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Before you commit to a UK web agency, here are some surprising insights you might not be aware of.

UK web agencies are notorious for telling you how your brand and site should look. We should know because we’re one of them!

But what about the stuff they don’t tell you? You know, the “tricks of the trade”.

With a little hope, this blog will give you a better idea of how web agencies work and what to look out for before investing in a new shiny website design.

#1 How web agencies charge

To our surprise, not all web agencies will tell you how they arrived at a website cost. They simply send you a quote, attached with a “take it or leave it” ultimatum.

In our opinion, transparency and honesty are integral parts of forming long-term relationships. So, if a website agency doesn’t break the costs down, ask them to. It’s your right to know.

Generally speaking, web agencies will charge by the hour, day, project or page. In truth, there is no right or wrong method here.

However, if you’re planning on building a massive website or are keen to provide your input, web agencies who charge by the hour or day might not be the best solution. It only takes a couple of simple amends to send the final invoice through the roof!

Opting for a set rate per page or project cost will enable you to budget accordingly and focus on getting things right.

#2 Aesthetics aren’t everything (but they help)

Let’s make this abundantly clear, design DOES matter. It takes just 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about a website. So, if you’re trying to establish yourself as a credible, trustworthy business, first impressions are imperative.

But – with a capital B…

Web design is only half the story. What many web agencies won’t tell you is that pretty visuals don’t guarantee results.

At DITS, we believe search engine optimisation (SEO), great content and website design come hand in hand. These elements should be combined. Without the other, they won’t work function properly.

Having a stunning web design with shoddy copy is like dressing to the nines for a lockdown party on your Tod. Sure, a few neighbours might peer in as they walk past your house, but they’re not going to stop and join the fun.

Website content needs to tell a story and include vital keywords. Smart web agencies will naturally integrate SEO copywriting into the design process to ensure your new website is a successful conversion tool as well as a visual masterpiece.

#3 Clear navigation

This point may sound glaringly obvious, but many web agencies and freelance web designers simply don’t get it.

If you have multiple services to advertise and specific features you want to include on your site, that’s fine. However, not all web agencies take the time to plan the structure or suggest space-saving solutions.

Strategically placed links, dropdown sections, icons and explainer videos are just a handful of innovative ways to fit lots of great ideas into a small space.

For inspiration, check out the website we designed for Ledbury Health Partnership.

#4 You don’t need to reinvent the wheel

Creativity is a wonderful thing. But developing something revolutionary isn’t always positive.

As customers, familiarity is an integral part of the user experience (UX). So, avoid making drastic navigational changes or odd alterations that defy all web conventions

Yes, your website needs to be eye-catching and stand out from your competitors. However, this isn’t an excuse to break all usability rules and confuse your visitors. It’s like when you go to your favourite supermarket and they change the store layout. Nobody has time for that.

Unless you’re in charge of a multi-billion corporation, your users expect to see your logo in the top left corner and the navigation bar above the header content and image

Don’t reinvent the structural wheel, otherwise, you’ll run the risk of alienating your users. Remember, milk and butter belong in the fridge section, not down the bakery aisle!

#5 Design is about psychology

Another key part of website success is the psychology behind the design.

Top web agencies will consider the “why” and the “what”. As in, why do your users click on this feature more than others and what specific colours work best for call-to-action-buttons?

To develop a top-performing website that looks great, reads well and is easy to find, web agencies need to think about user psychology and the impact of each element.

For example, what goes through the minds of the users when they first land on your site? And how do users perceive certain brand colours?

do users perceive certain brand colours? Good web agencies will often forget to tell you about this, while bad ones simply won’t have a clue.

If you can get a designer who recognises the importance of analysing the psychological side of web design before and after launch, you’re on the path to building a powerful website.

What makes us different from other web agencies in Worcester and Malvern?

At Design in the Shires, there are no secrets or special “Mac Sauces” to our services.

Our process is based on honesty, integrity and transparency. If you’re unsure about what we can offer, why we do things the way we do or charge what we do, ask us.

We’re here to help UK businesses thrive and make an impact in the digital world. We do this by working collaboratively with your business and offering a complete solution.

There’s no need to outsource different parts of the web design process to various digital marketing and web agencies. We cover design, SEO, copywriting and marketing.

To find out more, get in touch with us today.

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