What to Look for in a Web Design Partner

Over time, websites can get forgotten about - but for an ecommerce business, your website is a key component and needs some care and attention every now and then, whether that be a slight tweak or a full redesign.

As your website is such a big part of your business, finding an agency to design and develop it can be quite daunting, so we have put together a list of things to consider when selecting your web design partner…

1. Know What You Want

It's important to be able to go to your web design partner with an idea of what you want. If you can, try and take some examples of things you like, or have notes of what you envisage your site to look like. If it's not a design aspect the agency currently offer, they might be able to work with you to build exactly what you need, so be prepared for that as an option.

Also, you need to have a standard that you expect your new site to meet, and don’t settle for any less!

2. Accept You Don’t Know Everything

Whilst having an idea of what you want is great (and very much encouraged), you need to be open to changes. Listen to your web design partner - after all, they're the experts!

3. Are they Innovative?

If you go to an agency that constantly produces the same kind of work, you're going to end up with a website that looks like all the rest. Try and look for a web developer that can create innovative and original concepts and features for your site.

4. Ask to See a Portfolio of Work

This is a great way to get the gist of their style and developing skillset. Also, you'll be able to see the types of clients they've had before which can be a big influence on your final decision.

Usually, if an agency is proud of their work, you'll be able to find it on their site!

5. Your Business Comes First

As an ecommerce business, you need to be able to align your website and any orders easily. Does your web design partner know how to cater for the way you work? Do they allow you to use your own Content Management System or do they have their own? If they have their own - do you get on with it? This is important as it's what you'll be using at the heart of your business.

Another thing that is really important is whether their websites are mobile responsive. With Google putting mobile first, being mobile responsive is more important than ever.

Also, don't let an agency encourage you to compromise content for design. No matter how beautiful the design, there's no point it being there without the content to draw people to the site from the search engines. Whilst design matters, content is always king.

6. Do They Have a Good Support Team?

Your website is your priority - more than a couple of minutes of downtime and your business could suffer. You need to ensure your agency has a good in-house support team who can fix things as soon as they go wrong.

7. Are You Getting Good Value for Money?

Like most things, with web design you get what you pay for. If you're looking for amazing service, a beautiful design and (most importantly) a fully-functioning website, you're going to need to be prepared to pay for that. Web developers that are extremely cheap might be exactly what you're looking for but the chances aren't great. Think of it as an investment for your business, and always think value for money!

8. Are You on the Same Page?

And finally, you need to get on. This is really important or the whole experience will be uncomfortable for the both of you. You need to feel able to say if you do and don't like how things are going, and be able to listen to their suggestions - it's a two-way thing and communication is key.