Wave has been building and selling websites for many years now, and the options available to people currently are incredibly vast. Choosing the wrong agency causes issues; I’ve probably heard most of them, from security issues, timing, prices, disappearing developers, rogue sales people – you name it, I’ve heard it.
More often than not it comes down to choosing an agency that’s working outside of its strengths, either you’re too big a project, or you’re too small. I thought it might be a bit of fun to think about the different categories of web design agencies and their associated strengths and weaknesses. And if you happen to decide you want Wave to build you a website after reading this then I’m not going to stop you. It’s not completely serious but many a true word is said in humour:
He/She is usually a one man band, can do a little bit of everything. Can be a friend of a friend or family member. They know all about that ‘stuff’ and can build it for you. Will often work in the evenings alongside another job.
PROS: Price. You’re getting it all done by one person, not paying for flashy offices with bean bags, they’re normally quite nice to work with and you just talk to one person. Don’t blind you with tech talk either.
CONS: Quality. The chances are they are something of a jack of all trades and so reliability and scalability not guaranteed. Aspects such as web security, SEO, CMS functionality, mobile capability might not reach the standards they should. Lack of support after the job is done as they go back to the day job/travel around Asia for 6 months.
SUMMARY: If you’re starting up from scratch and the website is only needed to add a bit of credibility to your business then this option should work for a year or so. Chances are you’ll be happy with your site when its live, but the cracks will show when you want to change or update it. A good short term option.
Most towns have them, you tend to see them sponsoring something at the school fete. They were once a print agency (remember them?!), but now moved into a bit of web design. Clients will include some local businesses, maybe the butchers and the bakery. They probably have a dog in the office too.
PROS: Locality, you know where they’re based and the people who work there. They can turn their hand to most things, logos, letterheads, rollup banners, they’re your one stop shop. Good reputation from the local community.
CONS: Will normally have a strength in one area and lack in others as they don’t have quite the manpower to do everything, so answers to certain questions are a bit hazy. Service is erratic depending on their workload. Won’t always know exactly what you do which frustrates at times.
SUMMARY: Price is usually fair, and a good shout if you run a fairly straightforward business and not reliant on the website being completed by the deadline.
A company that only works in one particular industry or skill set. They probably have a whole bunch of clients in a particular market. No doubt you’ll see half a dozen of your competitors on their website. You’re annoyed they knew something you didn’t.
PROS: They’re generally great at what they do. They will understand your industry, turnaround times are perhaps quicker as they are so used to the market and they don’t often have unforeseen problems with the work. Good post launch management. Prices err on the high side, but you get what you pay for.
CONS: Can be a bit frustrating that they don’t move outside what they specialise in. You worry that you won’t be different from the rest.
SUMMARY: If your website is important and you work in a specialised industry these will be a good option. They’ll know the market well and the process is smooth and reassuring. If only they’d flex their offering…just this once.
These are the guys. Top clients strewn all over their website, you’re almost intimidated even browsing their site for fear of judgement. These agencies take on BIG projects. A standard job entails major builds from start to finish. They probably have at least 50 people in the agency, all experts in things you’ve never heard of. Their offices form something of an amusement park day trip for you.
PROS: If they decide to take you on, you can be sure you’ll get a comprehensive piece of work that will do exactly what you need it to.
CONS: You’ll need deep pockets, their rent isn’t cheap you know. Nor is the maintenance of their chocolate fountain in reception.
SUMMARY: If you’re serious, I mean really serious about your web presence then you’ll need the financial firepower to back it up, if you have that then these guys will deliver.
Full disclosure if you hadn’t already guessed, we’re the Specialised National Company. We build awesome recruitment websites for clients mostly in the recruitment consultancy business. They’re unique, built quickly and for a fair price. Plug over.
I didn’t include the build it yourself online options. I really would recommend you stay away from these unless you’re prepared to sit there for longer than you realise getting a site up and then after all that it still looks nothing like the sites they promised on their sales website. Fastest way to lose time after sleeping.
Most people that can build websites care about what they do, and will work to the best of the skills they have, it just depends on what you want and need from a website, and whether or not they are right for you. There’s a web design company for everyone and yes I’m stereotyping quite a lot, but if you think I’m wide of the mark in the above do tell me – always happy (well, prepared) to be corrected! Or perhaps you know of other things they do that I’ve missed?
|Phone||01189 868 900|
|Address||55a St. Marys Butts, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2LG|
|Phone||02033 261 250|
|Address||77 Oxford Street, London, W1D 2ES|