Finding a Digital Agency: What to Look for in a Web Design or Web Development Agency?

Narrow down your digital agency selection using our handy top ten tips on choosing a web design agency.

1) Check out their own site

Do you like it? Does it sell to you? Does it contain all the types of skills that you’re looking for e.g. good web design, well designed user interface, well built, works on mobiles. Does it impress you?

2) Ask to look at their portfolio

Are the case studies recent? Do you recognize the company names? Do a Google search and check that the companies exist and have the same website that the agency designed. Do you like the website designs they have produced? Ask yourself: Do they represent the company well? Would you use this website? Do they have experience of website design in your field? Do the website’s meet their objectives?

3) Check References

Ask the web agency if they can send you references or testimonials from customers. And when you get these testimonials, make sure you check them out. Call the clients up and check that the testimonials are real.

Finally, ask how long the agency has been running. Age doesn’t always matter, but it does help to identify experience.

4) Capabilities

All agencies will be good at some things and not at others. Find out what they have experience in and what they do well, they often have a bias to one content management technology or another. Often, it’s helpful to get the CV’s of all staff employed. The best agencies will have a balance of online marketing, development and creative. If you have specific requirements – make a list and ask the agency what their proficiency is in the specific skills.

5) Availability – Service levels

Check that they can meet your needs. Quite often companies have a client account team in the UK but their main development team may be based elsewhere. Make sure you get a phone number not just an email address (and not a premium rate number either). Ask the web design agency what the turnaround time is for responding to emails.

6) Resourcing

You want your web design agency to be big enough to ensure that if your account manager is off sick or on holiday your business is not forgotten.

Do you prefer a larger, higher resourced agency or a smaller, more flexible agency? The general rule would be to find a web agency that’s resourced to reflect the size of tasks and projects you require. If you have 1000 employees but your actual marketing and development budget is reasonably low, you are only likely to need an agency of 5-10 employees. If you have 100 employees, but you are heavily reliant on outsourced projects, a larger agency may be more suitable. No one size fits all!

7) Age of agency

Age doesn’t always matter, but in this industry it can be an important factor. The web has seen many changes in a relatively short space of time, if a website design agency has been in business for five or more years it have obviously been managed well. The internet has seen the boom and bust of many company’s; those that live to tell the tale are obviously being run well.

8) Are the staff approachable and professional?

It’s important that you connect with the people managing your account. The best results will be created when you forge a partnership with your web agency.

Do they provide an off the shelf package, or do they tailor their resources to your needs? Do they use a lot of jargon or explain things clearly? Have they provided relevant suggestions suitable for your business? Far too often, company’s try to sell you products that you don’t need and are not tailored to your needs.

9) Check out the agency’s terms and conditions

This is quite important and helps avoid problems further down the line. Here’s some helpful questions to ask:

  • Are there any hidden costs, like set up fees or holding fees?
  • Can you make staged payments for your web project?
  • Are updates and maintenance included in the website design fees?
  • Are bug fixes charged for?
  • Will you get a copy of the source files?
  • Who owns the source code?
  • Who owns copyright of the design?
  • Are the files back-up?
  • Will it work on smartphones?

10) Do they outsource their work?

Check to see if your project will be developed in house or if it will be outsourced. Ask to meet the design or technical team. If work is going to be outsourced, find out where, are you able to contact the team? There are many cases of company’s who have an account management team, and an outsourced development team. It’s common for technical development to be done off shore as resources abroad are cheaper. The problem with this scenario is guaranteeing the quality of the work produced. Does the account management team check the back end code? Does it meet current guidelines and legal requirements? Can they be flexible enough to meet your needs?

Want a web agency with a difference contact Alchemy Interactive

Ruby on Rails – A Competent Web Development Application

Written in Ruby programming language, Ruby on Rails is one of the most frequently used web application development framework. Often termed as RoR or Rails, it is an open source web development framework which is basically an object oriented programming language encouraging simple development, complete and potent web applications encompassing rich interactivity and functionality. Since Ruby on Rails works effortlessly with an array of web servers, deploying web solutions by using it is an effortless job. This is why; Ruby on Rails is part of every competent web development services set.

