Which Are The Best UK Website Design Companies?
Summer 2018 Review
How To Find The Best Company To Work With?
The UK is awash with web designers. In London alone, there are several hundred companies who claim to offer solutions to all your website requirements. With such a huge choice available what exactly makes the difference between the top agencies and the also rans? Who is going to make your organisation stand out?
Few start-ups offer a truly unique service meaning whichever industry your business is operating within is likely to be a crowded marketplace. This is where your website plays a huge role in determining your success going forward. An effective site will encourage visitors to both engage with your services, and ultimately spend money with you.
With your website being one of the most significant windows consumers have into your business, having an effective website is no longer a luxury. But who should you trust with the crucial task of designing and developing it? The following sections explain the most important questions you should ask yourself before consulting a web design agency.
What Do YOU Want From Your Website?
Whether you are a new start up or an established organisation, your website should have a dedicated section in your business plan. This means you can establish the part your website can play in maximising your profits. Ask yourself what part of your growth plans it can play. Who is likely to be visiting? What will appeal to them?
It may sound obvious, but prior to contacting web developers it pays to know exactly what you want the website to do. Are you best served by a brochure website, that showcases your services and invites communication prior to conversion? Or are you a retail company who require an ecommerce website/online shop? Indeed, maybe your organisation offers a directory service and requires a more advanced platform.
Whichever type of website you need, it’s core goal must be to both educate and inform the visitor about you and your services while encouraging sales at every opportunity. This can be achieved in a variety of ways – namely striking calls to action, engaging content and memorable images. Professional companies employ highly skilled experts so it’s advisable to seek their advice on what will and won’t work.
So, the key here is to not be afraid of asking questions of the designers. You may envisage a dynamic website with a range of interactive treats, but ask yourself – will these features increase the likelihood of a visitor converting? Specialists won’t be shy of telling you during your consultation that this will harm the user experience (UX) so take these tips on board.
A Return On Your Investment
Like any industry the web design field contains a variety of agencies that have an array of pricing structures. While some offer premium services (and charge to reflect this), others may offer incredibly low costs that seem too good to be true. Bottom line – if it seems too good to be true then chances are it is. A bargain basement price in many instances leads to a bargain basement service and end product.
A new website is an investment in the future of your business. Why spend time and money on marketing when you are then directing consumers to a website that looks unprofessional and amateur? This marketing is wasted as people simply won’t convert. A professional website inspires trust.
The premium services also usually include additional benefits such as search engine optimisation, analytics reports and web hosting. These services on their own can add up to a significant ongoing outlay, meaning the initial extra typically offers savings going forward.
The question of a mobile app may be raised – and you should honestly ask yourself – is it worth spending thousands of pounds on an interactive, dynamic app that will add little profit every month? Focus on the essentials that will boost profits, and not luxury vanity projects that won’t pay for themselves.
The essential thing to keep at the forefront of your mind is that price should only be one factor in your decision. Huge savings today may lead to massive costs in 6 months’ time!
Understanding Your Vision
Once you begin contacting people to request quotes you will typically experience a variety of responses. Once this process starts it’s well worth noting what they are actually saying to you. Does your communication come across as a sales pitch? Or are they actively seeking to learn about your project so they can suggest features that will benefit you?
While it’s rare to find a web designer that is fully up to speed on your industry at the point of contact, it’s a positive sign when they conduct research so the solutions they offer are relevant. It may be as simple as finding out what Content Management System (CMS) your direct competitors use or ascertaining if a blog will enhance the website.
Whether you are communicating by email or speaking directly, at the consultation stage you are well within your rights to expect a solution tailored to what will work for you! Any professional should be willing to go the extra mile.
This isn’t to say ‘the customer is always right’. You are the expert in your business – no one knows it better. The web designer is the expert in creating websites. So, pool that knowledge! Together, a bespoke solution, unique to the key goals of your organisation is far easier to achieve.
Communication Is Key
It may be a cliché but in any project it holds true – without effective communication between Project Managers then errors will occur. There are many technical terms in the web design industry (i.e. SEO, UI, CMS to name but a few) and your industry may be similar. By having open and friendly channels of communication there need be no embarrassment about asking for clarification when jargon slips in.
Web designers do have a habit of talking in riddles – UI for example means user interface and describes the visible area of a website that visitors interact with. Don’t be afraid to ask them to tone down the technical terms. If you don’t understand a feature, you won’t be able to use it to optimum levels.
Among questions to ask are will they consult you with drafts of designs and wireframes once the project is underway? Do they offer unlimited revisions to ensure your final product meets everything included in the project brief? A reputable firm will have no objections to sharing this information.
Another idea is to check out their portfolio and testimonial sections. Ask them why they included certain tools and functions? Why did these add value to that customer’s website? Crucially, would those features be beneficial on your website?
Content Is King
A website can be a visually fantastic – functionally sensational – and the user journey terrific. Yet if the content (be it text, images or video) isn’t effective your conversion rate will suffer. Most web designers also offer a copywriting service, be it full content creation or a reviewing service.
