Has your website stopped generating results? Does it break when you try to view pages on a smartphone? Is your content off-brand? Does it look dated? Are you struggling to stand out in a competitive market? No matter the reasons for your redesign, you need to work with the best web designer and development team to ensure your project’s success—especially if you have a complex site.
But, how do you find an experienced partner for such a big task when there are so many web design agencies to choose from? After all, like any other considerable business expense, a website redesign is something that you’ll want to get right.
Website redesigns are complex, but finding a great partner doesn’t have to be. After nearly 20 years of building hundreds of enterprise websites for companies across the U.S., TBH Creative’s team has seen it all.
In this blog post, our experts reveal what steps you need to take before scoping your redesign project with potential vendors. Plus, we share tips for budgeting costs, narrowing down your list of web design companies, and evaluating your options to feel confident that you’ve chosen the best web designer for your site.
What you need to do before contacting potential partners
If you want a website design and development firm that’s considered the best in the business, know that they’ll expect you to come to them having done some preparation. That is to say, the best web designer will want to know what problem you’re trying to fix with your redesign so that they can make sure their work delivers the highest possible ROI.
But what does it mean to prepare for a conversation with a vendor who might be your website redesign partner? Here are some things you should do internally to prepare for discussions with potential partners.
Identify your why and how
Are you clear on your business goals and how you’d like your website to support them? Do you have a budget for reworking your current website? Have you identified the project’s stakeholders and those who will support your redesign project?
Define your must-haves and nice-to-haves
After you have a clearer picture of some of the reasons you are tackling this big project, you need to do a deep dive and analyze your current website, set some baselines, and dig in to get a better understanding of how customers use your site and what they need the most.
This step will help you figure out which tweaks would most improve their customer experience online. Some questions you might consider include:
- How does your site currently perform?
- What are your best-performing webpages? What are your worst-performing pages?
- Do you have any web pages with high traffic but low conversion rates?
- Which web pages have content that is outdated or inaccurate?
- What information isn’t included on your current website but needs to be?
- Which webpages get a lot of organic search traffic but don’t rank well?
- How does your site look on different devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone)?
- Which web pages generate the most leads or sales?
Knowing where you’re starting from is essential to setting realistic redesign goals. In addition to doing a content audit, you can use free analytics tools like Google Analytics or HotJar to collect and track more data related to your website’s baseline performance.
Once you’ve done this initial legwork, you’ll be well-prepared to start your hunt for the best web designer to work with on your site redesign project.
Create a list of potential web design vendors
Now that you know what internal work needs to be done before reaching out to agencies, it’s time to start your search for the best web designer.
Here are three ways you can identify great potential partners for your redesign project:
Of course, your first step should be checking Google for lists of “top” or “best” web design companies. Remember that the best web designer for your project might not necessarily be on these lists.
Ask your network
If you have friends or colleagues in similar industries, ask them for recommendations of great web design firms they’ve worked with in the past.
Check out reputable directories
If you want a sense of the size and scope of different web design firms, check out directories like Clutch.co or UpCity. The agencies included in these directories are well-vetted and have earned their spot on these lists.
Evaluating web design partners
Now that you have a list of potential best web design firms, it’s time to start evaluating them to see which one is the best fit for your project. Here are some key factors you should consider:
- Quality of their website redesign portfolio
- Process and approach
- Size of their team
- Industry expertise
- Development expertise
- Cost of their services
How do you assess a portfolio to know if an agency is the best web designer for your project?
The best way to evaluate a web design firm’s portfolio is to look at the quality, quantity, and diversity of the projects they have worked on.
When looking at their portfolio, pay attention to whether or not the projects are similar in size and scope to your redesign project. Also, note how well the final product reflects the client’s branding and style.
If you see one overarching design theme in their portfolio, you can safely assume that’s the designer’s primary aesthetic. While this isn’t necessarily bad, it might not be the best fit for your project if you are looking for something different.
Here are some specific things to look for in example sites included in a vendor’s website redesign portfolio:
- Layout: Is the layout easy to follow? Do the pages have a clear hierarchy?
- Design: Is the design pleasing to look at? Does it use color effectively?
- Images and videos: Are the images and videos high-quality and relevant to the content on the page?
- User experience (UX): Is the site easy to navigate? Do the pages load quickly?
- Functionality: Does the site have all the features and functionality that it should?
- Copy: Is the content well-written and accurate? Is it search engine optimized?
Some website redesign agencies will just provide pictures of their prior work in their portfolios, while others will point to live sites. One thing to keep in mind about live sites is that they’re frequently updated by the site owner, who has taken over maintenance and may have modified the designer’s original work as a result.
Bonus tips for looking at their process and approach
The best web design firms will have a solid process and approach that they follow for all of their projects. This ensures that every project is completed on time, on budget, and to the client’s specifications.
When evaluating a potential vendor’s process, pay attention to how much involvement they allow (or require) from the client. The best web design firms will balance keeping their clients informed and involved at every project stage while also giving them the space to trust the agency’s expertise.
You should also consider whether or not the vendor uses project management software to keep their projects organized and on track. This is an essential best practice for any agency, as it allows the client and the vendor to see the project’s progress, milestones, and deadlines at a glance.
Finally, ask the vendor about their process for making changes and revisions to the design. The best firms will have a clear revision policy in place that outlines how many rounds of revisions are included in the project scope and how much each additional revision will cost.
After considering all of these factors, you should have a good idea of which web design firms best fit your needs.
One of the best things you can do when choosing the best website designer to hire is to check what customers have to say about their work. Reading honest reviews from real clients can give you insight into the quality of the company’s products and services, their professionalism, and even their commitment to creating your dream website.
