There are hundreds of web design companies in Brisbane and Auckland. So which digital agency is right for you? What should you consider when trying to choose the best Brisbane digital agency for your business?

We’ve put together a few points for you to review. Discuss these with potential agencies, because one size does not fit all.

1. First things first, what does your business need?

I don’t mean from a technical point of view, that’s our job. I mean from a business goals perspective. What’s the best thing your website could do for you right now? Are you looking to sell more products online? Do you need to attract more clients? Do you need to improve your reputation? Clear up the business logic first.

Then, speak to a few digital agencies on the phone, and request proposals from at least two. Sending an email is ok too, but you’ll get a far more valuable (and accurate) proposal after a chat. This is also a great way to test customer service.

Tip: Request changes to one or both proposals until they’re balanced. Add missing functionality/inclusions, or remove unnecessary functionality so that you’re able to compare equally.

2. Which CMS? WordPress, Shopify…

There are plenty of solid CMSs out there. These clever systems allow you to make changes to your website yourself (if you’re this way inclined). Find out which CMSs your web company offers, like Shopify or WordPress. You might have a favourite like WordPress or have heard about WooCommerce, or maybe you love your current CMS and want to stay put. Either way, know your business goals, initial and ongoing budget, and any current frustrations as these all contribute towards your ideal system.

3. What is your website budget?

Knowing your marketing budget will help potential agencies recommend a suitable system. This question isn’t asked to see how much you’re willing to spend, quite the opposite. It’s to find out which system and functionality will best support your financial situation, and allow you to grow and remain competitive online.

Tip: Considering future requirements at the start of a web design project can be a huge cost saver in the future. This allows your site to be built off the best possible base. Let your digital agency know if you’re considering selling online in future, or if you might want to allow shareholders access to a secure area for example.

4. Don’t forget the ongoing investment

Any website requires a domain name and website hosting to operate. Over and above this there are several additional services you’ll need to consider. Websites are dynamic, they can’t just be built and left as is.

E-commerce sites require an SSL to operate, and sometimes a CDN too. If you’re trying to grow your business, you may want to consider ongoing SEO work or email campaigns. If you’re going with the WordPress CMS, you’ll need to account for regular software updates. Find out which services are mandatory, and then which optional extras you can review, so that you can compare apples with apples.

Tip: If you are looking at a WordPress website, make sure the web company includes software updates for the CMS, your theme and all plugins. Without these updates, your website will be vulnerable to malicious use. This is a non-negotiable. WordPress updates need to be managed, always, and by a web developer – do not try this at home.

5. Which digital services do you need?

Different website companies offer different services, so it’s important to verbalise exactly what you do and do not need. Are you looking for logo design first, or is another company handling that? Do you need someone to manage your Google Ads account? Do you have an existing system that you need your website integrated with? Who’s managing your ongoing SEO and website updates? Make sure you have all of your boxes ticked.

Tip: Ask your agency if they can recommend any additional services. There are solutions to old problems being developed on a daily basis. There just might be something available that can help you become more efficient, and save budget or time.

6. Personal connections count

I know you’re not looking for a new best friend, but you will be dealing with the people at your new agency extensively. Find an agency that you connect with, or that shares your values.

Tip: We’ve found that our client base has developed mainly through referrals, or from seeing websites we’ve designed. So have a look around, are there any web designs that you love? Scroll to the bottom of the site and you’ll usually see a link to the digital agency that created it. Reach out and see if they can help.

Location? That’s a non-issue.

You’ll notice I’ve excluded location from the list, I’ll explain why. A number of web design companies, like ours, have developed super-efficient internal processes that make location almost irrelevant. Working remotely reduces travel time, and costs and contributes just that little bit to reducing our carbon footprint. We personally have clients located in various towns throughout Australia, the USA and New Zealand.

Tip: I said almost irrelevant because the only consideration when it comes to location would be around time zones. Make sure your digital agency can help when it’s needed.

Good luck. There are plenty of quality Brisbane digital agencies out there, we hope you find the perfect match!

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