Are you thinking of building a website or restyling your existing site? Are you thinking of opening an e-commerce to sell your products? Are you thinking of developing online tools for your customers? Then it's time to do some research online and find the right technological partner to request a quote to build your site. But how can you be sure of making the right choice?

In this article we share some experiences and considerations that can help you in choosing the right web agency and above all in orienting your choice in a conscious way. Below we tell you 8 things that it would be best to know or do before contacting any web agency and bothering someone for a website quote.

1. Know the difference between a web agency and a freelancer

The difference between a web agency and a freelancer is simple: the freelancer works for VAT, often at home. He takes on assignments based on his skills and many times uses a network of collaborators. However, very often it operates as a 'one-man show' and provides services from web design to programming, via SEO and web marketing. The success of a project depends on various factors which are, however, under the control and in the skills of a single person: skills, experiences, availability in terms of time, geographical location, communication skills. 

Very often, choosing a freelancer means putting all eggs in one basket, as the Americans say, that is, concentrating all the resources and expectations in a single subject. A web agency is an organized structure within which specialists, web designers, graphic designers, web marketing consultants, web analytics specialists, and many other strategic figures for the success of a web project operate. Usually, web agencies have higher costs compared to more resources that they can put into the project, but they can guarantee better quality, certain times, continuous assistance, development of strategies, and continuity over time.

2. Having a clear distinction between a programmer and a (web) marketing specialist

Entrusting the development of online communication strategies to a web programmer is like asking your hairdresser to structure your personal branding strategy. If you are clear about your marketing plan then you can entrust your project to a technical executioner, but thinking about letting your image develop and your communication to a programmer may not be a perfect choice. It must always be clear that a web programmer, a web technician, or a geek has nothing to do with online marketing and communication professionals. If you are looking for a structure that helps you position your brand, developing a communication strategy on social channels then a web agency is what you need, if instead you already have a web marketing and communication strategy defined then contacting a programmer (or your cousin) might make sense.

3. Having defined a budget in advance for the project

Tackling a project without a clear budget is like approaching a car salesman without knowing if you can spend 10,000 or 100,000 dollars or if you need a Ferrari or a Panda. While a good car salesman will surely take advantage of your indecision to sell you a Panda at the price of a Ferrari, in the field of web design and web marketing the solutions are many and must be defined on the basis of the real needs of a company. 

It is necessary to immediately define, with your potential suppliers, what are the economic stakes of a possible solution, and the return on investment objectives. To think that revealing the budget at the beginning of negotiation could lead to an increase in expenses is wrong, choosing a partner is not a game of poker. Helping your potential web agency to understand the budget and the economic limits can certainly help you maximize the result for your investment. Don't be afraid to define a budget and communicate it to a potential supplier.

4. Having made an analysis of competitors' sites

Before contacting a web professional for your site, do your research yourself and take note of your competitors' sites and market references. Try different searches on Google using different keys: your product, the field of application, the typical tools of your business, your name, and that of your competitors. Study the sites you find, how they present themselves, what content they have, which are more effective, and which seem more similar to your goals. All of this can help you get started better with a potential supplier and will also help you better understand how the market is moving and what needs to be done to stand out.

5. Being clear about what responsive and mobile-friendly sites mean

If today you are looking for a quote for a website then it is time to understand some terminology. Today most users access mobile sites and therefore accessibility to a site through various devices is essential. As above, visit the websites of your competitors from mobile: how do they see themselves? Which aspects affect you most? Ask your potential web agency for information on mobile optimization of websites and try to understand if your site will require a specific mobile strategy.

6. Understanding what managing and maintaining a site involves

A website is a living object that must grow and mature with your company. The contents must be maintained and kept up to date. However, platforms and technologies change over time. A professional website requires maintenance, content writing, management, updating, hosting, etc. Know that your online business and your web marketing strategy starts with the creation of the site but must be continued over time. Managing a website requires time and work and investment overtime to bring results. Know this!

7. Be clear what the terms hosting, help desk, and backup mean

While it may seem trivial to a technician, our potential customers very often do not understand these aspects and are confused about the terminology. While we all care about the speed of our ADSL at home, very few customers understand that choosing a hosting can be highly strategic for the quality and safety of a website. In the same way, assistance services can prove very important, and thinking of saving on these services means finding yourself at a loss: choose high-reliability solutions, with professional assistance services available by phone, highly redundant, and automated backup services. One day you will be grateful...

8. Having defined the objectives you want to achieve in advance

Defining a goal when talking about a communication project may not be easy for a non-expert, however, a client should set goals and have them clear before starting the search for a possible supplier. There are many possible objectives, such as: would you like to increase sales? Would you like to introduce your product to new customer segments? Would you like to receive requests for offers? Would you like to better present your products and services? We often invite potential customers to formulate 3 objectives among those possible and to formulate a priority among them. Once these objectives have been formulated, the next question should be to understand how to measure the achievement or not of this objective.

Have a website idea in mind? Request a quote from us and get customized solutions for your business.

Arun Goyal

Managing Director @ Octal IT Solution, a prominent Mobile App Development Company offering cutting-edge iPhone App Development and Android App Development services to Startups, SMEs and Fortune-500 Companies.

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