Ruby on Rails encourages the rails developers to boom in building powerful and elegant applications in an efficient and effortless way. Ruby on Rails segregates into four packages, Active Record which best suited for database interactivity, Action Pack which is on rails from request to response, Active Support encompassing utility classes and regular library extensions, and Action Web Service, where the server side support for the SOAP and XML-RPC web service protocols.

Ruby on Rails web development facilitates the rails developers to successfully build powerful and elegant applications in a relatively efficient and effortless way. It is believed that the coming of Ruby on Rails, an open source web development framework brought with itself a revolution in the way web applications are created. Some of the most popular websites that use Ruby on Rails web development framework in production environments are Scribed, Twitter, Urban dictionary, Base camp, Xing, Shopify, holu and Github. It is believed that any set of web development services is incomplete without Ruby.

Developed with the use of Model-View-Controller Design Pattern, ruby on rail is the favorite pick of many developers on the grounds of its powerful philosophy of CoC, which is Convention over Configuration, and DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself), and close connection with the supple development methodology. In addition the utmost convenience of using Ruby on Rails is the supple nature of development. Due to this flexibility, developing a thing on Ruby on Rails takes a much shorter duration than other platforms. Practically, Ruby on Rails has encompasses the potential of supporting rapid application development.

Features that drove humongous popularity to Ruby on Rails framework:

• Applications can be easily developed using simple methods and less code.
• Suits best for developing database-backed web applications.
• Facilitates quick and easy deployment of web solutions using Rails as it is adaptable with a variety of web servers and databases implementing CGI or Fast SGI.
• Shows smooth compliance with databases like MySQL, SQL, SQL Server, DB2 and Oracle and allow Ruby on Rails programmers to create user-friendly, enhanced applications.
• Absence of any requirement of compilation phase.

How to Choose the Best Company Offering Website Development

A company offering website development won’t help you just by creating a visually appealing design for your website and equipping it with a healthy set of web-based tools. If you choose the right firm to work with, it can also ensure that your website is optimized and perfectly positioned to capture your target market’s attention with the best SEO execution.

Of course, remember that the key prospect here is right – you can’t just hire any web development firm for your business. You must make sure they’re the best one for your needs, and to do so you would need to consider several factors.

Specialization

Obviously, specialization comes in various forms. Even so, you need to find a firm that can offer you as many relevant specialized skills as possible.

  • Has the company any experience working with companies whose nature of business is similar to yours?
  • Has the company any experience working with a company of your size?
  • Has it certified professionals in your preferred marketing platform? (e.g. press releases or live blogging)
  • Has it certified skills in developing mobile apps?

Team

Speaking of certified professionals, you want to make sure beforehand that you will be assigned a team you are comfortable to work with and have faith in. It doesn’t matter how well recommended they are. It’s best to give them a chance or trial first, but if things are truly not working out between you and the team then do not hesitate to ask for another or to switch to another company offering website development.

At the very least, someone like an art director should handle the visual side of your website while another one – like a master editor or copywriter – should be given the reins when it comes to content development for your site.

If they also have article writers and bloggers as well as layout and graphic artists and digital photographers added to the fold, then so much the better!

Time

It’s very important to work with a firm or a team that is capable of effectively managing their time and working with minimal supervision. Otherwise, both your time will be wasted with unnecessary delays. There are signs you can look out for to know if a team is indeed skilled with time management.

  • They meet their deadlines – sometimes ahead of time.
  • You never see them cramming.
  • They have valid reasons for asking for an extension – if they ever do so, that is.
  • They have a schedule for all their tasks.
  • They keep you updated regularly about their progress.

