9 Tips On How To Work With A Web Design Company

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Whether you are starting to build your first website, upgrading your current website, or are seasoned with working with an agency, we have invaluable tips you NEED to follow.

This is super important because being clear and safe is the best approach for both parties involved.

As a web design company in West Palm Beach, we are writing this for your benefit because we have seen nightmare situations for businesses and want to prevent this from happening to you.

These quick tips can potentially save you a significant amount of time and money.

1. Set Clear Goals

Before starting any project, you need to define the problem you are trying to solve with a website and how you will get to the solution you are looking for. 

You need to have an end goal in place to go down the correct path. 

This may include increasing your traffic or increasing your revenue. The more specific you can be the better. 

2. Define Project Timeline

Setting a realistic timeline for both parties will help keep everyone accountable. There should be a project deadline and responsibilities for how and who gets things done. We often hear how certain projects get drawn out for months or even years.

If you’re slammed for time and can’t commit to what the web design company is asking for, consider delaying the project until you or your team have time or delegate responsibilities to the web design company. 

It will be tough for both parties if either side can’t dedicate the time needed to complete the project. 

An example may be the company may ask you to provide certain things like access, content, or general revisions and if there is a delay in getting those things over, the timeline gets pushed. 

The same goes for the web design agency, if they are slow in getting access or are too swamped with other client work they may not hit the deadlines needed.

Both parties need to agree on the timeline and don’t just “get it tomorrow or the next day”. 

Phases typically include getting access, getting relevant content, writing copy, designing, revisions, development, testing, and launching. 

3. Outline Revision Process

Revisions can be short and sweet or drawn out. You can make the process go smoothly by having the approval process for the wireframes (black and white mockup of a page), copy, and design. 

The wireframe is made to give you the structure of a page to see what content is going where. After that is approved, you write the copy for the page. 

This speeds up the process because when you add design to a page and need a revision, it is a design revision rather than a page structure or copy change.

Once the wireframe, copy, and design are approved, there should not be any more edits because once going into development, 1 change can throw off the entire page or website which may significantly delay the project,

When it comes to revisions, make sure you have all of your thoughts and opinions of your team documented and shared with the web design company.

It is best to have the content reviewed and hop on a video call with someone taking notes. This will prevent email replies and other opinions from coming in late when the next phase should be already moving. 

4. Document Everything

To avoid misunderstandings and potential disputes, we recommend getting everything in writing for any agreement or commitment. 

A legally binding contract serves as a safeguard for both parties, outlining key terms such as project scope, timelines, payment terms, and ownership.

If one side doesn’t meet the requirements, you can refer back to the agreement.

5. Clarify Payment Terms

Discuss payment terms upfront to prevent any financial misunderstandings down the line. 

Clarify if it is a fixed price, hourly, milestone-based, or value-based pricing. 

Document when payment is due and if work will continue or stop if it is delayed. 

6. Define the Scope of Work

Having a clear understanding of the scope of work is where most companies have miscommunication. 

The number of revisions and responsibilities need to be crystal clear and not vague.

“We will build you a website” is vague. Defining how many pages, what services are included, and what happens after the website is launched, are the key points.

Scope creep is where projects get delayed, budgets get destroyed, boundaries get pushed, and expectations are not met.

Here is a short list of things to consider in the scope of work.

  1. Domain & Hosting responsibilities
  2. Strategy
  3. Copywriting
  4. Design
  5. Development
  6. SEO
  7. Integrations
  8. Features & functionality expectations
  9. Ongoing work & maintenance
  10. How many pages are created and for what purpose
  11. Number of revisions

Have these documented in your agreement and if you need to pivot, which happens often, add it into the revised agreement with terms and signatures.

7. Clarify Ownership Rights

This is huge, huge, huge. We named our company Dovera (which means trust) because many web design and marketing companies do shady things and we are setting the bar for doing what is right for our clients.

Get in writing that you own 100% of the website after completion of launch. You should also have access to the website but we don’t recommend making any changes without approval from the development team due to not wanting to accidentally mess anything up.

The domain you should own outright and grant access to.

Some companies are vicious and hold websites or domains hostage.

When it comes to hosting, there are a few ways of doing this. 

  1. Find a host and grant access to the web design team.
  2. Host it on their server (but have it written that you still own the website). This is typical as good marketing companies have their own host so they can control the performance of the site better. Some hosting companies aren’t too flexible and can be irritating to work with. 

Payment terms need to be clear on this and give you a reasonable amount of time to move a website away if you decide to change things up.

8. Passwords

If you are concerned about passwords and access, most platforms allow you to give access in different ways that will restrict access.

There are programs like BitWarden and LastPass that you can securely send passwords where they can’t view anything. 

9. Business Card & Integrations

For plugins or software that require payments, we recommend using your business credit card and logins. 

This is because if you change directions on who you work with, the transition will go smoothly and there is transparency of what you are using.

We also recommend having your credit card on file rather than their card and their account for proof of ownership. 

If there is a dispute with the 3rd party, you can directly contact them. If there is fraud, your credit card company will be easier to work with rather than the money coming out of your checking account!

Use This As A Guideline

This was a 101 overview to get the basics of what to expect. Make sure the company is talking about all of these things. otherwise, tread lightly.

Assuming they are, then you will be leaps and bounds ahead of other companies!

We are a web design company in West Palm Beach, Florida, and if you ever need help building a high-quality website reach out! 

If you are already working with another company, we can consult and guide you to help the project move in the right direction.

Enjoy your new web design!

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