Starting your own business or already have an existing business? Whichever stage you are at, if you are looking to create a new website or upgrade your existing corporate or e-commerce website, you need to be doing some research on whether you want to engage a web design agency in Singapore, and if so, how to choose one that is reliable and competitive.
In this article, we will look at some of the most important features of a web design agency and explain what to look out for when outsourcing your website development. As a web design agency in Singapore, we understand this article may make you feel or think that it is slightly biased, but rest assured that we will be giving our opinions objectively and this article only came into fruition because we have come across clients who have asked us the same questions, repeatedly. Bon voyage!
What is important when starting a design project?
A website is more than just a business card online, it should look good, but more importantly, it needs to convert your visitors. Otherwise, it is all just aesthetics with no real business value. Begin this by writing down more details about your customers, who are they, why do they need your product or services and what are they looking for when trying to find out more information. This helps you to visualize and understand your customer better.
For example, if you are in the education industry, your visitors are most likely trying to understand more information about the courses available and the details of each courses. Additionally, they will often have enquiries so it is important to make it easy for them to get in touch with your support team. This can be achieved through a Live Chat integration, on top of options such as getting in touch via social media platforms, contact forms, a hotline, and a messaging platform (i.e WhatsApp). This was the case for MNE Asia Pacific, where they reached out to us to create a clean and responsive website for potential students who may want to take up their courses.
Erase was able to successfully deliver as per their requirements and we are still working with them on an ongoing basis for other of their business needs. These pages and features should be simple, visible and be easily accessible for the end user. In summary, we must design the website based on what your website visitors’ intentions are.
Why can’t I just use any web design agency out there?
After consulting with a few different agencies and freelancers, you should have received quotes that ranges from $1,000 to $100,000. Here, many companies or entrepreneurs would likely be confused, some agencies seem to offer the same features, yet how could the prices differ by thousand of dollars? How does any of that makes sense? Well, you are technically right, but there are usually a few reasons why an agency may charge more for similar features. Mainly, the differences lie in strategy, experience, and expertise. For more information on how much a website should cost, you can read this article that provides some rule of thumb. Read: How Much Should a Website Cost?
The same features do not determine the end results.
This seems obvious, but many companies often fall into the trap where an agency offers tons of features and for cheaper to earn more clients. Although Web Design Agency A may be cheaper than Web Design Agency B with the same offerings, you must take a deeper look into each web design agency to truly determine the value provided by both.
Here are just a few simple questions you should ask yourself:
- How does the projects done by Web Design Agency A differ from Web Design Agency B?
- Do you trust the team working on your projects from Web Design Agency A or B?
- How does the web design agency differ from one another? Does their website load fast? Is it interactive? Is it similar to the requirements of what you are looking for?
If you are still in doubt, reach out to both web design agencies and ask them why you should not choose the alternative web design agency and evaluate their responses.
The difference in expertise is hard to value at first.
If you have never developed a website before, you may not understand the real differences between two websites even if they look very similar. One website could be developed from scratch using a CMS such as WordPress with more options for customization or be fully custom coded and the other could just be a simple drag and drop website built on a platform such as Wix, Squarespace or Shopify which may be more inflexible. To understand more about the differences, here are some helpful articles you can visit:
- 2021 In-depth comparison between WordPress, Wix and Squarespace
- 2021 In-depth comparison between WordPress and Shopify
The strategy and design process could be entirely different.
After consulting with the different web design agencies, if not already written on their website, you should receive a few different proposals containing each web design agencies design or development processes. Great web design agencies will have a comprehensive step-by-step process that considers your requirements and your customers journey throughout the website. Ultimately, what it should show you is that their experience and expertise shines above the competition, while being able to keep the overall project cost competitive.
It is not all about the features and expertise.
We get it, you want to build the best impression and features on your website for your business, but many founders and companies tend to overlook one thing: customer and technical support. How fast does the web design agency respond to you and to what detail of information do they provide? Are they transparent and upfront or beat around the bush a lot? That will tell you a great deal of the level of service you would receive as a client, as if they can’t attend to you before you become a client; it would likely get worse when you actually become one.
This is because it shows signs of overloaded account managers or that their team is already running at over capacity, making it difficult for them to respond back to you fast. Customer and technical support are very important, sometimes more than the actual website itself because if your website goes down, nothing else matters other than the speed of getting it back up and running again.
What else does the agency has to offer?
Lastly, one of the most important things that businesses tend to overlook when they look for a web design agency is this: can the agency offer more than just the web design and development? If you are a smaller business, it is likely you do not have many staff, hence it gets difficult when trying to scale your operations. Can the agency provide a range of solutions so that you can outsource your creatives, advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) and content?
Additionally, you should also ask the web design agencies you approach whether they provide any solutions after the website hand-off other than maintenance packages. For instance, at EraseMedia, each client is treated more as a partner rather than a customer, this means that every quarter at Erase, we hold a meeting to discuss on new strategies for each unique client of ours to help them develop and expand. Whether that means new features, new advertising strategies, potential complementary services or products and new potential partnerships, we have done it all.
There may be many agencies out there who can provide all sorts of solutions and services, which is great for you as it means they are all competing for your business, increasing the value you receive as a customer. But ask yourself this, how much of the overhead cost are the agencies passing onto you when you become a client? Do they really provide more value with lesser features because they are more “experienced”?
If you are looking to work with a web agency in Singapore for your next website, get in touch with Erase to work with a partner that goes further than the work requirements. From simple corporate websites to complex e-commerce stores, we have no issues creating a beautiful and responsive website that aligns with your brand and helps convert your leads into loyal customers.