Choosing an agency to develop and maintain your WordPress site is an important decision, as their performance can determine how effective and successful your company’s website becomes. There are so many WordPress developers and agencies out there that it can be tricky deciding who to choose.
To help you out, we’ve put together a handy checklist of all the things you should look at before making your decision.
Developing and maintaining your company website can be an expensive task and, as the owner of a business, you need to ensure you’re spending your money prudently, so cost is always a deal breaker. Agency prices vary from hundreds of pounds to thousands, so how do you determine which agency is giving you the best quote?
Be wary of agencies who quote at the bottom and top ends of the scale – too low and the agency won’t be making enough money to dedicate the right amount of time to your site, too high and you’ll probably be being overcharged. We’ll talk about this in more detail below, but steer clear of offshore agencies that offer to build your website for a fraction of the average industry price – the finished product is likely to be worlds away from what you imagined and the quality could leave a lot to be desired.
Settling for a quote that falls in the middle of the batch is usually a smart move, as you want a competitive price but you want to ensure you choose an agency that is going to spend enough time on your site to make it perfect.
An important factor in helping you choose the right agency is to look at the turnaround time they give you for developing your site.
You may want your website to be up and running in a matter of days so it’s tempting to choose whichever agency promises you the shortest timescale, but is that really a smart move? Sure, it’d be great to have a shiny new website within a week but can your dream site really be put together in such a short time, or is it more likely that you’ll receive a rushed design with messy errors?
Spend some time speaking to your shortlisted agencies and find out what timeframe they require to create the best website for your business. You may have to wait a couple of weeks longer than you originally planned, but it’s better to be patient and get the right design first time.
Experience and Skills
Spend some time researching a few different agencies before you make your final decision. Take the time to look at their experience and skills, and this will help you find the right agency for your business.
It may be that you run a car insurance business and find a particular agency that has experience in building motor-related sites, for example. Take a look at each agency’s skills and let that help you make your decision. If you want your website to feature an integrated blog and shop, for example, rule out any agencies that don’t have prior experience in these areas.
It’s a great idea to make sure your agency practises what they preach: if they talk about their great design skills, good SEO and call to action elements, have a look at their own website to make sure these claims are true. Their company website is going to show off their strongest skills, so if it leaves you feeling lukewarm, take your search elsewhere.
Following on from our previous point, have a good look at the portfolio of an agency before you make a decision to work with them. Do you like their previous designs? Do the websites they’ve worked on grab your attention and make you want to learn more about those businesses?
Think about the effect you want your business’ website to have on potential customers and make sure the websites in the agency’s portfolio reflect that. Each agency should be able to work to your specific idea, but their developers will have a signature flair that will be present in their finished designs – so make sure you go with a developer who favours a style that you like.
The initial build of your website is only the beginning of the relationship you’ll have with your design agency, so make sure the agency you choose offers a robust support system that will see you through any issues with your site, whether it’s technical problems or a design spruce up once a year.
For example, at AWESEM we offer a support agreement where we can undertake all of your site maintenance, so you don’t have to. On average, customers purchase five hours of maintenance per year, which should cover everything we need to do to keep your site in tip top condition. However, if you want a little extra just purchase a few more hours and let us work our magic.
You might think the design and development of your business’ website is something that will solely take place via email but that doesn’t have to be the case.
It can be tempting to go with an offshore agency to cut down on costs and create your website for as little money as possible. However, the risks can outweigh the financial benefits.
Working with an offshore team can obviously lead to a language barrier, which is less than ideal when trying to convey your ideas for your website. You my end up with a design that isn’t what you pictured, simply because you couldn’t communicate your vision effectively. In addition to this, a different time zone can lead to further problems, which is why looking at an agency closer to home is recommended.
Instead of trying to explain your ideas in an email wouldn’t it be easier to sit down with the agency you choose and have a face to face meeting, to ensure you’re all on the same page about the end result? If so, location could play an important part in your decision. Have a look at where your top few agencies are based. It might not be as important as cost or timescale but it’s certainly something to bear in mind when you’re making your final decision.
So there you have it, while finding the perfect WordPress agency for your business can be a complicated process, our handy checklist should help to make the decision a little bit easier.