Two Important Questions Before Hiring a Website Agency

It is a shame, but there are some agencies that don’t have their client’s best interests at heart when building their website. Don’t get me wrong, most agencies try to do right by their clients, but there are some out there that can make life difficult.

Throughout my career, I have encountered numerous occasions where I have helped clients create whole new websites because of actions their previous agency took to make it difficult to leave. I’m here to help you avoid these common traps.

Below are two questions to ask upfront before you select an agency for a website project to ensure you have, and will retain, control over your website.

Business lady asking questions

1. Who will own the website?

This might sound like a no-brainer, you paid for the site, it is about your company, it should be yours, right?

Well, believe it or not, that’s not always the case. I have worked with several clients who have had to rebuild their website because their previous agency won’t let it go.

Make sure you ask this question upfront. “Will we own our website?” 

Also, address who will own your URL (web address). You don’t want to have to pay for a URL you should already own. If they are the type of people who engage in these bad practices, they could make it hard, if not impossible, to get your URL from them.

Tell them you will need access to everything, from your website, DNS, and Google Products. If they have a problem with that, walk away.

Any reputable agency will have no problem with these requests and acknowledge your concerns. Trust me, it won’t be hard to find a good agency to work with.

2. Do they use their own proprietary platform?

If they say yes, run for the hills.

These solutions will tie you to that agency, and their solution. You won’t be able to take these sites with you should you decide to leave.

Other problems you will encounter, should you use one of these agencies and their solutions are:

Costly, and time-consuming edits. Every time you require a change you will need to request a change that could be costly, require custom coding, and could take a long time to implement. Not to mention all the back and forth you will need to get the change to your liking. And there will be limits to what they can do.

Security concerns. With a custom or proprietary solution, your security is in their hands. You have no control over how secure the system is, or if it ever gets updated. Cyber security and privacy companies have many reputable solutions that are created to work optimally with more common builders, like WordPress, and they keep their products updated to handle new threats. 

Potential technical issues. Your website’s performance may suffer with nothing you can do about it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) relies a lot on the back end of your website, if it is coded poorly, you could be in for big problems. More common builders have SEO top-of-mind and have a variety of solutions that allow you to optimize your website in every way imaginable.

And don’t forget, the agency who created your custom, or proprietary solution could decide to stop supporting the platform your website was built on at any time. This will leave your website unable to be updated, vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and costly to be worked on.

Ok, ok. I get it, there are some instances where you will require custom coding for a particular function. That’s fine, but don’t allow an agency to create your entire website on custom coding, that’s where you will run into problems.

There are other considerations to take when selecting an agency to create your website, but addressing these major concerns before choosing an agency should help you identify and stay clear of any bad actors before you find yourself with an expensive brick that was once your website.

If you choose Force 5 to create your website, I assure you we follow best practices, give you ownership of your website, access to everything you need, and work with complete transparency.

We love websites, so If you need some assistance with your website give us a call at 574.234.2060, or fill out our contact form here, we would love to help.