Top website designers and agencies for growing startups, SMBs and enterprise clients.
Last updated: September 21, 2020
These days when the whole world experiences a few months of self-isolation, we have to move toward digitalizing all our business as much as possible to diversify our revenue sources. Having a presence online is essential, and a website is one of the things. There are lots of different types of websites. Some are just for general information, and others are heavily focused on a sales funnel. In any case, any of them require an expert that can help to design it as effectively as possible.
Here are some agencies that you can find useful for your growing startup, SMB, or an enterprise company. And, of course, one of them is our team.
How to choose the right agency?
Finding and choosing a website design team comes to a few key things like relevant experience, types of businesses the agency works with (tech vs. non-tech), size of the companies they work with (startups, SMB, enterprise). Based on these parameters, a potential customer can expert a specific approach, pricing, etc.
Budget and pricing model
Some agencies charge hourly, others do a monthly fee/retainer, but most of the time there is a specific PO (Purchase Order) with a fixed budget behind it. And all agencies find have different payment schedule and model to use that budget the most effective way. Most of the time, a website design company provides an estimated budget based on hourly rates.
In the post-COVID world, a question like 'where are you based?' fortunately becomes less relevant. For example, here at Ramotion, we are proud to be a fully distributed team, and we apply all modern tools and experience to overcome the absence of in-person meetings. Most of our clients are pretty happy about it. Usually, web firms have a presence in their target market locations. For example, tech-focused agencies often have teams or representatives in San Francisco, entertainment-focused in Los Angeles, financially-focused in New York or London.
We tried to cover the process the most straightforward way here.
But the key steps are:
- Discovery & audit
- Visual design & front-end
Additional thoughts on choosing the Right Web Design Partner
Are you trying to build or update your website? Not sure where to begin? Help is available, wherever you may be. A good design firm will save you time and money by allowing you to use top-notch talent with the exact skills your project needs. There are great firms of all shapes and sizes and this article will give you some guidance on how to find a good match for your business and project needs.
What are you trying to do?
Before you begin your search, it’s essential to spend some time thinking about and documenting your needs. This will help you set up selection criteria for the firm you choose as well as serve as a jumping-off point for scoping the project and requirements when you are ready to get started.
- Why are you doing this project? Are you a brand new business needing a brand new site? Are you updating an existing site as part of a re-brand? Expanding your features? The answers to these questions will help you determine the skills you’ll need. Try writing down a specific goal. This should be something like “build/update/rebrand our site to increase sales/establish our brand/improve customer interaction”.
- What is the basic scope of the project? Take it a step deeper than the goal you created. This could be anywhere from set up a basic site where potential customers can find out about your business, service, or product to building a robust eCommerce web site. List the content and features that should be included. If this is a new basic site you may want to consider simply setting up a site on a web service like Wix.com or Squarespace.
- What resources do you already have? You may have skills available already on your marketing team, or you may have worked with a graphic design firm to create a logo and other brand assets. How might you take advantage of these resources?
- What technology do you currently have in place? Where do you need help?
- What is your budget?
You may be tempted to find the cheapest option, and as with any vender or project, that could end up costing you more in the long run due to inexperience, inefficiencies, or simple misunderstandings and rework.
- Design agencies vary a lot. There are boutique firms specializing in a particular industry or location. There are large agencies that offer other services such as UX design, development services, and graphic design. Armed with the requirements you defined you can compare your potential firm’s service offerings to your needs.
- Do you want a local firm that offers in-person collaboration? Or are you ok with a remote or asynchronous working format?
- The personality and style of the firm should match yours. You’ll need to be confident that whatever agency you choose will work well with you, understand your needs, and be accessible to you.
Locating and Interviewing
So, how do you find firms and agencies that fit the needs you now have defined?
- Ask around. You probably have business connections in your geographic area, industry, and other networks. Talk to them about who they’ve worked with (good and bad) to get recommendations.
- Hit the web. Lists of great firms can be easily found with a quick google search, or start here. Another option is to visit sites you like and are similar to what you are trying to accomplish. Many sites will reference the firm that designed them somewhere in the footer of their pages.
- Check your neighborhood business group, community business resources site or group, or resources offered by entrepreneurs and business groups.
Once you have a few potential firms to consider, check them out. View their sites, portfolios, and reviews. Pay particular attention to aspects that align with the requirements you defined. How big are they, what services do they offer, does their previous work match what you envision for your site?
Next contact several that seem like the best fit to get additional information. What is their process, what are their fees like, can you get additional details on their service offerings? You may even want to discuss their availability in your time frame to avoid interviewing a great firm only to learn they are booked up for the foreseeable future.
Finally, set up an interview or initial meeting with the best 3 or 4 firms. Bring your requirements and see how their representative responds to them. Get some initial idea of cost, availability, duration, and other elements of how they can fulfill your needs. This is also where you get a feel for their style and how well you might work together. If all other criteria are equal, you’ll want to choose the firm you have the best rapport with. Try to meet some of the staff that would be working on your project as well.
Once you’ve gathered all your information and met with some potential agencies, compare them each against the requirements you defined. Then get moving with a contract for the best fit of cost, personality, and skill!
If you successfully choose the right agency, you’ll not only end up with a great web site that perfectly fits your needs but potentially develop a great working relationship leading to future projects. You’ll have found a cost-effective, efficient method of keeping up with your digital needs and giving your customers an amazing experience.