The website features and functionality
Consider the key features and functionalities you require for the website. This can include anything from contact touch points such as forms, email sign up, request a call back, chat bots, booking forms, calendars as well as e-commerce capabilities, blogs and news, social media integration. This all helps to ensure the agency can provide you with the most accurate price proposal for your project.
Preferred content management system (CMS)
Should you have a preference for a particular CMS, make sure to mention it. Or you can ask for advice from the agency as to what they would suggest. Opting for a popular CMS ensures that you won’t face difficulties in finding professionals who can update and maintain your website going forward should you move to another agency down the line.
Do you need SEO and analytics?
The question really should be why would you not need SEO and analytics? It is essential to include a full SEO migration conducted by an SEO specialist as a minimum requirement for your website go live strategy. This process guarantees that your website maintains its search engine rankings when the new website is launched, thus preventing any potential drop in visibility.
As part of the project, it is important to ensure that Google Analytics code is added to the new website. If you haven’t set up analytics on your current site, this is an opportunity to implement it. Alternatively, if you already have a Google Analytics code in place on your current site, it should be transferred and integrated into the new website. This ensures you don’t lose valuable data and tracking with the change over to the new website.
Maintenance and support after go live
Will you need continuous maintenance and support for the website after its launch? The more likely answer is yes. Ask the agency to clarify the level of support they give, such as regular website software updates, bug fixes, and security patches as well as video call and email support. Your website is essentially software running on a computer so ongoing maintenance is essential to ensure a smooth running website, just like your office or home computer.
Mention if you have an in-house team to handle content updates or if you would like the web development team to provide a quote for those services. This could be simple text and image amends or even layout changes or enhancements. A website should change and grow over time with the goals of your business and needs of your customers.
Training your team
If you or your team will be responsible for managing the website’s content, it is important to request training on the chosen CMS. This will ensure that you acquire the necessary skills to effectively update and manage your website’s content.
Additionally, inquire whether the agency will provide a manual or a video guide as part of the training. Having these resources can serve as valuable references for future use, allowing you to access instructions and guidance whenever needed.
Our final thoughts
Ask agencies for their recommendations and insights based on their expertise. Engage in discussions about their approach to research, user experience, design and development. This will give you a better understanding of their methodology and allow you to evaluate their expertise and alignment with your project goals.
Bear in mind that creating a website that best serves you and your customers will require time from you and your team to inform and educate the agency about your business and customers. Without that input the agency will be working with one hand tied behind their backs. This is a 2 way process and the final product will reflect that.
And finally, while it is understandable that price plays a significant role in decision-making, it is essential to remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best choice. Remember that this is a business investment and you don’t want to cut corners only to find you need to overhaul or start afresh in a year.
When evaluating proposals or selecting a web development agency, focus on finding a balance between affordability and expertise. Consider the agency’s track record, portfolio, client testimonials, and the overall value they bring to the table. Investing in a reliable and experienced team might entail a higher initial cost, but it can provide long-term benefits and a higher return on investment.
About OPEN Design and Digital
We’re a Dublin design studio, experts in web design, online marketing and branding. Our mission: boost your business with captivating websites, meaningful content, and innovative design. Need a fresh website or a brand makeover? Let’s talk!