Commissioning an agency to design or redesign your website requires a huge leap of faith. You are entrusting people that you have never met before to bring your vision to fruition and if it all goes wrong, you might be thousands of pounds out of pocket and have wasted months of your time. Here are four secrets about design that many agencies won’t tell you.
Secret #1: Web design is about a lot more than ‘looks’
Looking good can you a long way in life – just ask any beautiful person; but it won’t get you to the very top. For most business websites, the core objective is to get more sales, whether it is through leads or direct purchases.
There any many different ingredients to this recipe for success and aesthetic appeal is just one of them. Content needs to be on point, calls to action need to be powerful and the site needs to intuitive and easy to navigate.
Secret #2: You might not need a complete redesign
Ask a salesperson at a car dealership whether you should trade in and get a new car or patch your old one up for another year. He or she will tell you that getting a new car certainly makes the most sense. Ask a mechanic the same question and he or she will tell you to patch the ol’ girl up and keep her on the road another year.
Now what do you think will happen if you ask your developer what your website needs? What will happen if you ask a content specialist or a graphic designer? They will of course, tell you that your site needs exactly what it is that they happen to make money at.
This natural by-product of human nature and capitalism can only be overcome by selecting an agency that can offer top-level strategic advice – someone that can look at the bigger picture, evaluate your site’s shortfalls and recommended fixes, regardless of whether that is something they can do in-house or not.
Secret #3: You don’t need to spend as much you might think
There are unfortunately many con-artists masquerading as designers. They pray on the ignorance of innocent businesses, charge inflated prices for sub-standard products and give the industry a bad name. You do not have to put up with it! Decide what your budget is and find an agency willing to work to said budget.
Do as much research as you possibly can, meet with the agency in person, look through their portfolio and if you get the slightest sense that they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes, walk away!
Secret #4: Once the website has been designed, there is still plenty of work to do
In an attempt to get you to sign on the dotted line, an untrustworthy agency might lead you to believe that they will create an all singing, all dancing website that you will never have to worry about again. While this might once have been true, the fact is that websites need to be updated regularly. Sites need a constant stream of fresh content in order to continue generating traffic. Why do you think every site has a blog? Once the designers have finished the site, the journey has only just begun!