Top 8 Tips for Hiring a Web Agency in 2023: Your Ultimate Guide


Looking to Hire a Website Agency?

As a Web Agency Ourselves, Here's What WE Would Need to Know

If you’re researching web agencies to build your new website, I get it. For most people in your shoes, this isn’t something you’re overly familiar with. Knowing what questions to ask, or how to choose the best web agency is daunting. Where do you start? If you’re like many people, you’ll start with a Google search. Type “Best web agency near me“, or “Need a website” for example and you’ll find a never ending list of website agencies.

So then what? Pick the one up top and work your way down the list? If a web agency is listed on page 5, does that mean they’re less capable than the web agency ranked #1 in Google? The short answer is no. This is where a bit of industry knowledge and knowing what questions to ask can help drive your new website to success.

In the ever-evolving digital landscape of 2023, your online presence is more crucial than ever. A professionally designed website plays an important role in your business success. And choosing the right web agency to bring your vision to life is a huge decision.

Working with the right website agency means not only a quality website, but also a quality experience during the buildout. Working with the wrong website agency can lead to a website that doesn’t meet your expectations. It can also mean a miserable, disjointed experience during the website redesign process.

The good news is you’ve got a lot of options when it comes to finding the best web agency for your needs. According to IBISWorld, there are over 228,000 web agencies in the USA in 2023.

With the myriad of options available, finding the perfect fit can be overwhelming.

I need a website…Where do I start?

What questions do I ask a website builder?

How much is a new website going to cost?

Which web agency should I choose?

Sound familiar?

In this quick guide, we’ll unveil the top eight tips for hiring a web agency that will give you tangible action items you can take to help ensure your website project is a success.

Hiring a web agency

Define Your Web Design Goals and Budget

Before beginning your web agency search, it's essential to have a clear understanding of both your budget and your objectives. Are you looking to revamp your current website, build an e-commerce platform, or launch a new website? Additionally, you'll want to outline a realistic budget for your project. This will help you narrow down your options and ensure a smooth collaboration.

When shopping for a new website, you'll have options ranging from free (with a website builder like Wix and Weebly), to a few thousand up to several thousands of dollars. I can tell you from experience that even for a basic website design, $2000 websites rarely end well. $500 websites (from Fiverr, for example) NEVER end well. Shopping for a web designer on price puts you at risk for both a lost investment, and lost time.

For a basic brochure website (not an eCommerce website), a realistic website price range to consider would fall in the $3500-$6,000 range, depending on your wants and needs.

Questions for Web Agency

Do They Outsource?

Two questions I would ask up front is "who would I be working with at your web agency?" and do you build websites in-house?

This is so important to know. An industry secret is that many of the web agencies are actually acting as subcontractors. Much like a home builder working with multiple contractors. Many website agencies rely on outside firms for their web development, content, SEO or design work. The reason this is so important is it is frequently tied to both the quality of website, and the quality of your experience.

Imagine working with your local web agency, relaying your specific wants and needs. The person at that website agency is then trying to communicate those wants and needs to an outside firm. Often times, this person acting as a go-between has zero technical knowledge when it comes to building websites and lacks the ability to ask the right questions. Clearly, there's an efficiency issue here, but also a quality issue. Things get lost in translation.

Not only that, but with the lack of internal knowledge so many web agencies have, they are unable to properly assess your needs, and offer new ideas for you.

I can't tell you how many website projects we've rescued that started out with web agencies who outsource. Often times getting a website built at the lowest price was the driving factor. The end result is a costly reboot of the entire website project.

There are a ton of web agencies out there to choose from. I'd strongly encourage you to move on if you're speaking with a web agency who outsources their web design. Ideally, you'd be working directly with your web designer, so ask that question up front!

Best Web Agency

Assess The Web Agency's Website Porfolio

"Can I see samples of websites you've built?"

A web agency's portfolio gives you a window into their capabilities and style. Take a look at some of their past projects to gauge their versatility and expertise. Look for web designs that resonate with your vision and your industry. A strong website portfolio is a good indicator that the web agency is able to deliver top-notch results.

