Some practitioners and agencies are put off or even offended by this question. For me, it’s one of my favorites to answer.
When you’re looking for website design and development services, this is a must-ask question. Why? Simply because how a practitioner or agency answers this question tells you a lot about them.
Some have a reaction that looks a little something like this …
If that’s the case, run. More than likely, things won’t pan out well for your experience or final product.
Others have an answer, but it’s not a very good one. Maybe it sounds canned or like every other agency you’ve ever talked to.
Yet others will without hesitation tell you why they’re different in a concise, believable manner then they’ve meticulously thought through their offering. That speaks volumes about their service set and the credibility they bring to the table.
What Makes Our Pittsburgh Website Design Company Different
Here’s what makes our website design and development offering unique:
Our Full-Picture Perspective
By overarching discipline, we’re an integrated marketing communications agency. This means that we’ve studied and identified the major areas (in a communications sense) that make organizations outrageously successful. Those major points are:
- They understand their ideal customers
- They’ve grounded themselves in a compelling, consistent brand that touches every department
- They’re conquering the digital realm with thoughtfully and competitively built websites
- They’ve developed a fully integrated marketing communications strategy
- And they’re acting on that strategy consistently
For us, we serve all of those areas. Someone once asked me, “What would you say your strongest offering is?” I answered, “That’s a trick question. All of them are our strongest. We don’t offer weak-link services just to widen the revenue net.”
That being said, we bring nuanced expertise in the website design and development arena. Our perspective isn’t just limited there though—it’s influenced by our knowledge of what makes a company outrageously successful.
That business savviness and wide perspective makes our service all the more effective and relevant.
Our Branding Design Talent
The capabilities in that area of our skill-set directly apply to website design and development. It’s one thing to develop and write code well, but it’s another thing entirely to design something looks good and performs well in regards to user experience.
Our Proven, Charted Process
How Things Tend to Happen with Some Website Designers …
Here’s how a lot of website designs/redesigns go—things sound great on the front end. You think the practitioner or agency is right for you. You feel confident. You dive in, but suddenly, you have no idea what’s coming next. They ask for this, that and the other. You’re confused and eventually you lose track of what they are doing and what you were supposed to do.
Or another situation—the designer(s) come back with the developed website. It’s the first time you’ve seen the design or even talked about design, and quite truthfully, you hate it. You tell them it’s not the feel you wanted, but they say, “Too bad, we’ve developed it.”
How We Run Things
We bring a developed, four-step process to the website design/redesign conversation. This process is proven, repeatable and easy to follow.
It goes as follows:
- Discovery Session/Website Kickoff
- Mockup Design
- Launch and Due Diligence
Those four, main points are the highlights of the milestones we’ll tackle together. Before you sign on the dotted line, you’ll have an incredibly detailed outline of the steps involved in each aspect of the journey. You’ll know exactly what’s going to happen before we even begin our work together.
The Discovery Session insures that we’re both on the same page as far as functionality, purpose and content fields on templates.
The Mockup Design stage is where we present our proposed concept for the website before writing a single line of code. That way, you can approve, deny or ask for tweaks.
Once that’s approved, then and only then, do we start the nerdy stuff—writing code.
Last, but not least, we launch, but do the Due Diligence necessary for long-term website health and success. That brings us to our next point.
Our Focus on Due Diligence
It’s easy to get caught up in the flash and sexiness of a website’s outward facing design.
Too often, however, the inner-working details get lost in the shuffle. These inner-working components couldn’t be more important to the overall success of a website though. Not just for the sake of saying, “We did it,” but for real things like search engine optimization (SEO).
An example of due diligence is setting up 301 redirects when URLs are changed.
- This commonly happens during a website redesign where page URLs are updated for one reason or another. If you change the URL then it suddenly becomes a broken link. Google can no longer find it (which is bad for you) and users with it bookmarked can’t either. In order to correct this a 301 redirect must be set-up. You might be sitting there thinking, “I wonder if we did this during our redesign …” There’s one way to find out. Try out the broken link checker.
Another would be removing the “NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW” upon launching the website.
- Unfortunately, I see this a lot. It’s easy to spot. When you Google someone/something, you’ll see the meta description for the website in question say “A description for this result is not available because of this site’s robots.txt.” This is bad. This means Google is not crawling and thus indexing your website’s pages for SEO purposes. Leave it this way for long enough and you’re going to spend quite a bit of time getting in Google’s good graces again.
Want to see some other common redesign mistakes that could be prevented with due diligence?
Our Exposure to Countless Industries
It’s common to wonder, “Should I approach a website designer who’s an expert in my industry?”
It might make sense, but website designers who pigeon-hole themselves are at risk at falling into stagnant ruts. Design enough real estate websites and suddenly all of those real estate websites start looking alike.
We’ve dealt with every industry imaginable including: race complexes, auto shows, auto associations, car dealers, international non-profits, not-for-profits, fellow marketing agencies, candy companies, real estate agencies, real estate agents, commercial real estate brokerages, travel blogs, magicians, natural food companies, luxury cashmere lines, venture capitalist funds, startups, tech products, theatres, dry cleaners, fitness gurus, fitness products, paving companies and construction companies—just to name a few.
It’s not our goal to make something that blends in with everyone else in your industry. It’s our goal to put you in position to trounce your competitors with innovative ideas.
Our Boutique by Design Client Experience
We are a boutique by design Pittsburgh website design company focused on the client experience. We build tight-knit, highly communicative relationships with our clients. The client experience is so important to our core values and operation that we have a position devoted to it—our head of client success.
Personally, I feel so strongly about the experience our clients have and the work we’re doing for them, that I’ve taken on the mantle of head of client success. Instead of stepping out of the company to use it like an ATM (like some co-founders do), I’ve stepped directly into the action to insure the outrageous success of our clients.
Our Website Design and Development Skills Are Award-Winning
Shameless plug, our website design and development capabilities are award-winning.
Our Functionality Guarantee
Guarantees sound really corny, don’t they? They sound salesy.
I’ll tell you what though, if that transmission implodes in your brand new car the warranty (in this case the guarantee) sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
It’s our promise that if anything that should be functioning/operating according to the original design fails for some odd reason, we’ll troubleshoot it free of charge (unless of course you break it).
Have More Questions?
Have more questions about our website design and development services?
More questions about our agency?
Curious what it’s like to work with us? Grab the eBook mentioned below, “What It’s Like to Work with Us (in the words of our clients and partners).”