By Stuart Alldis, Managing Director of Creative Digital Agency. Warning of the costly pitfalls of web design. www.creativedigitalagency.co.uk / @CreativeDA_UK
Embarking on a new digital project can be 3 things: costly, stressful and daunting. You want to get it right; craft the perfect website for your product or service, but don’t know the right questions to ask. Too often clients are not given the right help and advice from their marketing agency, resulting in wasted time and money.
Over the past two years, I have had clients approach me, having started a project with another agency or with a new website that is less than a year old. In total, these clients have spent £175,000 in scrapped investments. I’ve devised a list of the basic questions to ask when starting a website project to avoid these pitfalls:
Will the site be responsive?
A vital question to ask in this age of mobile technology. By 2017, a whopping 68% of all internet traffic will be generated by Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices. Your website design should automatically adapt to the size of the screen on which it is viewed.
How do we update the website?
Unless you are trained properly on how to manage your own site, you will be completely reliant on your marketing agency who are likely to charge you big bucks for every small task they do. Make sure you will be given the right tools to make changes to your website before you go ahead with the project.
How is social media integrated?
There are 2.3 billion active social media users, out of a pool of 3.17 billion internet users. This stat alone indicates how important it is for a company to be active on social media in order to reach as many consumers as possible. Integrating social media into your website is vital to ensure your audience can easily find your social media channels in one place, and displaying your latest posts is a great way to advertise your content.
If I am taking payments, is the website compliant/secure?
It goes without saying that you need your online shop to be compliant in order to avoid costly fines. Make sure you ask how your ecommerce website will be secure and compliant with regulations before you start the project so you don’t end up making pricey mistakes. 3D Secure is a great additional fraud prevention scheme to put in place, giving shoppers the ability to create and assign a password to their card which is required for every transaction.
What warranty period do you offer?
Ok, so you’ve paid for a shiny new, expensive website. It’s been great since it launched but something suddenly seems to be going wrong. It’s ok though, your agency will fix it, won’t they? Not necessarily. Some agencies offer no free aftercare service and will charge you – on top of the fee for the website – for any help or advice they give out.
What happens if you build a website and I don’t like it?
It is so important to be on the same page as your marketing agency. Make sure you know what their policy is with regards to your satisfaction, and what their approach is to putting your website together. This will help you to make an informed decision about who to trust with your project.
Will I own the website afterwards?
This is an important question to ask because some agencies take ownership of domain names, meaning you will have to pay them if you want to do anything with your domain name. It’s best for you to own the website as it gives you more freedom to make changes.
What are our responsibilities in the project?
Making sure you are clear with your agency on what they need from you ensures that you are not responsible for delaying the project. It also helps to clarify exactly who should be doing what -keeping your project on track.
Your agency should be your partner, working with you as part of your team. Asking them these questions will make your new website process much smoother. And if they can’t give you answers, should you be giving them your money?
— CDA (@CreativeDA_UK) October 10, 2016