Whether you’re a large company with a sizable in-house marketing department, or a freelancer looking to enhance your reach, deciding on a new website is a big decision. There are a lot of great resources out there for folks. From the super user-friendly content management systems like Squarespace and Wix to the more complex (but still user-friendly) WordPress websites.
If you’re looking to redesign or start a web development project, understanding your needs and what an agency can offer can help you make the right decision that will set you and your business up for success.
Even though we’re an agency ourselves, we don’t always think it’s necessary to work with one. If you’re interested in blogging, for example, you may just be able to set up a super simple site and divert dollars that you would have invested in a website towards marketing needs.
So if you’re unsure if you can handle the project or you need to outsource it, we’ve put together a quick reference list of questions to ask yourself and your team before deciding whether to bring your web development needs out of the house.
1. What does your website need to do?
Think beyond “look good,” or “sound catchy.” All websites should look good and have clear, concise copy. That’s too generic of a goal. Try digging deeper and understanding exactly what it is that you need from your website. Are you an e-commerce site with a lot of products? Or do you provide a service that needs initial consultations to get started?
Think of all the functions your website needs to perform for you. Map it out in terms of hierarchy and priority. This will inform your decisions on whether or not you can build the website with the resources you currently have — or if you need to schedule a consultation with a marketing agency.
2. How complicated are those needs?
If you’ve got a lot of different needs. Say you need to add a cart to your website, and a bookings feature for appointments, these add to the complexity of your website. It moves from simple form conversions to bigger needs that sometimes require a skilled developer to achieve.
Take the map you’ve made from the first step and then decide which features are complex and if they’re absolutely needed. Then do an audit on your current resources and decide if you need to tap into outside support for design and development.
3. What is your timeline and budget?
Even if you have a robust marketing department with awesome, skilled designers and developers, they may be working on their own projects and not have time to redesign your entire website. Your timeline is crucial in making a realistic decision about your website design.
And finally, your budget. If you’ve got a tight budget, you may need to work with what you’ve got. Though at Blue Edge, we love working with clients of all budgets in helping their website dreams come true, so even if you have a humble budget, you may not have to rule out an agency to design your website.
These three questions will help you better assess your website needs and whether you not you should bring the project to an agency. Deciding its function, the complexity of that function, and knowing your realistic timeline and budget will move you in the right direction for your website project.
If you’re ready to work with an agency, we’d love to learn more about your goals! Schedule a consultation with us today to get started!