If you’re at the point in your business where you’re considering hiring a web design agency, there’s probably a lot on your mind. On top of all the worries that come with scaling your business, you might be feeling a little apprehensive about the web design process itself, wondering what the investment will be like for a new website or perhaps even, feeling a little lost about how to find the right agency or web designer to begin.
In this post, I’ll answer some of these key questions and concerns you might have on what to expect and what to avoid when it comes to hiring a web design agency.
Related Post: 5 Signs it’s Time to Redesign Your Website
What does a website design agency do?
If you’re on the prowl for a good web design partner, it’s likely you already clued into your need of a new website. But what is the actual extent of what a web design agency can do for your business? It all depends on who you work with.
A full-service web design agency should be able to provide more than just website design services. Here’s a run down of what most web design agencies will include in their processes:
While the scope of work and the agency you work with will inform the specific process for designing your website, it’s likely to include most of these key steps:
- Website Discovery and/or Intake Meeting – to understand your vision for your website, should include research and information gathering from outside sources as well
- Strategy and Planning – to figure out what should go on your website, how all the elements and pages are related and define the user journey throughout the site based on your business’s goals
- Copywriting – to develop the messaging for your site pages, optimized for conversion for you target audience
- Design and Development – to create an engaging and informative user experience that reflects the brand’s values
- Revisions, Proofing and Testing – to ensure the website performs well on all screen sizes and devices and key functions are working properly
- Launching – to publish your site, making it live and accessible for your audience
- Maintaining and Optimizing – to measure your website’s performance against key business metrics and make adjustments as necessary
The online space is growing more competitive by the day and while a DIY website might be a good place to start when you are in the early stages of your business, a more established business and it’s audience, requires a more sophisticated online experience. I’m talking about on-point brand messaging, detailed information about your services and clear next steps on how to work with you. It’s not enough just to have a basic or simple website anymore.
You need to start thinking of your website as a tool to build leverage and scale your business through streamlined automated business processes and improve lead acquisition and conversion. Because if your website isn’t making you money in 2023, then it’s costing you money!
Related Post: How to Launch a New Website (10 Steps Checklist)
What’s the difference between hiring a web design agency and a hiring a web designer?
A web design agency is likely going to be able to offer you fuller scope of work than hiring a web designer alone. While some web designers do offer a holistic approach to their web design services, you’ll need to vet your options carefully if you are truly looking for a full-service web design partner. Partnering with agency to create your website usually means they will be able to provide value-added services such as SEO, strategic planning, copywriting, and more.
What does a web designer do?
While web designers do offer some of the critical skills it takes to create a new website, design is only one piece of the puzzle. Consider, not only does your website need to look good, but it also needs to function well and be able to communicate clearly. Also, consider, how are people even going to get to your website in the first place? If your web designer isn’t also experienced in SEO, web development and copywriting, your investment in just a design could be a sunk cost.
Related Post: 5 Website Design Errors to Avoid Before Launch
How much does it cost to hire web design agency?
Obviously, every web design agency has their own pricing structure and every business has it’s own unique requirements that will impact the cost of their website.
Usually the cost of a website will be impacted by several key factors:
- the amount of strategy and planning that it requires
- how many pages your website will have
- how complex the content is on those pages
- what functional components are needed
- the nature of your business
That’s why what an e-commerce business with over 20 site pages, 100 products and 200 blog posts is likely going to have to invest a lot more in their website than a service based-business with only 3 major services.
If you’re working with a small web design agency, based in the US, the cheapest you’ll probably be able to get a respectable website for a small business is around 5-10K (This is based on my experience in the marketing industry for 15 years, in the Midwest.) This would be a starting point for a relatively straight-forward, small-size website (less than 15 pages), sans bells and whistles. The estimated cost would increase from there, based on the requirements and other factors I listed above.
For more complex sites, and/or if you are working with a larger website agency that provides a more full scope of work, you could be looking at upwards of 100K (or more), for a custom website.
According to Forbes, if you are looking for a website design alone (not copy, or development) you can expect to spend $2,000-$9,000 on average for a small business.Forbes.com
Related Post: 6 Signs Your Business is Ready for a Custom Website
Other website costs you will want to consider
On top of your outright costs for creating your website, you’ll also want to take into account ongoing costs for maintaining your website such as hosting, domain costs, SSL, speciality plugins and perhaps even paying your agency or a designer/developer to help you keep your site maintained every month. Forbes also notes, you can expect to pay around $1,200 a year in website maintenance costs like these for a small business website. While it might seem like the dollars are adding up here, consider the potential revenue your website could be bringing you, rather than what it might appear to cost upfront.
>>> Want to take a peek at K Design Co.’s website pricing? Grab my Custom Website Pricing Guide! Just click the button below.
In any case, I’d recommend reaching out to at least a few different web design agencies, to talk to them about your needs and get a feel for their pricing before making a commitment.
What to look for when hiring a website design company?
There are several factors you should consider when choosing a web design agency. While price might seem like the biggest influence in your decision, it should really only be one part of the conversation you have with a potential web design partner. Consider a web design agency that charges 20K for custom websites, but has a proven track record to help their clients recoup their investment with just a couple weeks of launching and has set them up to multiply their investment exponentially thereafter.
In this scenario, it’s obvious why you’re going to want to consider more than just the outright cost of your website. Instead, consider the money you spend on your website an investment – and expect that comparing one agency to another isn’t going to always be an “apples to apples” situation.
How to choose a web design agency
Here are some things you can consider as you are looking for a web design agency and figuring out how to choose the best partner for your business…
Look for a web design agency that has an awesome website:
How badly does it reflect on a web design agency that can’t even create a well-done and up-to-date website for themselves? Yikes! If they can’t do it for themselves, there’s a really good chance they can’t do it for you. If you catch a whiff of any of these outdated web design practices, please run the other way.
Look for a web design partner who isn’t just an order taker:
While you do want to work with someone who will listen to your needs and vision, you’ll likely benefit even more from a website partner that challenges a few of your requests and can help you come up with new ideas from research and experience that you may not have considered.
Look at examples of their past work and client testimonials:
You should be able to browse examples of an agency’s past website clients and view examples of their work to get a feel for their style and the types of client’s they like to work with. A track-record of proven success, 5-star customer reviews and happy clients is a clue you’ve found a worthy option.
Look for a design partner who can answer the nitty gritty questions
Don’t be shy about asking an agency what their revision process is like or the specific details about payment timelines and project management. If they can’t give you clear answers on these basic details, this may indicate they don’t have good processes in place which should be a huge red flag. Poor processes or communication is easily the #1 downfall of any website project.
Look for a design agency that offers a website audit or consultation
Some agencies (including K Design Co!) offer a website consultation or website audit before actually designing your website. This will allow them to do some deep-dive research on your current site and your competitors, and to provide strategic recommendations for your new site before either of you commit to the full website project.
This is a great way to become more familiar and comfortable with an agency before committing several thousand dollars to them for a whole new website. Usually, this step also creates a better final outcome for your site because more time can be spent in the research and planning phase to ensure that every decision for your website has intention and strategy baked-in.
If you are in the market for a web design agency that can help you redesign your website or would like to get the conversation started with a website audit (I’m currently offering them at $599*), I’d love to chat with you more about your vision and goals for your business. Reach out today and let’s chat!
*Price subject to change.
I help female entrepreneurs and business owners create brands that command the spotlight. I love working with women to help them create beautiful, one-of-a-kind brands that give them the confidence to take their business to the next level and get them seriously noticed. I’ve worked with coaches, authors, influencers… you name it, and I bet I can help you too.