When a business hires a freelancer to design a website, this simply means that quite often just one person may handle the whole web design process from start to finish. So, for example, that’s to say there might be one person which designs the entire web site, and that same person then writes all of the content marketing as well, then that same person may later also improve your organic seo- this is often a lot of work for one person to do!
However, at large web design agencies, well, that’s a whole different kettle of fish for sure, that’s because some marketing agencies can range between 10 and 50 staff, and the website is built by sometimes many different staff members. So, this means, sometimes, the website can be designed a whole lot faster.
Often there will be a project management tool which the agency uses, and simply each member of staff completes different parts of the web design process. So for example in week one there might be dedicated to brainstorming, and then a kick-off meeting, week 2 creating a set of brand guidelines, week, 3 the web developer may start building the wireframes example.
There might also be one person who manages what some web design agencies, call the front of house, so that person or team deals with the client, in terms of having regular meetings to update the, client on how the website been designed, and to gain feedback from the client.Then the ideas are then taken to somebody who creates a site map.
Once the site map has been approved, it then time to build the wireframes, then it might then be handed to a senior web developer who then builds the website.
At the same time the copywriter might be working to write all the text, such as all of the product descriptions for the new WordPress website. This might take sometimes well over a month to write all of the text, and all of the product descriptions, as well as the text for the main pages and blog posts.
Then often they will be somebody like a graphic designer, who will be designing the new company logos as well for example. This is why a lot of businesses hire digital marketing agencies, simply because, they may have a lot of staff, because there are so many staff, the website can sometimes get built faster, than if you were to hire a freelancer for example.
Then there might be somebody who does the testing of the website as well, right at the end of the web design process for example, they should text all the different buttons to make sure everything works as they should on your new website. Of course, what you don’t want, is for the website to go live, and then there’s glitches with the website, such as the main menu, on smartphones not to work, so its important that someone at the web design company, tests everything to make sure it works correctly.
Why work with a web design agency?
Well, the simple answer is, often when a large website needs to be built, such as a big e-commerce website, which might sell well over a thousand different products, often a web design agency is needed to do all of the design work.
So, a web design agency is often needed, that’s because otherwise would be simply too much work for a freelancer to do on their own.
The last thing you want is to hire a web design company, and they come up with the website that’s a bit mediocre, a bit run-of-the-mill, a bit average at best, and then in a short period of time you might need to have the whole website redesigned again, because you might not be entirely happy with how the designers designed the website.
So what you often need is a cutting-edge web design agency, like Walsh an agency which really a their finger on the pulse, that can really understand the DNA of your business, so that they a come up with a brilliant design for your company which is unique, and so you get good value for money.
Ongoing support and Security
What you may also want from your web design agency, is that they offer on going support.
Often many companies charge a fee per month, to for example, keep the website up to date, to make back-ups, and to offer security, such as changing passwords, on a regular basis.
How does the web design process work?
So we often have a kick off meeting to get a really good idea of how the customer wants the website to look like.
If you were to hire us as your web designers to design a large e- commerce website, then we would start by designing a site map, sometimes this could be relatively simple, and just drawn a whiteboard during a meeting, yet sometimes for much larger websites, we need to go away and design the site map, that’s because the website might have thousands of pages for example.
We then need to send the site map, via a PDF document to the client, so that they approve the site map.
Once the site map been approved by the client, and the brand guidelines have also been approved,
We can then start to build the website, and this often means building the wireframes.
After the wireframes have been built, the website needs to be handed over to a more senior web developer so that they can put the finishing touches on the website.
The last piece in the jigsaw puzzle is to hand the website over to somebody who does user testing.
How to go about finding the right web designer / web design agency ?
Well, this is the million-dollar question, that’s for sure, that is how do you find the right web designer to design the perfect website your business?
The simple answer is there’s no magic formula for this, you do have to do some shopping around, that’s for sure. That’s because you might meet your web designer and they may make all the right noises at the start of the design process, so you hire them, so initially you are a huge amount confidence in them.
But when you actually see what website looks at the end of the web design process, and well, a look of disappointment might appear on your face, because where you wanted a modern, professional, well built website, well, you might have spent say 10k on a website, which looks, not as good as you had envisaged.
So you may really need to do is our look at the past websites that the web design agency has built say for companies that may well be in a similar business sector.
