There are thousands of WordPress website development agencies out there wanting to work with you on your business website. But choosing out of so many agencies and finally selecting the one which will suit you is a task in itself. Hence this guide or guideline should serve as a reminder and a possible way out for you in case you are searching for one.
There are several options available and choosing the right WordPress website development agency for your website needs and requirements can be tricky and risky at the same time.
First, we will see the points that you need to remember while choosing or selecting your next WordPress website development agency.
Thereafter we will also dwell on the points of what happens in case you select the wrong kind of agency and why these points are so important.
How you should choose a WordPress website development agency
1. Freezing Your Requirements
- The very first step in choosing your next WordPress Website Development Agency is to have your requirements sheet and freeze your requirements. Just try to understand in terms of a layman here. You want to build a house. So you will first want to understand whether you want a single story or 2 story house.
- Then how many bedrooms and baths you may want and finally a car garage and garden area and backyard are needed or not.
- Finally, if all of this fits into your budget requirements or not. If you say simply that you want to build a house how will the architect and the contractor start working on your house? First architect will understand your requirements and thereafter design the plans.
- Once the plans are approved and finalized then the builder will start working on it. Similarly, website designing also goes through a similar phase.
- First, you need to understand what kind of website you want to build. Whether it is an eCommerce website photography website or a corporate website.
- After that is done then check for reference websites and competitor sites. Once that is done what you like and how many pages do you want on your website is needed.
- Are you going to provide the logo, hosting, and domain or that is also needed from the vendor is also important? Once all of this is done then the agency can start working on the website design based on your requirements and inputs.
- WordPress Website Development Agency which has ample experience doing thousands of WordPress websites should have a questionnaire and requirement sheet so you do not need to worry about this part either.
2. Check Online Client Reviews
- Any legitimate company has a Google business profile and other profiles nowadays. Online client reviews and testimonials are also given on these pages. It’s important to check the negative as well as positive reviews on these pages. It’s also important to check whether the negative sentiments and reviews have been addressed properly or not.
- When checking for reviews, don’t just look for positive feedback but also note how the agency responds to criticism. If a fair response is provided to criticisms you may understand that the company is legitimate and wants to care for its customers.
- If the company doesn’t bother to respond to negative criticism then you should not bother checking this agency as well. Because such a company won’t care for its clients or customers.
3. Verify Past Portfolio
- Many WordPress Website Development Agencies showcase past portfolios but the majority of them do not have work for those companies. It’s important to verify whether they have worked for these companies or not. You can ask these companies for client references and testimonials and then directly speak to the client.
- If they can provide you with more than 5 client references and all those clients are positive about them then it’s a good thing. Also, the portfolio should be vast with all kinds of expertise and experience meaning eCommerce to news website to corporate to charity. All kinds of experience and expertise would mean they are good at their work.
- Also in case some agencies are experts in only a particular industry and if your industry is that for example some agency might be very good with building hotel websites. And if you need a hotel website, you should go with them as they are better experts in handling a hotel website design.
4. Check Technical Experience and Expertise
- Technical expertise is the backbone of any development agency. You should ask the WordPress Website Development Agency you are considering with the team leader experience and the company experience in terms of years and skills.
- You should also meet the team and check for their skills and experience if you are considering an offline agency. In the case of an online agency, you should check for their experience and technical expertise by having a technical sheet and asking them if they have experience with that.
- If that technical knowledge is important for your business website for example hosting via Amazon Lightsail or Google Cloud is important then you should definitely ask them for the same.
- If the agency does not have that experience then you should look for another agency which has the experience. Ask them to show previous clients who are hosted on these platforms to verify the same.
- Also, many agencies do not follow this but WordPress has Codex theme review standards and plugin standards for security and coding standard reasons.
- Following such coding standards would mean that your website will have security benefits. Also, some other development agencies if they continue in the future can easily check the coding and its comments and get the changes done without much hassle. Having adherence to coding standards would mean that the website will perform better in terms of load time and SEO too.
5. Adherence to Deadlines
- Respect for deadlines is critical. There goes a famous saying Time is Money. Any WordPress Website Development Agency should deliver the project on time. If they exceed the time they have promised often then it’s not a reliable agency.
- Keep in mind to ask the timelines of previous clients when verifying the same. Time is of utmost importance in any industry and across the world. Hence if adherence to timelines is done from the agency side then it’s a reliable agency. Also one should keep in mind that when you hire an agency you need to properly respond to them.
- Sometimes clients also take a lot of time to respond to the agency which may cause delays. Always try to maintain your time of response so that the other party can properly respond.
- Set up a schedule for daily and weekly meetings to check the progress and let them know the satisfaction level each time.
- At the end of a month, considerable progress needs to be made if the project is a long-term project.
- Any WordPress website development agency that has a proven track record of adhering to timelines and deadlines should be selected above others.
6. Flexibility and Time Availability
- Often times with the website design in progress it has been found that customers or clients come back with several other requirements which were not there in the initial scope. Either choose an agency which allows certain things to be changed or allows changes for very nominal rates. Because while the website gets developed you may come across some other website and like a few features here and there of that company site.
- And you may want those features and functionality to be implemented in your website. Any scope changes that meet with strict no or heavy costs those agencies should be avoided. Always plan for the future and keep in mind to ask the agency whether a few changes here and there are allowed.
