Do have a clear idea of what you are looking for.
Before you begin the process of approaching agencies you will save yourself lots of time if you have a clear idea of what you want. That doesn’t necessarily mean you will know exactly how the site will work or how it will look but an understanding of what it needs to do is something you should consider before speaking to an agency.
If it is a replacement site ask yourself the following questions:
· Why are we replacing the existing site?
· What do we love about the existing site that we want to keep/replicate?
· What doesn’t the current website do that we think a new site should?
Don’t be afraid of an agency that questions your plans or ideas.
This can actually be a really good sign. It shows they are thinking your project through and want to make it work.
Do use an agency with people you get on with.
Creating a new site can be a complicated process, you’ll need to communicate well with your agency and vice versa so whilst you don’t need to be best mates it will help if you feel you will communicate well with each other. Make sure you know who you’ll be working with and if you haven’t already, ask to meet the Account Manager who will look after your project before things get started.
Do think about after the site is launched.
Consider who will update it. How this will work and what support you need. It is worth having an idea about whether you need ongoing support from your agency before you commit to the project. This is best discussed early on so everyone knows where they stand.
Do look at other sites they have designed.
This will help give you an insight into their style and capabilities. A good agency will always be able to turn their hand to different styles and come up with new creative ideas but it will help if you like work they’ve done before. It’s also worth considering the sectors they’ve worked in, if you are a cutting edge fashion business you may not want to use an agency that traditionally designs sites for professional services organisations. Conversely if you are a professional services business looking to really stand out from the crowd and do something different then an agency that works for fashion clients might be just what you need!
Do make sure you have agreed who will do what from the start of the project.
For example will you supply all the copy? Will you proofread the site or do you expect the agency to do this? The project will run in a more efficient way and the end result is likely to be better if this sort of detail is agreed right at the beginning.
Do think about the future
We all know that technology changes at break neck speeds. You can’t predict the future but it is worth thinking about it and considering how your site will work in 6 months, a year and 2 years down the line.