What does a web design agency do?

13 min read
Jess Lindley
What does a web design agency do?

What does a web design agency do?

In a world where you can buy pretty much anything at the touch of a button, it’s becoming increasingly vital for businesses to have an online presence. Even if you’re an established brick and mortar retailer, your website is often the first port of call for potential and existing customers. And so, that first digital impression really counts.

According to research from Micro Biz Mag, 89% of people in the UK made an online purchase in 2023, with over 91% of those aged 25-34 turning to online retailers for their online buying. With most UK buyers already making regular online purchases, not having a website for your business could mean that you’re missing out.

We know that business owners wear many hats. But website design and development requires a special skill set that not all entrepreneurs have under their belts – or have time to utilise alongside running a business! That’s where a web design agency comes in.

What does a web design agency do?

In a nutshell, web design agencies work with clients to design, develop, optimise and maintain their websites for SEO and UX purposes, with a focus on getting an edge on the competition and a return on investment.

Web design agencies often work as a one-stop shop for building an online presence, providing a range of web-related services beyond designing and building a website. For example, here at Bubble, we have the in-house capabilities to provide social media management, brand design, content writing, email marketing and even packaging design.

By working with the same team to design and develop your branded assets, this ensures total consistency across all channels. Making you all the more recognisable to your customers.

Here are the steps involved when you’ve hired a web design agency:

Initial discussion
The very first stage of designing and developing your website will be an in-person or virtual meeting with the agency to discuss your goals, target audience and any specific elements you want to include on the website.

Creating a wireframe
A web designer will then create a wireframe which is essentially a website blueprint, showing the layout of the different elements and features of each type page.

Designing the website
Your web designer will initially work on a homepage design for your approval before rolling out the visuals for all pages on the site. You’ll then receive a prototype link that shows you what the site will look like and allow you to interact with elements on the website.

Building the website
A web developer will build the backend of your website which they will then be able to populate with the design and content.

Content creation
All designed and written content will be added to the website ahead of it going live. These assets will be optimised to improve the customer experience, generate leads and perform well in the SERPs (search engine results pages), as well as being tailored to your website’s goals.

Support and maintenance
Many agencies – like us! – will offer support, maintenance and optimisation services, ensuring your website performs like a dream and hits the goals you set out in the initial meeting.

You’ll be involved at all stages of design and development to collaboratively help shape the experience your customers have when they land on your site.

Web design agency project consultation call to action

What kinds of services do web design and digital marketing agencies provide?

Here are just a few of the services that web design agencies can support your business with:

  • Website design
  • Website development
  • Website hosting, support and maintenance
  • SEO copywriting

Many web design agencies provide digital marketing services to support the development of your online presence. In addition to the above, here are a few of the services you might expect to see:

  • Logo design
  • Brand and brand guidelines
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Blog content writing

What is a web designer?

A web designer is responsible for designing the visual appearance and usability of websites, including the layout of each page. Unlike web developers who create functional website structures using code, web designers will focus on user experience and visual appeal.

Some of the key responsibilities for a web designer who works for an agency include creating the design and layout of clients’ websites, meeting clients to discuss requirements and agree a brief, researching user journeys, testing site functionality, and designing graphics and images.

Why should I work with a web design agency?

Professional web designers in agencies have already created many quality, highly performing website designs. By leveraging this experience and expertise, you’re establishing an engaging online presence through tried and tested best practice techniques.

A web design agency will take a strategic approach aligned to your business’s goals, pairing it with a beautiful design and seamless user journey that creates a professional first impression, contributes to a positive user experience, and gets you results.

And that’s not all! Here are 5 more reasons why you should consider hiring a design agency for your business.

What are the signs of a good website design agency?

So, you’ve decided to enlist the help of a web design agency to get your business’s website off the ground. But how can you tell which agency is the best fit for your company? Here are some key ways to identify a good design agency…

Reviews & testimonials
The best way to determine the validity and reliability of a web design agency is to look at client feedback. Lots of positive reviews, testimonials and feedback – especially on external sites – reflect the customer satisfaction you can expect from them. Keep an eye out for reviews from businesses in a similar industry to yours which will show the agency’s ability to understand and meet your requirements. Here at Bubble, we pride ourselves on having exclusively 5* reviews from over 100 reviewers on Google.

Portfolio of work
A portfolio of work shows the styles of design the agency can produce, giving you an idea of whether their style is compatible with your brand.

Custom solutions
Every website’s requirements are unique, and their website should be too. Avoid using agencies that use the same template over and over again without considering the specific needs of their clients.

The agency’s website
You can get a clear view of a web design agency’s skills and innovation based on its own website. Agencies with easy-to-use, responsive designs in a user-friendly CMS like WordPress speaks volumes about the level of professionalism they can provide for their clients.

Bubble's web design agency team working on a project

How much does it cost to hire a web design agency?

