How to work successfully with a web design agency

4th March 2020

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So you have found your perfect web design agency and you’re all ready to get cracking with your brand new website. So what do you do now? If you’ve never been involved in a web design project before you might not know how YOU as the client fit into the equation. How involved do you need to be?

To get the best results when working with a new web design agency, we have some tips for you as the client to follow…

The web design brief

It’s great to sit down, grab a coffee and go over the brief with your web design agency so that they know exactly what you’re expecting. Discuss what the goals are for your new website, what success looks like. Chat about how you would like your website to look, do they need to use any brand guidelines, do you have specific fonts or colours they need to use or are they free to use their creativity. Talk about your audience and who the website is aimed at. What browsers does the website need to support? Most agencies will only support the very latest versions so you might have to let them know if you need your website to work in Internet Explorer 7!

Communication

Think about how you best communicate. Do you like to be face to face and discuss things in person or can a quick call on the phone do. Maybe you are very busy and prefer email unless there is something big to discuss? Whichever way you want to communicate with your chosen web design agency, it’s good to let them know so it works for you both. Sometimes it’s good to have a mixture of different communication options so using email for quick updates and day to day messages, then a call to discuss a new feature perhaps and then proper sit down face to face meetings when the web design agency has something to show such as a new design for the about page or they have finished the website demo.

What’s the budget?

This has probably been agreed prior to you starting on your new website and you might even have paid the first invoice before any real work gets done. It’s good to be open and upfront though and if you have forgotten some feature you wanted or a full section, it’s best to let the agency know as soon as possible as they might be able to add it as part of the original budget if it isn’t much work or perhaps the budget might have to be reviewed. Communication is key here too though and it’s best to just chat it through so everyone is on the same page.

Content, Content, Content

You’ve heard of ‘location, location, location’ in property terms right? Well we have a little saying in the web design world too and content is king! This is the single most important part of your website in terms of what you as the client need to gather and prepare – unless you’ve paid us to do it that is 🙂 Without the final content, our job as designers and developers could literally grind to a halt. Now we are not saying you need to give us the final content right at the start of the project as I don’t think that has ever happened in 15 years. What is a good place to aim for though is around the time the designs are being finalised or just before the development or build of the website gets going. This means the designers can add the correct content to the designs and ensure the layouts still work. Usually we would have had some discussions throughout the design stage so we know the kind of content you want to present but it’s always worth having a look before it goes to build as it’s easier to tweaks layouts at this stage.

When are we going live?

It’s a good idea to plan a go-live date that works for both your web design agency and you, the client. Usually as a web design agency, we never put a website live on a Friday. This is kind of an unwritten rule in the world of the digital agency. The main reason for that is something could go wrong right after the website goes live and if everyone is away for the weekend, generally nothing can be fixed until Monday morning leaving your website broken for two days. It’s good to have a day either side for any potential issues so Thursday at the latest is usually a sensible option. And then you have to decide WHICH Thursday? A simple brochure website could take between 3-4 weeks from start to finish but a more comprehensive website could take 3-4 months so it’s good to plan ahead. Especially if you are wanting to build up some interest in the new website launch or perhaps you want to launch the site around an event you are holding. Whatever the reason for the deadline and go live date, make sure you give your agency plenty of time and ensure everyone agrees to it. Then there will be no tears when the big day arrives!

Support

Once your website goes live, discuss with your agency about ongoing support if you think you need it. We offer free support for a year after we launch any of our sites and then you can decide whether to continue by paying a small monthly fee. This could include options for additional work on a monthly basis or simply just to look after your website and make sure everything is secure, the plugins are up to date and to fix any issues that may arise in the future.

For help on any of the above topics or more information on our services and to see how we could help you with your new website, please get in touch by calling 07882 791689 or email hello@debut.studio.

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