Partnering with the right national or local web design company is an important business decision. It can play a transformational role in your company’s success. Your web design needs can fluctuate substantially over time, which can be a logistical challenge. Sometimes you just need an occasional project, but at other times, you may need full-time staff to oversee long-term changes. These variations can make it hard to justify hiring an in-house web designer. As a result, many businesses prefer to outsource the function, but they need a reliable website design company to partner with.
You may have questions about how to hire a web design company. It’s safe to say there’s a lot of them around. As of 2021, there were over 77,000 web design businesses in the U.S. alone. When making your decision, your first consideration should be whether to hire a local agency or a non-local or national one. Here are some things to keep in mind when making that choice.
Local Knowledge and Connections
A significant advantage of local website design companies is that they understand the community better than many outsiders. It’s an understanding not just limited to demographics and psychographics, but extends to cultural familiarities and local consumer behavior. They have a feel for what appeals to people in your locality and the right design approach to adopt to inspire the most interest, trust, and conversions. They’re also likely to have better connections with local vendors and influencers you can leverage to activate other aspects of your marketing campaign.
Local Business Experience
When you opt for a local web design company, you’re also benefiting from the wealth of local experience they bring. There’s a fair chance that they will have worked with a similar business or brand at the local level and can apply those learnings to your website. This is just added potential to further boost user experience and conversions on your website.
On the flip side, however, you should make sure they’re not working with any local competitors while they’re bidding for your contract. The conflict of interest isn’t likely to play out well for you or the agency concerned.
Timely Communication and Support
Something else you should factor into your decision is how closely you want your teams to work together. Working with a local web design company may mean you don’t have to deal with time zone differences, and it will be easier to establish good communication. If you prefer to have frequent face-to-face meetings to establish a steady rapport between your personnel, a local agency could be your best choice.
Moreover, when you partner locally, you may receive more prompt technical support. Whether there’s an issue with your CMS or your web hosting or your employees just need further training, your agency is on the same business hours as you, so they’re always a hop, skip, and jump away.
When your web design company is a local business as well, you know they have just as much riding on the engagement as you do, since their reputation in the local community depends on it. Local reviews and referrals play a huge part in new business acquisition for companies limited by market — indeed, you’ll want some yourself before contracting one. This means that they’re less likely to disappear or suddenly become unavailable when you want work done, which could be a problem if you’re dealing with individuals or smaller companies.
On the other hand, local website design companies may have smaller teams and therefore may struggle to stay on top of larger or more complex tasks. One benefit of a large national web design company is that they have more personnel to devote to your campaign, so you find that a non-local company can be as reliable or even more reliable than a local one.
Sometimes you just want the best of the best, and you’re willing to pay for it. Reputation and pedigree are more important than local knowledge for you, and in this case, you may well choose not to hire a local website design company. A non-local or nationally recognized agency with a track record of outstanding work could prove to be your preferred option.
Cost of A National Agency
There’s a huge variation in the cost of building a website, depending on what you need and the pricing of different agencies. The average cost can be anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000. If you do intend to hunt for a nationally recognized agency, bear in mind that it will likely cost you more. Bigger agencies with an impressive client portfolio will leverage their prestige to charge you higher retainers as well. If cash isn’t an object for you, by all means, go for it. However, if you’re a small business or you just want to save money on your web development projects, a local web design company may still be a better option for you.
Range of Services
A distinct advantage of partnering with a large, well-established national company is that they’re likely to offer more than just web design services. Branding, strategy, social media, PPC marketing, and more are all readily available with a full-service marketing agency. A local web design company specializes in website design with a local flair, so its offerings will be more limited. Larger agencies with a broader range of services make up a huge portion of the market; the average marketing agency offers five services. There’s a reason so many businesses opt to work with this type of web design company!
When You Want To Target A Wider Audience
Another scenario in which a non-local or national partner could be better for you is if you’re looking to expand to other regional, national, or even international markets. A national presence warrants a national approach and your agency must have the requisite experience to keep pace with your ambitions. Mirroring the logic of hiring a local website design company, a non-local agency is also likely to have better connections in the geographical market they’re based in, if that is where you want to scale to.
A fundamental takeaway for you, when you go on to choose your web design partner, should be clarity on your own business goals. Once you have your short-term and long-term objectives set in place, and the organizational structure to support them, choosing an agency will be a whole lot easier. Then it’s just a matter of careful research and analysis. Lay out the scope of work with them and provide specific KPIs you want them to meet, then track progress carefully. If you have further questions as to the best way to sift through local or non-local web design companies, feel free to reach out to us. Remember to read our blog regularly to stay informed on the latest developments in web design.