Once you’ve found testimonials that resonate, consider contacting your favorites to get additional insights to simplify your decision-making. These consultations are an excellent opportunity for your company to get a feel for each agency’s team, their processes, and approaches for handling redesign projects.
When looking for the best web designer for your project, remember that the best fit might not necessarily be the most popular or well-known firm. Instead, focus on finding a web design agency that is a good fit for your specific needs.
How many firms should you interview for a website redesign project?
When it comes to finding the best web designer for your website redesign project, interviewing more than one firm is always a good idea.
There is no magic number, but as a general best practice, you should interview at least three firms to get a sense of each firm’s strengths and weaknesses, pricing options, and how they would approach your project.
Also, by talking to three different agencies, you’ll get a better sense of what’s available and what each firm can offer before making a final, well-informed decision about the best web designer for your redesign.
Meeting with potential partners
Now that you’ve narrowed your choices, it’s time to contact the web design agencies who made your shortlist to schedule consultations. These meetings are your chance to get a feel for their team, their process, and how they would approach your project.
Questions to ask potential partners
These consultations should be a conversation. Firms you interview will ask you about your website redesign project, and you should be prepared to ask them questions of your own related to details that will help make your decision-making process more manageable.
Here is a sampling of some questions that you should ask each vendor on your list:
- Can you share some examples of similar projects you’ve done in the past?
- How would you approach a project like ours?
- What content management systems do you use?
- Who would be our main point of contact during the project?
- How do you handle revisions?
- What is your team’s availability like over the next few months? Do you have any capacity for additional projects right now?
Remember, you’re not just looking for the best web designer. You’re looking for the best web design firm to partner with on your company’s redesign project. You must find a team you feel comfortable working with and who you can trust to help support your business goals.
FAQs about finding the best web designer for a redesign project
Thinking about updating your website? Read our FAQ to get answers to common questions clients have when looking for a great web design and development agency to partner with to help tackle a multi-faceted redesign project.
How often should websites be redesigned?
Most websites should be redesigned—or at least upgraded—every two to three years to keep up with the latest design trends, best practices, and technology. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. If your website is still performing well and achieving your business goals, then there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken.
What are the benefits of redesigning a website?
There are many benefits of redesigning a website, including:
- Increasing leads and sales
- Improving conversion rates
- Generating more web traffic
- Creating a better user experience
- Establishing or reinforcing your brand identity
- Differentiating your business from the competition
What are the risks of not redesigning my website?
If you don’t keep your website up-to-date, you risk losing out on potential customers or clients who may go to your competitors’ websites instead. An outdated website can also damage your credibility and reputation—and cost you business.
How much does a website redesign project cost?
The cost of a website redesign project varies depending on the scope of work, the size and complexity of the site, the number of pages, the number of features or functionality that needs to be added, and more. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500-$50,000 for a redesign project.
How long does a website redesign take?
Again, this depends on the scope of work and the size and complexity of your website. Larger, complex sites with more content and features usually take six months—or even longer—to be redesigned the right way by the best web designer.
The best way to get an accurate timeline for your project is to ask the web design agencies you’re considering for their estimated completion date. Then, add a buffer of one to two weeks to account for unforeseen delays.
What’s usually included in a website redesign?
The scope of work for a website redesign project can vary depending on the size and complexity of your website as well as your specific goals for the redesign.
In general, however, most website redesign projects will include analyzing your current website, developing new site architecture and navigation, designing new page templates, creating any necessary custom graphics or illustrations, and migrating content from your old site to the new one.
What are some common mistakes businesses make when redesigning their website?
One of the most common mistakes businesses make when redoing their site is trying to cut costs (by not hiring the best web designer or trying to do too much at once). A website redesign is a big project, and it’s important to focus on your top goals to stay within budget and keep the project on schedule.
Another common mistake is not involving critical stakeholders in the decision-making process. It’s essential to get input from everyone who will be using the new website so that everyone is happy with the final result.
Finally, businesses sometimes make the mistake of not thinking about their website from a mobile perspective. With more and more people accessing the internet from their phones and tablets, ensuring your new website is designed with a responsive layout that looks great on all devices is a no-brainer.
How do you know whether an agency is the best web designer?
After meeting with a few web design firms, it’s time to decide and choose the best one for your project.
Here are eight things to keep in mind as you’re making your choice:
- Does their team have the skills and experience needed to deliver on your project?
- Do they understand your business goals and have ideas about how your website can best support them?
- Do you get a good feeling from the team? Do they seem like they would be fun to work with?
- What is their process for designing and building websites?
- How do they handle project management and communication?
- What is their pricing structure?
- Do they have any capacity for new work based? Does their availability match your timeline needs?
- Can they provide support for additional related digital marketing work if you need it?
Choosing the best web designer for your project is a big decision, but if you take the time to research and ask the right questions, you’ll be well on your way to finding a partner you can trust to help build a robust, results-driven website for your business.
Why the redesign process is different when you work with the best web designer for your project
The most successful site redesigns begin with making strategic planning and the selection of the best web designer to help guide the process. They will work to understand your goals, make recommendations on what functionality you really need, and assist you with navigating the development of your website’s new look and feel—based on your brand identity and users’ wants/needs.
For all of these reasons and more, choosing a website redesign project designer shouldn’t be treated as a lesser priority or something to be handled quickly.
When you work with the ideal website designer for your project, you’ll have a partner you can rely on and someone who can help you navigate the site redesign—without delays or unexpected additional costs and hassles.
Expect more from your website redesign partner
Based in Indianapolis, TBH Creative is an award-winning, full-service website design and development agency specializing in assisting big businesses and healthcare organizations across the U.S. with complex website redesign projects (and executing digital marketing to promote their updated sites).
Learn more about why you should choose us when you want the best web designer for your project.