15 questions to ask the agency building your website
Whenever we’re asked to build a business website,our prospective clients have so many questions up their sleeve they don’t even know where to start. Which is normal, they’re investing in something it will define them to the world.
But is there a set of right questions to ask in this situation? We made a list of questions to ask when you’re about to hire a digital agency to build your website, so you can make the best decisions, avoid any misconceptions in the development process, and come up with the best solutions faster.
Where will my website be hosted?
Your website needs a place to live. That place is the server. You’ll also need an address, which is – for a website – the domain (mycompany.com, for example). Good digital agencies offer development and hosting packages (domain purchase included) so you don’t have to hire another company for this purpose.
It’s not just about providing server space, it’s about having a secure, 24/7 customer supported and on the clock maintenance hosting service. At Zyrgon we provide all of these through Lynne, our sister company that is dedicated solely to hosting sites on servers that meet all of your project’s requirements.
Which CMS will you use?
There are content management systems (CMS) for all purposes, but you should know beforehand which ones are recommended by the agency. Learn the available options, analyze which one best suits your needs, ask to see how it works.
Open source platforms are ideal because they don’t rely exclusively on the company that built them to change or improve your website in the future. CMSs developed in-house by agencies are risky because they usually are slow to evolve and lack regular upgrades and effective maintenance in the long run, damaging your website’s performance. And if the agency is gone, who will know which lever to pull?
Do you know any good online store CMSs? We do. Check these out.
Will you build the site I want, just like how I want it?
We’ll develop the website to best suit your needs. Developing a website is a collaborative work between your company and the team running the project, which is made up of developers, designers and marketing professionals.
Your ideas are really valuable for us and our team will come up with the best solution for each situation. But we know what works and what doesn’t, so trust us.
Why choose an agency over a freelancer?
Developing a serious business website project requires a high degree of trust and reliability, often even long after it is supposedly finished. An agency is a set of professionals specialized in different, specific fields. A freelancer is just one person, which may not be enough for more complex projects.
How long it will take?
The development of a website goes through several stages: analysis, strategy, design, technical development, launch, analysis, rinse, repeat. The duration depends on the complexity of the project but, early on, a timeline and a roadmap with concrete objectives are established so that we can manage expectations and have room for maneuver in case of unforeseen issues or changes to the initial plan. Time is money, and a good agency won’t waste yours.
Will my site be responsive or adaptive?
This is both a technical and a design issue that will have to be assessed on a case by case basis. The team in charge of your website development has to ensure it will work perfectly on any device and screen.
Will Google like my site?
Search engines look at websites in hundreds of different ways. From structure to loading speed, from content to meta information, the development team will have to know how search engine algorithms work, and apply analytical tools to boost your online visibility.
How much will it cost?
The price for your website must be well established from the outset and it will come out of the initial briefing and planning, where all the resources and goals are weighed. Prices vary greatly according to the technical and creative needs, project size and expected development duration. We look at business websites as an investment, not as something that costs money.
What do you need from me to get started?
Logo, informative content, images, social media accounts, whatever gives us a head start in identity and strategy development are of great value to us on the early stages. You can put a briefing together with all the information that defines your brand, its history, the other side of the business, the goals, the stories, what sets you apart from the competition. We may not use them all but we’ll be able to understand you better.
Who’s responsible for copy?
Copy for your website can be provided by you or assigned to the agency, but it should always be tailored to the requirements of search engines and design needs. If you are thinking of producing content regularly on a blog, you can hire a professional copywriter or do it yourself. The text should reflect and animate the personality and strategy of your brand.
WHY IS BLOGGING SO IMPORTANT?
Who’ll keep my website running and up to date?
Managing your website can go three ways: everything is up to you; shared with the agency; outsourced.
Whichever CMS is used to build your website, it should be easy to manage and update by you, on your own, whether it’s an online store that requires more agility in updating catalogues and products, or an institutional site that can stay unchanged for months.
Can I change anything on the site at any time?
Developing a website is a collaborative work between professionals, regarding specific needs and goals. Changes may happen, but without rendering the previous work useless. That’s why you hired a good digital agency in the first place, to avoid impromptu changes.
What about metrics?
Google Analytics is one of the most essential tools for analyzing visitor activity on your website. It provides such detailed reports that you can completely rethink the strategy for your website or even your business. Number of visits,origin, what they visited and how, is just the general data you’ll have access to.
What if my website has a hiccup?
Since we deliver an integrated service, if your website stops running for technical reasons, we’ll take a look into it immediately. Our customer support is always available to evaluate and resolve any issues that may come up.
And what if I have more questions?
Just get in touch with us. We keep good relationships with our customers and we’re always available during the developing process, and beyond.
There’s no such thing as a wrong question, and these are the most useful before diving into the development process. In doubt, just ask. We’ll have the right answer for you.