Before we discuss what to look for in a great web design and development company, here’s something we’d like you to consider.
You go to a supermarket to pick your favorite choice of salad dressing. As you approach the sauce and condiments section, you come across two brands offering the same Long Island dressing. However, one stands out with its beautiful packaging and label that promises “100% goodness”.
The other, though, is packaged in a drab looking bottle, with a dull label. Which one would you choose?
Our guess is, you’d go for the one with the more reassuring label and packaging. This is precisely what happens in web design.
We all love beautiful things. But that which is beautiful yet practical is increasingly hard to come by in our modern world. As companies tend to place more and more emphasis on speed or conversions, real artistry in terms of design and utility is slowly thrust into oblivion.
As New York gets more crowded by the hour, with every block teeming with web design agencies, it’s hard to pick one and make the right choice. Most users don’t seem to know the difference between mediocre design and simply great design. We’re here to help you choose.
What Does Your Website Need?
Image: Illustrations | unDraw
Gearing up to dress up your website or even redesigning it is one thing. But knowing what works best for you is another. Before you pick a web design agency in New York, you should definitely have a list of your goals and expectations in place. More often than not, your website is the most powerful marketing tool you could have, so it makes sense to focus on what you want from it.
Here are some things that you might want your website to have:
- Forms that let your visitors fill in necessary information while they are on your site.
- Quick linking with email marketing platforms such as MailChimp, Substack, Emma or Constant Contact
- Integration with automation tools like HubSpot or Marketo
- CRM software such as HubSpot or Salesforce that lets you easily keep track of your customer relationships and needs.
- Lead generation and increased conversion rates.
- Easy and intuitive check-out processes (especially for eCommerce websites) and subscription-based donations or payment systems
- Stunning UI/UX design that boasts of high usability
Besides these, you might need several other features such as:
- HIPPA compliant online forms (in case you’re in the healthcare industry or are looking to develop some medical app)
- eCommerce design functionalities and features such as voice search assistant and chatbots.
- Navigation and conversion-optimize content that assures users of a great customer experience
In short, your website/ online platform is a reflection of your business goals, vision and expectations. When you know what you want from your website, it’ll be easier for you to decide which website design agency is perfect for you.
2.Consider What Value The Agency Has To Offer
When you’re investing thousands of dollars into creating a website, it only makes sense to evaluate the kind of value the web design agency has to offer.
For starters, you can check out their official website and check if it looks old-fashioned, or outdated or simply not there.
A great web design agency should be able to lure in visitors with their website and portfolio. It may not be necessarily what you’re looking for, or align with your design goals: however, it means they have what it takes to create a website with great functionalities.
Some things that you can look for in a web design agency: check if their website is slow to load, search engine optimized and features simple navigation. You can also look for engaging videos, graphics, color palettes and high-quality photos.
You can also check out their previous works and notice how they make use of colours. The colour scheme should make some sense to you, and not overwhelm you. If a clean, minimalist look is what you want, the design agency’s website should reflect the same.
3. Ask The Right Questions
As you do your research, you will probably come up with a list of potential web design companies in New York. Whether you schedule an interview or a Skype call with them, make sure to ask them the following questions:
a. Do they use a CMS to help run websites? Or do they have any experience using CMS?
Image: Illustrations | unDraw
If the answer to that question is no, you probably don’t want to proceed with the company. That’s because, most websites these days use some form of CMS or the other (think WordPress, Joomla, PHP or Drupal). CMSs let you easily update your website on your own, without needing a techie to do it every time. Whether you choose a CMS or not, the design agency must know their way around it.
b. Have they worked with clients or companies similar to yours in the past?
When it comes to developing websites, especially for niche areas like healthcare or eCommerce websites for millennials, it helps to have some previous work experience. Even if their official website advertises tons of work, it never hurts to ask them for a creative sample or work portfolio personally.
4. Checking If It Suits Your Budget
Ask anyone how much it costs to build a website or app, and they’ll tell you, it depends on how many hours of work your site needs. That might be helpful, but that’s hardly telling you the total cost of building one. How are you supposed to know how many hours of work your website needs? It could take three or even thirty hours of work.
Hourly rates for web design agencies in New York could be anything from as little as $10 per hour to more than $100 per hour for a single website. But according to our estimates, the average cost of site-building and development is somewhere between $40 to $75.
Having said that, the web design agency you hire could even add another $200 or even $500, just for design and additional UX elements to your page. In the end, it all depends on the kind of features you want and how much you’re willing to spend.
But of course, we realize that not every medium to small scale business will have that kind of budget, so if you want a site made for less than $500, that can be done too. All you need to do is look in the right places.
5. Read Reviews of Every Company
Client reviews matter. Your relationship with the design agency matters. To make sure you’re choosing the right design agency, it really helps to check what review websites are saying about that particular agency. You can always start with Google and then move on to sites like Yelp or even Facebook.
Reviews on sites such as these can give you a more in-depth insight into their professionalism, approach to design work and how credible they are. Reviews can be extremely telling when it comes to estimating how reliable an agency is.
Low ratings or scathing reviews should immediately put you at caution: lower ratings or too many people commenting negatively on their services could mean that you risk losing your money.
6. Additional Services
All said and done, creating a website but not having maintenance teams to back it up, can be pretty much useless. It’s essential for you to make sure that you have a maintenance team to turn to when something goes wrong with your website. Not every web design agency will have a support team, so make sure you sign up with one that does.
Website management is crucial to your website’s success, and with data security issues cropping up now and then, security updates are crucial more than ever. In any case, your web platform will eventually need an update, whether it’s an app, a website or a PWA.
Updates can improve your site’s performance and amplify its security to a great extent. The best web design companies will be able to do this without breaking a sweat. Even change existing features without any changes to the code whatsoever.
Look for ongoing and site hosting support. Ensure they offer services that can restore your website if anything happens and have ample back-up in place.
Take Your Time
Choosing a design agency isn’t an easy thing to do. Given how rapidly technology is progressing, giving us plenty of new technologies to play with, it’s only wise to ponder and make the right decision.
With more and more people shifting to Internet usage from the comfort of their smartphones, it also makes sense to avail the services of a responsive web design company in New York. With responsive design, you can help ensure your users have access to your site anywhere, on any device.
Your website is the first chance you have at making an impression on your users, and first impressions are always, the last. We’re here to help you make the right choice, and we’re just a click away! Contact us here.