There are many possibilities to create your own website, from free (or paid) designing tools, through hiring freelancers, to using the services of larger teams of professionals associated in agencies and corporations. If someone cares about any entry on the Internet, and doesn’t want to spend too much on it, they will certainly decide on a designing tools. In our opinion, however, the greater benefit will be to have an account on a popular social networking site (e.g. Facebook or Instagram) or a business card in Google My Company. In turn, using the services of a freelancer may initially seem financially attractive, but the cooperation may suddenly end (usually for various random and independent reasons). Those who have already tried their hand at the first website in the creators or have had bad experiences with working with freelancers start searching for the right interactive agency.
How to choose the right webdesign agency?
If you have already decided to cooperate with the agency and want to entrust your project to professionals, you should first find them. Usually, if we need something, we start the search by entering, in our opinion, the appropriate phrase in Google. And then it starts. Currently there are many interactive agencies at the market and probably there will be even more. Therefore, after entering the first phrase, we enter the second and third to somehow restrict the results. We visit every entry that attracted us with content and eliminate those results that for some reason do not suit us.
Should we consider the location of the agency’s office? It is worth knowing that many companies prefer electronic and telephone contact. In practice, live meetings are not necessary, and even the whole process of cooperation and creation of the website can be done electronically. But, many people prefere to have also direct contact with the agency. It also makes sense to choose the agency from your region. Depending on the nature of your business of course. If you run a local business, it would be worth considering the agency from the near, as they probably now the local market very good, know its specifications and the targeted group. So for example, if you run a small restaurant in Paris – you look for a professionals from this city, if you run a dance school in Düsseldorf and you need help to design your page – you should consider to look for the agency with a phrase Webdesign Düsseldorf. But as I said, this depends on your needs and expectations toward the agency.
Additionally, we check the portfolio, opinions, activity in social media. After the initial selection we have a few results left, to which we send a request. NOTE: If you send an inquiry by e-mail to everyone at the same time with a non-confidential copy, you can be sure that the only thing you will receive in return are the answers in which the agencies greet each other. The inquiry should be addressed to a specific company. It is also worth remembering not to send an inquiry to hundreds of companies. In practice, hardly anyone is able to review, analyze and compare the responses of as many agencies as possible to choose one particular one. It is worth sending inquiries to fewer companies, but carefully selected. You save your and others time.
Most common mistakes made by customers
Unfortunately, the main criterion for selecting an agency is still the price. Please note that a good website for free does not exist. Agencies often get a phone call with a question – What is the price of a website? A website is not a product in a box that has its own amount of the same for everyone. It is a service whose final effect is the creation of a website. This service consists of so many variables and factors that a quick telephone quote without the knowledge of the company, industry, needs, goals – is not possible. If we care about low price, we can use ready-made creator solutions or a cheaper freelancer option. However, we cannot expect too much from the project. It often happens that the amount invested in creating such a website never pays for itself, and we are exposed to additional costs resulting from our ignorance and lack of proper technical and advisory support.
Each agency, when creating a website, uses its own know-how supported by one of the many methods of cooperation. Such a project consists of certain stages, which should follow one after the other. At each of these stages, the client must cooperate with the agency and the agency with the client. It is important that the client is fully aware of the current stage of his product and why the stage takes place at all. The most valuable for the agency is the so-called “conscious customer”. The Internet is full of guides such as “Do It Yourself” or “How to Do It Yourself”, which often do not present the true facts or have outdated information.
Based on the main stages of creating a website, we will present a few errors that a “conscious customer” should avoid.
It should be smooth and logical. On the part of the agency there is usually a customer service representative who contacts the customer at every stage of the project. On the other hand, there should also be one person on the other side (maximum two in case of absence of the first one). It is often a common mistake to send e-mails in copies to several people, where there is no person responsible for the project. There is a mess in communication and endless series of corrections, so the project does not move forward. If there is a “forwarding” of the message, replying to the last message or typing the answer under the content or selectively during the process, we can be sure that such a project will get stuck at the very beginning.
Poor quality materials
Poor quality graphic files (poor logos and photos) will not help in the proper start of the project. The materials should be provided in a suitable form at the very beginning. If their weight is high, we should send them via a wettransfer service or use the cloud online. We should not send them directly in an e-mail. Copyright to the materials plays an important role here – still many companies do not have the right to the materials they use, “borrowing” photos from the manufacturer’s websites or “stealing” from competitors’ websites.
Creating a web page layout
Each interactive agency starts building a website by developing a prototype on the basis of a brief and an interview with the client. Often, before starting the proper graphic design, functional mock-ups of the website are created. They are prepared in order to present to the client the general architecture of information and the concept of the website. Thanks to the development of such mock-ups it is possible to quickly make any corrections, even those that completely change the layout. The main feature of the layouts is:
- no photos, no colors,
- a schematic-based system.
Creation of a graphic design
- “Logo or fonts are too small” – they’re not. A website is not an outdoor billboard advertisement. Users look at it from a distance of a few tens of centimetres and will surely see the neat logo in the corner. We should rather focus on what we want to present and on the way the user should go in order to convert. The logo usually accompanies us on each subpage and will not be missed.
- ´´The graphic design itself is not responsive ´´- it is a simple graphic created for a given resolution of a specific width. If we watch it on a smaller screen than the one it was designed for, we may have the impression that the elements are too small. Please note that the project was made by professionals with experience, who certainly made sure that the text is readable on any device.
- “I like it very much, but…” – if you like it very much, it’s often because something unnecessary hasn’t been placed there. Selecting the right elements and eliminating unnecessary ones is not easy, but it gives us a guarantee that we will get a clear and simple message. Usually, after adding something, we lose out on design and aesthetics, not gaining in terms of content at all.
- We look at the project considering what needs to be changed – starting from such an assumption we will always change something, even if only for the sake of principle. In most cases, however, it ends with the fact that we return to the original version. In other situations, the project is irreversibly changed, often to the detriment of the final product.
- Showing the project to people who should not – before the project is sent to the client, a group of people who already bring their valuable comments and tips on the basis of considerable experience in the industry watches over it. When a client receives a project, they can be sure that it has been made in accordance with art and fulfils its function. It is natural to make comments and proposals, which should be verified by the agency and discussed with the client. Showing the received project in a wider group (in a company or a friend), often to people who do not have experience in giving opinions, we are exposed to inappropriate comments, which then affect our perception and throw a proverbial bone of disagreement between the agency and the client.