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Choosing a Web Agency

EDUCATIONAL | 8th June at 12:05

We look at what you need to consider before approaching an agency to make your project successful.

So you are going to create a website or application to promote your organisation and your passion. Now you need someone to make that dream into a reality.

Before you approach an agency we would advise you do some research to enable them to give you an accurate and realistic quote. The following information should help you with the process:

  • What do you want to achieve?

Are you wanting to have more presence online, promoting something specific or have another reason for having a website? You need to communicate what you want to achieve. The more specific this is the better.

  • Who is your audience?

Not knowing your target market can be a real pitfall when creating a website or application. Before you make a big investment check in with your audience first. Talk to them about what they would like to see on your site, what information they need and how they would use it.

  • What does your audience want to do when they arrive at your site?

Think about how your audience will be using your site, what will they be wanting to see, how do they want to interact with you and how might you serve them most effectively. This information can be used to help you work out your calls to action.

  • Examples of functionality or style that you like from other sites

If you have seen something elsewhere that you think could work for you, make a note of it and share it with the agency. It all helps in getting a fuller picture and narrows the gap between the agency's vision and yours!

  • Site Layout - number of pages and how the user will navigate through them

Decide on practical information, such as how many desired pages you want on your site. You will also need a good idea of what information is going to be on the pages and how you are going to lead the user on a journey to give them the best information and experience.

  • How does the site fit into your brand as a whole?

Is the app or site standalone or is it going to sit seamlessly with your brand? If it is the latter then share a copy of your brand guidelines with the agency to make sure they are on the right track.

Choosing your Agency

At this point, you need to seek out an agency to create your site or application. There is a long list of agencies out there. A good place to start is asking for recommendations, then make a list of who you want to contact, and if you haven't already, add Worthers to your list.

When you approach an agency to talk about what you want, let them delve a little deeper into your brief. This will allow them to understand your organisation better and they may discover options you haven’t considered that are worth exploring. It gives you a chance to get to know them better to make an informed decision.

If you are stuck with ideas, you could think about using a percentage of your budget to experiment with your ideas on a smaller scale by just working on one section of the website, to give you a clearer idea and give you a platform to gain audience feedback. Similarly, if you have a large project, we would recommend that you split the work into a phased approach, the first version having the key functionality which can then be used and tested.  Feedback from users can be considered to tweak subsequent versions. This is something that has to be carefully considered when you come to budgeting for your site. If all the budget is used up in the first version it doesn't leave anything to improve. Often it is the learning from going around this cycle that makes an application or site stand out from the rest.

In terms of practicalities, it is good for both parties if you have an agreed brief before the work takes place to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Spending time at the beginning to allow the agency to get to grips with what you want means that you reduce risks of misunderstandings and helps to provide you with an accurate cost.

As well as gathering costs, look for their level of interest, who stands out to you? Remember to think about relationships when choosing your agency. The agency you choose is going to be in your life for a number of weeks as you work together to discuss your brief and for the project build itself. For most clients it is the start of a long-term relationship with the agency will be offering you continued support, project developments and changes as time goes on. Because it is a big investment it is worth looking at it thoughtfully as well as practically.

Posted by: Worthers

We’ve been in business since 2003 before which, founder and Managing Director, Pete Worthington, successfully managed a previous web company for 3 and a half years. We are proud to boast a diverse portfolio and a consistent track record of the highest levels of quality, customer service, reliability and honest solutions.

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