Partnering with a Web Design Agency

We all know that technology is a rapidly advancing industry and web design is no exception. It is no longer acceptable to follow the rest of the pack. It is almost expected that web design agencies are innovative in terms of both the technologies that they use and how they use them, whilst focusing on underlying business principles such as time and money.

With the advent of the Internet and the .com boom, traditional graphic design agencies have chosen to offer web design services as an additional revenue stream. The problem is with the speed that the web design industry is advancing, these agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up to date with the best practices, technologies and terminology to use. As a result, their key services can suffer and become diluted.

In order to concentrate on their core competences, graphic design agencies may find it necessary to look externally for a web design agency. The plus side to this is that the web design market is a saturated, however reliable web design agencies with both technical and business expertise are few and far between.

This blog post aims to help graphic design agencies by giving advice about how a relationship with a web design agency could work.


We have worked with a wide range of graphic design and marketing agencies who have asked to pretend to work for them. This is fine during that initial phases of the project, however down the line it becomes increasingly difficult to manage. Clients calling the web designers directly will be surprised when the phone is answered under a different company name, or when they receive an email accidentally sent from the wrong email account – it’s always best to remain honest.

Some clients actually look at the relationship favourably as you have partnered with a dedicated web design team. Providing you manage the project successfully and have a good relationship with your client, there is no reason why they would go direct to the web design agency in the future.

Pitching for Work

Don’t be afraid to pitch together. There is nothing worse than a prospective client being answered with a blank face during a Q/A session, so bring along your web design partner as your technical arm.

They should add value to the pitch and act as consultants when discussing the technical aspects of the new website. They should also ask questions to ensure their understanding of the requirements is 100% during the proposal process.

Markup & Business is Business

Your chosen web design partner must understand that whilst they are doing the leg-work in terms of the development of a website, as a business, you must also make your markup.

The percentage of the markup really depends on a range of factors, however we find it is always useful to be open and honest to your partner agency about how much you wish to make on average. We have found that markups can vary between 15% – 35% depending on the project type and scale.

Advice and Support

A professional web design agency will be more than willing to help you with any questions you have about design and how this links with the development. If you are unsure of how something will work online, don’t be afraid to just ask. In the initial stages of the relationship, it may be a steep learning curve to understand each others processes and management styles, but you will also no doubt learn something new on both sides of the fence.

Project Management

We have found in our past experience that the agency that receives the initial enquiry and is charging the markup will generally manage the project. This however does depend on your experience/background as you may feel more comfortable to give this responsibility to your partner agency.

You should bear in mind that if the project management is outsourced, your markup percentage will be reduced as more work is being done externally. This clearly has to be balanced by the stress of project management versus the difference in your markup.

Further Support and Information

If you are looking for a reliable and trustworthy web design partner for your design agency, why not get in touch with us? We have lots of experience with partner relationships and can help to answer any questions you have – just give us a call on 01243 373444 or email