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Andrea Rice

6 Questions to Ask Before Working With a Website Development Agency

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With the increasing need of a web presence for all businesses, positioning your website boldly and relevantly is crucial to your growth and success.  Website development agencies are popping up all over the world in an attempt to be part of this quickly increasing need.  Oftentimes websites are hastily thrown together with no regard for user interface or management.  Frustrations mount on the part of the client with not knowing who to reach out to with questions or when problems arise concerning your new website.

Here are six questions to ask before you begin work with a freelance developer or website development agency:

1) What is included in your discovery phase?

The discovery phase is critical to the future of any project.  It’s the process for communicating to your developer all that you want the site to do and say to your user.  Work with an agency who will involve you closely throughout this phase to determine what services are needed and how best to convey your vision.  This period is a crucial time to share all of your ideas for your website.  It’s important to make sure your developer fully comprehends your mission and story before moving on to the next phase in developing your website.

2) What is a typical information architecture for my business?

It’s key to make sure your information and content is presented in such a way that the viewer is engaged and knowledgeable.  While this is not a simple step, it’s essential in making sure your brand and message takes root with the end user.  Find out if your agency has worked with your type of business before and if they have recommendations for a successful navigation and site index.  Once your information architecture is in place, you can move on to the design phase.

3) What is included in your branding and design services?

How your website appears to the public determines their willingness to hear your message.  Many companies often rush this step and are left behind their competition with poor design choices.  Ask the agency about their approach to design and if they include services such as identity development, collateral design, signage/way finding, installations, user interface design, graphic design, and mobile app design.

4) What platforms and coding languages do you typically use?

Functionality the works properly is critical to the user experience.  No matter how great a site looks or how well developed the branding is for a company, a poorly executed website will ruin the end users experience and tarnish the credibility of the company as a whole.  When it comes to development, it depends on the scope of your project as to how functional and in-depth the services you need.   Ask about the various content management systems your developer has worked with such as Wordpress, Drupal, or Joomla.  Ask if they code in PHP, Rails, HTML, CSS, Javascript, and offer application development with iOS and Android.

5) Does your agency integrate marketing goals into your development?

The most successful online marketing campaigns blend creativity with a strong focus on detailed analytics resulting in highly effective online marketing campaigns.  A full-service agency should consider your digital marketing goals such as search engine optimization when developing your website.  A real bonus is if they offer services for online advertising, social media and other digital strategies which will encompass your SEO strategy.  Discuss the online marketing strategies you’ll need such as search engine optimization, social media optimization, online ad placements and Adwords, along with regional and national development plans.

6) How much training do you offer to maintain the site after the initial development?

Ask your agency about the services upon completion of your site.  Do they train you on how to use and manage the platform?  For how long do they offer support or revisions with any issues that could arise as the site goes live and grows?  The most successful website development process from start to finish is firmly grounded in effective communication for creating a successful identity for the client’s business.  Find out how long you have to communicate with your agency once your site is live.

At Affari Project, our mission is to bring the heart of your business to the public in a way that they can connect with your story.  This process begins with thorough conversations before moving to the design, coding, and full launch of your website.  Look for an agency that will include you in each step of your website development and invites you to share feedback along the way, making sure that what is ultimately delivered is exactly what you envisioned from the start (or better!). 

Ongoing and effective communication is what sets Affari Project apart from the pack of creative and website development agencies.  No matter what stage you're in with the development of your website, we’d love to help you share your story and accomplish your website goals.  Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to share more about the scope of your project and to learn how we can help! 

Click here to learn more about creative agency Affari Project!

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