- Also, keep in mind to ask the agency to allow any revisions. Normally for the design part agencies allow revisions. However, for the coding part, some agencies do not allow for revisions whereas some agencies will allow for a little bit of revisions.
- If you are unsure about your requirements or think that you want a flexible approach and want changes at a later stage of the project choose a WordPress website development agency that allows for flexibility. Also as time is of the essence you should choose an agency with which your timezone matches properly.
- If you are in the US and choose an agency in Australia with a completely opposite timezone then it is going to be an issue. It depends on whether you as a client are comfortable with the timings.
7. Communication is the Key
- Regular communication in terms of updates and what has been done is the key to any project. The right WordPress Website Development Agency will keep you updated at all the stages of the project. They will regularly engage in updates about design, and coding.
- Show you the progress of work weekly and monthly and keep you updated all the time about the status of your project until it’s finished and sent to you for approval. Some agencies are available through various channels and responsive to your queries.
8. Your Budget and Their Comparison of the Quote
- Cost is always a major part of any project. Costing is as much important as the requirement. Sometimes after requirements, some clients straight away go for their budget and start taking quotations from various WordPress Website Development Agency.
- Also, breakup of costing is also needed because some features might be unnecessary but might cost the client a lot. If that’s the case and if in case you want to lower the budget you can surely reduce those functionalities which you don’t think are necessary in phase 1.
- Comparison of costing and timeline of various agencies side by side will give you a real-time view. Choose an agency that delivers maximum value and lower cost without compromising on the quality parameter.
9. Maintenance and After-Sales Support
- After the website is launched support is required in terms of the manual and how to keep your website updated at all times. You may also want to add more features and new functionality to your website. Like for example changes in the team members area. Or for example changes in the pages or menu area.
- Also one might need security updates at least once every year and also maintaining the site’s health is important. For that purpose the right WordPress website development agency should have a standard contract for maintenance and support and the rates should be nominal so that they don’t burn a hole in your pocket.
- The website should run properly at all times and SLA with the hosting also for smooth function and operation of your website at all times is needed. Even uptime and downtime monitoring setup, SEO set, and security patches from time to time are needed from the agency.
The above was How you should choose a WordPress website Development agency.
However, we are also going to talk about in case you choose a totally wrong or bad WordPress Website Development Agency.
If you choose such an agency just by checking a low cheap cost and ignoring all the other red flags then some of the below or all of the factors below listed can happen with you:
1. Poor Quality Website:
You might end up with a very poor quality website that will hamper your company image rather than enhance it. Think of a website as your resume and anyone checking your website should be impressed. But with a poor website, you will lose customers more and they will think that the company is bad and would not want to do business with you. Having a professional clean website with good navigation will enhance the trust and credibility of the brand.
2. Hidden Costs:
There shall be hidden costs in terms of any scope changes. There can also be hidden costs in terms of updates and support. There can be cost escalations due to a variety of excuses like server charges increased or the prices were valid only till last month and from this month onwards our hourly rates have increased. Such shoddy WordPress Website Development Agencies will try to squeeze as much as they can from the customer.
3. Missed Deadlines:
- Any poor WordPress Website Development Agency that is not up to the mark will miss their deadlines because they will take up more jobs than they can deliver.
- They will want to take up as many jobs as possible and then delay the projects because they don’t have the desired manpower to complete the project. Often their coders and developers have more work than they can deliver and hence either the quality will suffer or they will miss the deadlines.
4. Lack of Scalability and Flexibility:
Such an agency will not allow for any scope changes and with the slightest changes to scope will demand as much money as possible. Hence it’s important that you stick with your scope of work or choose a good/better agency.
5. Poor SEO and Performance Issues:
Coding standards are difficult to maintain. Any website developer if they have to maintain coding standards then it’s a lot of additional work apart from just finishing the functionality. Low-cost WordPress Website Development Agency will hire developers who are either unaware of these coding standards or do not adhere to strict standards.
Ultimately because of this, there will be SEO issues. There can also be loading issues of your website leading to more bounce rates in your website.
6. Security Vulnerabilities:
Coding standards not met also means the security wise the code is bad. Also, a lot of open-source coding involves copying scripts and fonts from unknown websites leading to frustrations later on. Such scripts can either be hacked or allow injectable files or cause issues in the future to your website.
Also, you can land up in licensing issues if a non-CC0 or open-source commercial license-allowed script or font has been used in your website. Even images should be stock photos that are allowed for commercial use.
7. Ineffective Communication:
No proper communication channels are set up in most of the cases leading to frustration for the customer. In some cases the client has to time and again remind the WordPress Website Development Agency about the timeline and that there has been no communication for a long time.
8. Subpar After-Sales Support:
There is zero to negligible support in most cases and that can lead to issues with the website. If someone has coded a website they know where it can cause issues and can resolve or rectify it quickly. But if they fail to support then you will have to pay a higher price to other agencies and resolve those issues.
9. Reputation Damage:
Of course, the above points of the poor quality site already covered the reputation of your company brand with such a low-quality website.
10. Time Consumption:
A lot of time goes by and you end up with a subpar website which you will again have to invest efforts in terms of money and time to get redesigned in the near future. To avoid such problems in the future always choose a good WordPress Website Development Agency with reliability and flexibility, good reviews, strong communication, adherence to coding standards and timelines, and good after sales support.
Choosing an agency with a lot of experience can automatically resolve a lot of these issues.