Combining text, images and video on a web page is only part of the process. The actual content itself has to be engaging. Having line after line of text is daunting to any visitor, especially one browsing on a mobile device, so breaking it into manageable chunks can make all the difference. Likewise, headers and titles are critical with relevance been important, but also grabbing attention an essential component.
As well as headers, the snippets used in your calls to action are also ‘make or break.’ This should leave the visitor in no doubt what will happen if they click that link, so take your time to get this right. Most importantly, work with the professionals. Calls to action play a massive role in a web designers work – they know what entices people to click. Use this expertise!
Finally, tailor your content to your target audience. If your consumers are solely based in Britain then focus on them. Whereas if you are trying to attract a foreign market be careful not to make it to UK-centric. Market research can be hugely beneficial with your content so don’t be scared of editing and revising it.
An Ongoing Process
Your new website should be a vehicle to continuously boost growth. With that in mind, work shouldn’t cease on the day it’s launched and goes live. Instead you should include in your plan a strategy to add valuable content as you move forward.
In the case of an ecommerce site, ensure when the site is being developed that you have the function to add additional products, easily edit pricing and add discounts. Most CMS platforms will include these features as standard.
A brochure site should also be updated regularly, be it with fresh blog articles or even recent testimonials. Many of these tasks can be undertaken yourself and a web designer will offer a tutorial in how to complete them.
Digital marketing, be it through email or social media platforms is a service regularly offered too. As a service, this is aimed to drive traffic to your website, providing an opportunity for conversions and sales. Research your options, assess your rivals tactics and this can be a goldmine of creating leads your website can play a role in converting to profit.
Boosting Traffic From Google And Co.
Search Engine Optimisation is the technique whereby a website and the content is created to conform to Google’s algorithms. This way when a user enters your keywords into a search engine it is your website that features highly and not your competitors.
The levels of traffic coming from search engines to sites ranked highly make the inclusion of SEO in a web design contract essential. It ensures your website is visible to a massive market of warm leads.
Most agencies will offer SEO friendly websites as standard, but it’s always worth exploring what exactly this ‘standard’ entails. With such a wide range of algorithms, and SEO strategy requiring long term solutions – always check exactly what level of optimisation is included.
Your Needs Or Their Profits? What’s Important To The Web Designer
We’ve always taken the view that front and centre of any web design companies ethos should be that of professional responsibility. This is where a developer puts the needs of your business ahead of their own profits and doesn’t attempt to sell you a website or other products that add no value to your business.
A developer that tells you when an expensive product (for example a mobile app) is UNLIKELY to provide return on the investment is a developer proving they are placing YOUR requirements first. Unless they can justify selling you additional services then ask yourself why they are offering it.
When offered a hosting package or plugins to link to Facebook/Twitter, it’s likely you are being offered a valuable asset to your new website. But when, for example, a complex, interactive feature priced at several thousand pounds is being offered you have to ask yourself is it really something you need? Don’t be afraid of questioning the developers why the proposed features are being suggested to you.
If they cant justify that the features add value to your business then we suggest moving on and looking for another web design company.
WHAT DO OTHER BUSINESSES THINK ABOUT OUR WEBSITE?
From late January 2018 you can read what other businesses think of our website.
Case Study – North Yorkshire Police
Louise Wood, Head Of Communications, on behalf of the North Yorkshire Police, used Web Design Review’s terrific resources to help find a new website design team. Using our resources was a great help when it came to the process of finding suitably experienced designers who were required to provide tenders for their new website project in 2017.
The amount of highly detailed and easily accessible information available regarding the different companies was a big help to them as it made it easier to understand what each of them provided. Having the information in one easy to navigate place saved a considerable amount of time and made the whole process much smoother.
They selected several companies to contact that were of an excellent match and invited them to tender. The process was effortless and helped them to select the perfect company to work with.
Louise Wood, Head Of Communications, North Yorkshire Police
WHY WE RANK LONDON’S RED CLOUD AGENCY ABOVE THE REST
BEST WEBSITE DESIGN COMPANY: SUMMER 2018
10 of the best website designing companies were carefully reviewed based on their skills, creativity, cost and customer service. This innovative development company keeps the industry moving forward because their London team don’t just follow trends; they create them too. With clean page designs and an excellent service that focuses on customer satisfaction. You can see why they are a pick above the rest.
While innovation and the web are quickly developing and advancing, buyers turn out to be progressively canny and whimsical with their abilities to focus. Red Cloud Agency understand this and they are always ready for whatever is thrown at them.
The team at Red Cloud Agency think way past simple instruments and strategies. They unite careful, statistical surveying with contender investigation to make itemised client streams and data structural engineering, which ultimately drives purchasers to assigned transformation focuses. They are truly the best London and the UK have to offer.
This makes Red Cloud Agency, who are based in London, the best UK website designers and developers; it really does make them a cut above the rest.
Do you want to build up your organisations image mindfulness, online perceive-ability and power in your industry? With Red Cloud Agency’s careful online networking techniques, which are based on your one of a kind industry destinations and objectives, you can do just that.
Their teams are ready to target, force and drive activity through persona-driven engagement with your optimal group of onlookers. They really are the best web designers in the UK and will make a great choice, whatever your project may be.
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