The simple answer is – it depends! There are a few different factors that determine the cost of a website. A highly complex website requiring thousands of products, payment gateways, online accounts, baskets and third-party plugins will naturally cost more to design and develop than a simple site with a few pages and a contact form.

As we’ve discussed in this article, there are multiple additional services available alongside your site, such as copywriting, images and video that will also impact the overall price. There will also usually be hosting and maintenance costs to keep your site running as expected.

Generally speaking, you can be looking at anywhere between a few thousand to tens of thousands of pounds depending on your specific requirements.

What are the key elements of a well designed website?

A well-designed website can have a significant impact on conversion rates, meaning it’s crucial to get it right. Focusing on the end user can create highly engaging visuals and content that drives customers to place an order, get in touch or sign up for an account.

Here are some of the key features you can expect to discuss with your web design agency…

User-friendly navigation
Simple navigation helps users find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. This not only means the user is more likely to stay on your website, but they’re also more likely to perform the desired action – whether that’s signing up to your mailing list, making an online purchase or getting in touch for a quote.

They’ll also associate the positive experience they’ve had using your website with your brand, building a positive brand image and customer loyalty.

Mobile responsiveness
Creating a mobile-friendly website allows for potential new customers to find your business while they’re on the go. Google also gives preference to mobile-optimised sites in the search results even if your target audience uses desktop computers or laptops, so it’s a great way to improve your website’s organic rankings.

Signs of a mobile-friendly website include larger, easier to read text, mobile-friendly navigation and faster download speeds when accessing the site on a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet.

Engaging calls to action (CTAs)
A call to action is a small line of copy – often distinguished by a clickable button – on a website that tells the user exactly what action you want them to take.

A clear call to action removes any confusion from the decision-making process and guides users to make the next step along the sales funnel.

Examples of clear call to actions include ‘Get a Free Quote’, ‘Order Now’ and ‘Find Out More’.

Authority and trust
A professional looking website instils a sense of trust and credibility for the user, and reflects the values and professionalism of your brand. If your customers or clients are investing their money into your products or services, they will want to know that they’re dealing with a reputable business.

Fast-loading pages
There’s nothing quite as infuriating to a user than a poorly performing, slow website. Not only does optimising your website’s page speed increase time spent on your website and number of leads, but it can also drastically impact your site’s SEO (search engine optimisation).

There are a number of elements that can cause a slow-loading website, including large images and files, web hosting efficiencies and the use of apps, plugins, widgets and embedded media. A web design agency will take all of this into consideration when designing and building your site.

Accessible content
The level of detail a user wants about your product or service on your website will be very specific to whether they’re making a purchase there and then, or calling up for more information.

If you’re providing lots of complex product descriptions, your designer will evaluate the user intent of each page and make sure the content is easy-to-read by minimising the use of jargon and splitting concepts up into visual, bitesize sections.

Bubble team members Katie and Caitlin talking in our web design agency studio

Top tips for working with a web design agency

Before you sit down with your web design agency to discuss your requirements, it’s helpful to prepare any questions you have, as well as existing content and information you can provide. Here are a few top tips for getting the most out of your new website…

Define your goals and objectives for the website
Think about what you want to get out of a website for your business. Do you want to generate more leads? Increase brand awareness? Increase sales and conversions? Think about who your competitors are and what success looks like in comparison to the rest of the market.

Your goals will be the starting point of any discussion around building your website, and will be how the success of your site will be measured.

Provide as much information as you can
If you already have information and pictures for your products or services, supply as much of this as you can to your web design agency. This includes any information on your brand, such as existing marketing materials and brand guidelines.

Simply put, the more information you can supply, the better the agency can tailor the design around what makes you unique.

Establish open communication
If your web design agency is anything like the friendly bunch here at Bubble, you’ll be more than welcome to regularly share feedback, ideas and concerns. Encourage your agency to keep you in the loop with progress updates if they haven’t already, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

The agency is providing a service for you, and will want to make sure that you’re happy with the final result – and an open and frequent communication channel is the perfect way to do this.

Trust the agency’s expertise
One of the main reasons you’ve chosen your agency is because of their level of expertise. While your input will be massively valuable to the team working on your website, be open to their suggestions and recommendations that are based on hundreds – if not thousands – of successful websites they’ve helped to deliver before.

Provide actionable and timely feedback
You’ll be regularly asked for feedback at various points of your website’s creation. Make sure to thoroughly review the website, its content and its layout to provide constructive feedback. A few areas to test include functionality, user experience and responsiveness on different devices.

Your input is invaluable, and helps the agency iron out any small errors ahead of the final launch.

Using these tips is a great way to foster an open and productive relationship with your web design agency, resulting in a site that meets your goals and your expectations.

Discover your full-service web design and marketing agency today

Ready to take the next step towards creating your own professionally designed and built website? Get in touch with our expert team today for a no-obligation chat about establishing your business’s online presence to hit your goals.

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