.
The design firms that have the best client retention will typically be your best bet. After all, a meaningful website isn’t just something that you just toss together — it takes time, strategizing, and perfect execution to make everything come together.
If an agency doesn’t have a decent client retention rate, then they’re failing somewhere, which means they won’t give you the results that your company needs. Keza Media is proud of our nearly 90% retention rate and is not shy to boast the fact we still work with our very first client, since 2004.
6. KNOW KEY TEAM MEMBERS
Make sure the firm you’re choosing to work with provides you with direct contact information for the person responsible for managing your website. You should have a single point of contact who can answer your questions, regularly update you on your sites progress, and discuss adjustments to your current strategy, if needed. Without a dedicated contact, the firm can easily pass blame among its employees and make excuses for poor performance.
At Keza Media, you’ll always have a dedicated, single point of contact.
7. ASK ABOUT SUPPORT
Even with firms that provide you with a dedicated point of contact, that person may not always be available (humans are susceptible to illness, vacations, marriages, etc). When your point of contact isn’t available, you need a person or a team who can give you the support you need, especially if your representative is gone for an extended amount of time. Here at Keza Media, we offer varying service level agreements, so you can always count on hearing from us.
8. WHO WILL UPDATE WEBITE?
Sometimes, a web design firm will set you up with all the tools you need to maintain your website via a content management system (or CMS).
However, sometimes the web design firm is the party making changes.
Regardless of which policy your company has implemented, make sure your web design firm has the ability to safely and efficiently make all edits and perform all maintenance to your site. At Keza Media, we build robust websites that our clients can easily edit and maintain. However, there are times when we need to perform some of these tasks. When we do, we ALWAYS perform edits on our staging server, and thoroughly test them before implementing them into our clients live environment.
9. SET DETAILS & DEADLINES
Lastly, you need to set concrete, achievable goals with a deadline by scheduling and outlining the progress of your web design project. As a rule of thumb, you’ll be more successful when you’re more specific about what you want to achieve. Setting vague goals gives your agency too much wiggle room, which gives them the opportunity to miss the mark. Here at Keza Media, we clearly outline all tasks and provide a detailed timeline so everyone can remain on track