Now if there have designed say 10 WordPress websites, there on the companies portfolio section, and they all look simply fantastic then this likely that they have the staff, such as the web developers, that to build a good website your business.. However, with that said even if they built really good website in the past, there’s no guarantee the your can get brilliant website your business now.
Because what sometimes the agency might push the boat out for a few clients, and build a really intricate well-designed website for some clients, then use those websites to showcase them as examples on the web design website, yet when you actually see your website design for your business, when it might look totally different, it might rather basic.
So, what you need to do is have regular meetings with the web design agency, that’s to make sure that you are both on the same page in terms of how you want the website to look, when the website will be completed.
So, what services do web designers typically offer?
Well, the most obvious, would be, we build websites, yet web design agencies normally offer a lot more in the way of services than just designing websites these days, so, have a look at some of the other services that we can offer, and a lot of other web design agencies too:
So, whether it’s business cards that you need to be designed and printed, whether it’s company letterheads that need designing, or simply a flyer which needs to be designed, so that you can hand it out of the business networking event, we can design all of this for you.
Some businesses also offer to design products as well.
A lot of digital marketing agencies also offer to design apps for android and apple phones as well.
Sometimes the digital marketing agency will also offer graphic design as well.
It’s important if you need to have a website designed, to think about whether the company that will design the website, also offers to design brand guidelines as well, because you might want to get a set of brand guidelines made, before your website starts to get designed.
For example brand guidelines simply a set of guidelines which stipulate which colours to use (the hex codes), how the logo should look and also even what font you might want use in your company website.
So brand guidelines can be really useful, so that your web developer, knows which colours to use, which logo, and which fonts to use.
The structure of a web design agency explained
So, When you hire a web design agency, how many people are working on your website will obviously depend on the size of the web design agency that you hire For example, some companies might be have relatively small team, lets say only three staff, so the whole team might be working on building that website.
However, with some larger agencies, well there might be well over 100+ that work for that digital marketing agency, and you normally have many which are allocated to designing different parts of the website at a large website design agency.
So your more run-of-the-mill brochure websites, these websites that can be built fairly quickly, and there often designed by less senior web developers.
And then you have your head developers, and head designers, these staff might manage the design normally of the marketing agencies much higher value work, so for example they could be building an e-commerce website for a plc company, that may take many months to build.
The Structure of a Web Design Agency
Here is the typical structure of a large web design agency
Normally the head designer at a large web design agency, will only meet the clients when there is a high value website that is being built.
They might also oversee some of the brochure websites being built, but often don’t get involved too heavily with say a simple brochure website that needs to be designed.
The head developer, will often be the person that will manage the web development team, you might liaise with the head developer when a website is being designed.
Head of SEO
If your just having a website designed, normally you don’t meet the seo staff at the web design
Header of seo, normally only meets the customers when the business also need shelp improving their organic seo as well.
Head of client services
Normally you have the head of client services, who manages the staff who job it is to meet clients, and hold meetings, and also the sales staff, who may attend say networking events to draw in business to the web design company. ,it is normally for the head of client services which you will normally meet these during meetings with your web designers.
There will be the design teams, for a large web design company, you might have separate teams who design the brochure website, another team who design the e-commerce websites, another team that design the simple one-page websites.
At the really large web designers you often have a team specialising Drupal web design, another team that just builds WordPress websites, and another team that specialises in Joomla web design.
Then you will have the web development team which will work closely with the web designers
Then you the SeO team which is obviously managed by the seo manager
Questions you could ask
So, here are some of the questions that you might ask when you meet your web designers
Who will be my primary contact?
You should ask who will be the primary contact at that web design agency, that you can e-mail, or call, and you may wish to arrange to have a meeting with them, to see whether you are happy to work with them, during the web design process.
How often will you be updated?
You should also ask your designers how often the marketing agency is going to update you, that’s to update you on how the web design is going. Will it just be once a week?
Or once a month?
Or just at the end, when the websites been designed?
So you might want to ask how often they will e-mail you, to update you how the web design is coming along.
How are my design requests and feedback processed?
You might suddenly change your mind on the colour you that to use a new website, or lets say just on the homepage you may want a totally different colour used on say the footer, so you should ask how does the feedback get process work that that web design agency?
So, for example if you wanted the colour change how quickly can this be turned around?
Or in matter of fact, is it written into the contract you can’t actually ask for any or too many revisions when you have a website designed at that agency?
Are you therefore restricted to just having a website built, based purely on the information you supplied to your designers at the very start, and they don’t offer revisions, unless you pay more?