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What to look for in a web design agency

Your best bet is to contact a web design agency near Oxford that starts with an ‘I’, ends in a ‘v’ and has the letters ‘ntuiti’ in the middle.

Alternatively, take a look at the pointers below - they should help too.

Then contact a web design company near Oxford that starts with an ‘I’, ends in a ‘v’ and has the letters ‘ntuiti’ in the middle.


Following on from our last blog post, “How to find the best Oxford web designers for your business”, let’s sharpen our focus a bit.

As you’re only too aware, when a company sends out the call for a new website, it’s usually needed by yesterday.

And there’s an understandable impatience to get something off the ground super quick.

But don’t rush into appointing your Oxford web developers, it could be a costly mistake.


To help you evaluate and compare web design agencies, we've created a checklist of what to look for.

Here we go…


What to look for.


  • Is the web design company’s website any good?
  • Can you easily find what you’re looking for?
  • How does it look on mobile?
  • Was it easy to find on Google?



  • When was the company established? Check out their About Us page.
    • If they’ve been around for years and years, they must be doing something right.
    • If they’re fairly new, are they worth the gamble? Are the owners/employees experienced?
  • Do they offer the services you need? Design, build and hosting?
  • Check out their portfolio too.



  • Does their website and portfolio give you the impression you're in safe hands?
  • When you talk to them, do they seem to know their stuff?
  • Do their answers make sense to you? If they don’t, maybe they’re not going to be great at guiding you through your project?



  • Your project is more likely to be well-managed if there is a clear process.
  • Are all the stages of the project covered in-house?
    • Your life will be much easier if design, build and hosting are all under one roof.
    • If any elements are outsourced, who manages that? And who's responsible when there are issues?
    • What systems do they have in place if there’s a bug or your server goes down?



  • Have the web developers built sites in your sector before?
    • If they have, this could make the process smoother.
    • If they haven’t, do you think they’ll ‘get’ your sector? You never know, maybe a fresh pair of eyes might come up with a new angle.
  • Were you intrigued by their portfolio or nonplussed?
  • If there’s no portfolio on their website, run.


Responsive web design.



  • The web developers should ask you as many questions as you ask them.
  • They should want to know your exact requirements.
    • Who is your target audience?
    • What are your goals with the website?
    • Have you got an existing website, domain name etc.?
    • Who will supply the copy and images?



  • Will they host your website themselves?
  • If so where?
  • How much do they charge for hosting?
  • If they don’t host your website, who will host it? And where? Who will sort out any server problems that might arise?
  • Who will handle any domain name transfers?
  • Will they organise an SSL security certificate for your website?



  • Does the web design company optimise your website for SEO? They should be comfortable with SEO best practice.
  • If they don’t do more extensive SEO in-house, do they buddy up with an SEO agency?


Content management.

  • Will there be a CMS (Content Management System) for you to update your website? (We use Umbraco CMS, for example.)
  • How much control does it provide? How flexible is it?
  • Can they give you a demo?
  • Are you happy with their CMS? Easy and intuitive to use?



  • Can they supply a breakdown of estimated timings for your project?
  • When can they start?
    • If they can start straight away, why aren’t they busy?
    • Expect a lead time of at least 6 weeks. Sometimes initial design ideas can start earlier.



  • How does the web design company estimate project costs?
  • Do they have a rate card?
  • Can they work to your budget?



  • Are they easy to talk to?
  • Are they easy to understand?
  • Do they understand what you were getting at?
  • Or do they spout a load of marketing gumpf?


I feel good da na na na na na na…

  • What’s your gut feeling?
  • Do you think you’ll get on with them?
  • It could be the start of a long relationship, so trust your instincts.



And, briefly, here are some things to avoid.

Poor website.

  • If they can't do a good job on their website, they probably won't do a good job on yours.



  • No portfolio? Bizarre. Run.
  • A portfolio that doesn't inspire? Jog on.


3rd parties.

  • Might work, but be wary. Keep things simple, keep it inhouse.


Located miles away.

  • Emails and phone calls are great, but you can’t beat a face-to-face meeting with local Oxford web designers, especially early on in the project.

Can start straight away.

  • Why aren’t they busy?

Dirt cheap.

  • Why?
  • A one-man-band might be cheap, but what about on-going support and response times? Will they be around in the future? Do they have enough knowledge, expertise and time to cover every aspect of your project?


A disturbance in The Force.

  • Trust your feelings, Luke.
    • If you didn’t quite feel it with the web design company, fair enough, walk away.



Well, there you go.

It’s hard, choosing a website design agency, but we hope some of the above is helpful.

If you want to pick our brains further, feel free.

Email (your message won’t just disappear into an email abyss - we will reply, usually the same day).

If you prefer, just give us a bell on 01844 888 777, use our contact form, or request a quote.