That said, web design is very subjective. As a web agency in Minneapolis, our clients have the ultimate say in the finished product. A talented web designer is skilled not only in web design, but also in asking the right questions to ensure the website blows away your expectations, no matter your visual tastes.

Web Agency Near Me

Technical Proficiency

What platform do you use to build your websites?

The world of web development is constantly evolving. Staying current with latest website technologies is challenging for sure, but very important. Ask the prospective website agencies about the technology they utilize when building websites.

If they respond with Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, or a platform you haven't heard of move on. With the myriad of free website platforms out there anyone can set up shop as your local website expert, so you want to be sure they are qualified. The reality is that building a professional website involves much more than copying and pasting text into a prebuilt website template. The platform we recommend for virtually all of our website builds is WordPress. This is the most widely used website platform in the world, and it is also the most widely supported.

What is their strategy for optimizing your website across all devices (desktop, tablet and mobile)? Do you have a specific function you'd like on your new website? This is a good opportunity to ask questions, and gauge the responses from each web agency to speak with.

Website Agency Near Me

Transparent Communication

When it comes to web design projects, effective communication is critical to success. During your initial calls with each web agency, assess their communication skills and willingness to listen. Are they asking you good questions, wanting to learn more about you, or are they simply telling you about themselves? Remember, during this initial call, this is when any web agency should be at their best. If you're uneasy, move on.

As a web agency in Minneapolis, I can tell you without a doubt that working with a web agency who understands your needs and provides you with clear updates during the website design with provide you with a much better experience.

Best website agency

SEO and Content Strategy

A beautiful website on its own won't attract visitors. Quality website content plays a critical role in engaging your website visitors, and is the foundation for SEO (search engine optimization). You'll want to ask each web agency about their approach to creating website content. This is one big area that separates the best web agencies from the others.

From my experience, many of the companies who reach out for help with their websites are excellent at what they do, but fall flat when it comes to their content. In many cases their existing website doesn't communicate their core strengths at all!

Does the website agency create content internally, or do they outsource? If they write their own content, is it of high quality? Ask for examples.

If one of your goals is to be found online, ask each website agency about their approach to SEO (search engine optimization). Can they provide you with real world success stories when it comes to SEO strategies? Whatever keywords you want to be found for online, you want to make sure that the website agency does a great job at optimizing your new website for those keywords.

Working with a web agency who will help you craft quality website content is often the difference between a $2000 website and a $5000 website. Content is THAT important, and something you don't want to overlook on your new website.

Questions for web designer

User-Friendly Web Design

User experience (UX) should be a top priority for your new web design. A web agency that prioritizes user-centric design principles will create a site that is intuitive, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. Look for agencies that are proficient in formatting websites to work across a wide variety of platforms.

Hiring Web Agency

Ongoing Support and Scalability

Your website project doesn't end with the launch of your website. A reliable web agency should offer post-launch website support, updates, and maintenance. A question to ask the web agency is "how do you manage software updates on websites"?

This is so important as your website software patches and updates are ongoing. You want to make sure that these updates are getting done so your website remains both secure and up to date. The other consideration, is occasionally an update can cause your website to break. A question to ask here is "if my website breaks, how do you handle that?"

A long-term partnership ensures your website remains functional and up-to-date. Other questions to ask: Do you provide web hosting? How much is their website hosting? What is their typical turnaround for basic website update requests?

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt asking web agencies the right questions can provide you with valuable insight. If there are any red flags early on, you can expect to be exasperated during your website build. By knowing what questions to ask web agencies you can better position your website build for success. That said, a lot of valuable information can be had not only in their responses, but also HOW they respond.

Did they reply to your inquiry quickly? Were they asking good questions of you to get an understanding of your needs? Were they personable, and did you enjoy speaking with them? Were they confident in their answers? Were they able to provide you with real-world examples of how they helped other companies in your shoes? How long did it take them to give you a website proposal?

Remember, these initial conversations is when any website agency is (or should be) at their best. Slow communication, or a delay in providing you with a website estimate are indicators you should move on. A standard website proposal should never take 2 or more days. 

Like any good relationship, it all starts with chemistry, and sometimes it comes down to intuition. That said, by asking good questions up front, you’ll be in a better position for a successful website launch. Good luck!

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