Choosing a great website design company for your online presence project is crucial. In this article we will cover some of the major considerations when hiring a web design company.
Table of Contents
Website Design Background
Clio Websites has been in the business of developing websites since 2007. We have learned a lot about design and development over the years.
Take a look at some of these popular websites and what they used to look in the 90s (by crazyegg.com):
Our industry has evolved quite a bit in the past few decades but we continue to help our customers by making things easier.
Keeping up with the latest technology is a major challenge for small and large businesses. This is why we have decided to compile a list of common things to look for when selecting a web design company for your next project.
We will start by explaining common website design services that web agencies and online marketers offer.
Common Website Design Services
Common web design services usually fall into one of three categories: launching websites, search engine optimization (SEO services), and website maintenance services.
Website Design and Development Services (Launching Websites)
This broad service offering includes branding, design, copy, and everything else that is required to launch a website. Some companies specialize in certain areas, but full service agencies should be able to launch the entire website for your business.
At Clio, designing and developing user friendly responsive websites is our specialty. Check out our portfolio or read this article to find out more about us. We provide end to end services and have a proven track record.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO services)
According to moz.com SEO is:
“… the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through non-paid … search engine results.”
So what does this mean for you and your business? SEO is a highly recommended way to increase your digital presence and exposure. It can generate new leads for your business and lead to more sales.
SEO is a complex topic and includes many approaches and techniques. It consists of both organic concepts (link user experience, website performance, etc) and paid advertising (like Google Ads). Both techniques should be used for maximum exposure and performance. The following video is a great primer on SEO:
Clio can help you get started on your SEO journey by advising where to focus your internet marketing efforts. If you need help with your marketing strategy or want to find out more about our SEO services, reach out to us.
Website Maintenance Services
Once you launch your website, your job is far from over. Ensuring that your website stays up to date is critical from a security perspective.
Clio Websites maintains several high traffic websites and CMS systems like WordPress and Drupal. Our company ensures that client websites are always up, secure, and backed up which eliminates data loss and minimizes risk.
Although we don’t host the websites that we develop, we will manage your existing hosting provider or recommend a new provider if you don’t currently have one. We provide hosting support services and can help you transition from an existing hosting provider if they are not meeting your expectations. Clio performs a lot of website migrations if you are unhappy with your current website or hosting provider. In a previous post we covered all you need in order to launch a new website.
Now that we’ve covered common web design services it’s time to review some of the common things to look for when selecting a website design company.
What to look for when choosing a website design Company
The first thing you should look at is the web design company’s portfolio. Some of the things to look for are:
- Does their portfolio look modern and professional?
- Do their websites load fast and are there any visible errors?
- Does their portfolio look the same across different projects? Some providers recycle the same theme over and over to keep their costs low. This results in all of their websites having the same look and feel.
We take a lot of pride in our work and make sure each website is custom and distinguishes you from competition. Take a look at our portfolio for examples.
Not having good references and reviews should be a major red flag when selecting a web design agency. Always ask for references, look for reviews on their website, check Google, and follow up with the references they have provided. We cannot emphasize this point enough!
Retention rates are also a great indicator of how happy their clients are with their services.
We post a lot of our testimonials on our website and also have 5/5 on our Google reviews. Clio would also be happy to provide references that you can follow up with to find out what it’s like to work with us.
Does their approach make sense and does it fit with your business goals? For example, when we develop websites and work with clients, we like to use an iterative approach. This means that you will be involved during each step of the way and provide feedback before it’s too late.
Most companies will gather your requirements and you won’t hear from them for a few weeks while they work on your project. We have found that this not only results in poor results, but it can frustrate both the client and the company you are working with. This is why we keep the clients involved each step of the way and do frequent check ins to make sure we are on the right track.
To find out more about our iterative approach, check out our about us page.
Use of Modern Technologies
This one may sound not important to you as a business owner but hear us out. Understanding and using modern technologies and frameworks ensures that your website will be supportable and transferable.
If you decide to switch providers in the future you will have a hard time finding resources that can look after your website if you are using legacy technology.
Also, newer and supportable frameworks like WordPress ensure that your website stays secure and responsive. This is why you want to make sure your website is using the latest and greatest technology stack.
Ongoing Support and Maintenance
What does their support and maintenance look like after you launch your website? Are there any costs and fees after going live? Ongoing support and maintenance costs can quickly add up if your website isn’t performing well or it’s not easy to update.
WordPress gives clients the ability to update their own content without hiring a web developer. Recently we wrote about startup costs of launching a website. Keeping your website secure and loading quickly is important for SEO. Therefore, you will want to make sure that it is getting properly maintained and updated often.
Beyond Web Design
There are many aspects to launching a successful web project. The design has to be appealing, the website needs to perform well, it has to be accessible, and it has to generate leads or sell products. This is why it is important to hire a company with a proven track record that understands all these aspects and can apply them effectively.
You need to ensure that the company you decide to work with understands the following about your business:
- What inspired you to start your business (motivations and passions) and what sets you apart from your competition?
- What are you looking to gain from your website?
- Understanding your business goals and how technology can enable them?
Generating leads and lots of traffic to your website will require ongoing investment. You will want to ensure that the agency you select has experience working with companies in your industry. They should also be able to guide your investment where it makes the biggest difference. Their references and portfolio should be able to reflect their experience.
Why Clio Websites
Clio Websites is a full service website design company in Calgary. We have vast experience in responsive website design, website maintenance, WordPress development and support, and online marketing. Clio offers free consultations, and free website evaluations to help you get started. We are always available and happy to answer any questions you may have, so please contact us to find out more.
Clio offers interest free payment plans and we receive glowing reviews from our clients. Here are a few things that set us apart from the competition. Clio Websites:
- is a premier Calgary web design company with WordPress expertise,
- has years of experience helping small businesses achieve their online goals,
- has a very high customer satisfaction and retention rate (over 98%),
- spends the time to understand your business needs and requirements,
- prides ourselves on the quality of service we provide to each and every client,
- is responsive and won’t leave you hanging for days when you need support the most,
- creates custom websites for each project to separate you from your competition.
We hope that this article didn’t overwhelm and paralyze you from making a decision. Clio is here to make things easy for you, so if you have any questions feel free to reach out.
Website Design Company Evaluation FAQs
What is the difference between a web development and website design company?
Great question. We wrote an article describing the difference between the two.
Should I ask for references from a digital agency / web company?
Absolutely. We think that references are key. If a company has a hard time providing good references, walk away.
How much does a website cost in Calgary?
How much do SEO services cost in Calgary?
This will largely depend on your budget. It would be no different than asking how much does advertising cost? Think of SEO as online marketing and compare it to traditional advertising. You could spend next to nothing (for example – free kijiji ad) or you could spend millions (think superbowl ad). If you have questions about our SEO services, please contact us.
What are the ongoing costs to maintain my website?
We wrote an article that covers some of the startup and ongoing costs of a website. This can also vary based on your business needs. Investing in marketing and promoting your website and content is labour intensive and can add up quickly. Also, websites need regular maintenance to remain safe and reliable.
Clio usually recommends that you budget at least 1 hour to apply updates, test backups, and make sure everything is running smoothly on your website.
What is the difference between a WordPress website and a regular HTML (Bootstrap) website?
This is a great question and we get asked this one a lot. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that comes with out of the box blogging capabilities. HTML websites usually don’t have blogging capabilities but are responsive and offer other benefits. We wrote about some of the major differences between the two platforms on this page.
How do I get started if I want to work with you?