Pricing

Make sure that you are able to afford their fees. Secondly, be sure to pay on time. Late payments won’t exactly put them in a good mood to work on your website.

In any case, it’s totally fine to pay more than usual, but only for as long as you can be sure you are getting your money’s worth with their services. After all, you can’t expect an experienced and excellent company offering website development not to recognize the value of their work, can you?

Web Developers & Designers

Web developers and designers are the people involved in developing Word Wide Web applications or distributed network applications. Web designers are the team of workers that work in close cooperation in order to accomplish client demands. The basic aim of the web application development team is to satisfy client needs in meeting all their requirements. Web developers play an important role in fulfilling client requirements.

They are the software developer or the software engineers exclusively engaged in developing the web application designed by their team. Web developers works on the decision of web designers, in turn the web designers pattern the application according to client’s demand.

Basically, web designers will have good communication with the clients and provide a document on the client’s requirement to development team. The developers work upon the requirement to develop exact result of the final project. Web developers had to work on a particular project in one or more tires based on the size of the development team. Some developers participate in two or more fields in order to complete the project in time. The developers are dissevered, for example a group is assigned to work on the technologies sent to the client and other group can be ascribed to server-side frameworks.

Web designing is a complex process and it requires ongoing activity. The web development team works on the basic aspects of design to bring out expected result. They usually focus on the content of the website, usability, appearance and visibility. These aspects are nothing but the expected ones of the clients. They need their website should contain reliable information. They mainly expect their website should be attractive and user-friendly on which the designers earnestly work on.

Web designing team has certain model which contains steps to be followed to produce tangible product that fully meets requirement of the client. Nowadays, development team uses fourth generation language to develop the web applications which are rich in facilities. At the first phase, the developers work out in producing prototypes. The prototype is built to quickly demonstrate to the customer what the product would look like. Only minimal functionality of the actual product is provided at this phase. The prototype thus developed by the web developers are reviewed by the designer team and forwarded to customer for demonstration. Customer and the developer team virtually sit together side-by-side and gets feedback on the prototype that the developer shows the client.

Once the feedback is obtained they are documented. These requirements become the basic requirement of the actual system. Reviews on prototype are estimated by the web designer team, during each feedback issued by the client. The web exploitation team likes to spend most of its time in development of the web application, as these are closest to recent technologies. The technologies of today are more advanced and rich in its feature. Work of web developers and designers are made easy and the product is delivered to the client in time.

What Do I Look For in a Website Designer?

If your thinking of having a new web site or re developing your existing site, it’s important that you select the best web design agency for you. Affordable Web Design, offers you excellent service, fantastic websites at a fraction of the cost.

Below we have listed some of the things you will need to consider when planning on have a website designed.

The price of your website may vary a great deal, you can pay a fortune for a very simple one page website, prices generally start at around $400 for a normal web site. This price will vary off course depending on the level of design and functionality that you are looking for in your site. It’s important to keep in mind the standard of work that the website agency can produce, and the amount of customer service that they provide. You will want a web design agency that provides you will after sale service and does not just take your money and run. Remember that you will get what you paid for with most agencies, but it’s best to do some research into the company before you select them. Cheap does not always mean nasty in the web design industry. Many expensive companies can provide you with poor work.

Also keep in mind that the web design company you are thinking of having your site built through can do a search engine friendly site. The term SEO (search engine optimisation) can often be over emphasised by most web design agencies. They promise to get you on the front page of Google, charge you a fortune, but then provide no service for this. Check previous work they have done in relation to this to make sure they can do what they say.

Remember that first impressions make a huge difference to how your prospective client will view your site. So ask as many questions as you need to, because if you don’t you may end up with a website that is nothing like what you want.

It is possible to find yourself an Affordable Website Design agency with minimal effort, but it’s advised that you take into consideration the points stated, and research the design company as best you can, this will save you time and money in the long run, and provide you with a fantastic web site you’ll be happy with for years to come.