Do you really need a web design agency? | Boagworld - Web & Digital Advice

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Paul Boag Posted by: Paul Boag On Friday, 7th September, 2012

Do you really need a web design agency?

Thinking about hiring a web design agency? Think again. Is that really all you need, an agency that designs websites? Even if ‘design’ also encompasses building your site, I am not sure that is enough for most organisations.

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Do you really need a web design agency?

Thinking about hiring a web design agency? Think again. Is that really all you need, an agency that designs websites? Even if ‘design’ also encompasses building your site, I am not sure that is enough for most organisations.

It’s not enough to launch a website anymore, you also have to think about its long term running. There are so many questions to answer. Questions like:

  • Is your website recovering its costs?
  • How are you measuring its success?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring content is accurate and up to date?
  • What happens if a user complains about accessibility?
  • Who decides if there are disagreements about what should be on the site?

The list could go on.

More than just building sites

My point is that most organisations need more than a web design agency, that builds their site. They need a partner who can get really stuck into the organisation and help to answer these questions.

Organisations need a partner that can help with building a web team, setting policies and procedures, outlining a roadmap for future development, carrying out ongoing testing, establishing responsibilities and roles. They don’t just need somebody who is going to point out the problems, but an agency that will get involved in finding solutions.

Sure, there are smaller organisations that don’t need all of this. However, these are the kind of organisations that are probably better off working with a freelancer. Yes, there are some organisations that have already done all of this thinking and have their internal processes in place, but I suspect these are thin on the ground.

A web agency rather than a web design agency

You may have noticed that on the new Headscape website we don’t call ourselves a web design agency anymore, we refer to ourself as a web agency. That is because we believe our clients need a lot more than pretty pictures and development. Increasingly the work we do is as much about strategy, governance and measurement, as it is about building sites.

So next time you go to hire a web design agency, ask yourself whether you actually need something more. And if you are a web design agency, it might be time to step up your game and start offering your clients the kind of strategy and governance advice they need.

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