You may realize that your company’s website needs a new look, some updating or maybe you are in need of your first website. You may realize that you have a nice site that no one can find online. Whatever the need may be, it is important to know who to trust when shopping for the right web design firm. Not all designers are created equal.
These days it seems that everyone knows someone who does web design. Whether it is the recently graduated cousin of your friend who knows something about it or the career developer that has a proven record, the spectrum of developer talent is broad. How will you know whom to trust? This guide should serve as a checklist for you and your business when searching for the right web design firm.
- What does their website look like? Every developer that has any talent will pour their heart and soul into their own site. It should look amazing! Successful developers rely on their site to generate revenue and should be able to perform the same type of development for your business.
- How did you find their website? A trusted web design firm should also be an expert at search engine optimization. You should simply be able to Google “web design” along with their market of operation. Are they on page one of that list? After all, if they can’t do it for their own website, how will they be able to optimize yours?
- Is their content well written? Read through their website content. Is their grammar correct? Is it easy to read? Does it encourage the reader to read more? These are major emphasis points that should be part of every website. Successful web design firms will scrutinize and refine every detail.
- Look at their portfolio. Any web design firm that is proud of the work they’ve done will proudly display their work online. They will encourage you to look at previous works to encourage your trust. Be weary of any web design firm that does not have a visible portfolio.
- Read their testimonials. A web design firm with a track record of success will have happy clients who are proud to provide positive feedback. Google search those clients to see their website. Take notes of what you like and don’t like about those to give yourself a clear vision of what you want for your own site.
- How long have they been in business? The web design industry is chalked full of “fly-by-night” companies. I recommend using LinkedIn to research employees and companies that you do business with. They should have a strong and informative profile there. You can also find how long a company has been around using Manta.com.
- Get a quote. Find a few web design firms that you are impressed with and contact them. I recommend getting at least 3 quotes to compare pricing. Remember that cheapest doesn’t mean best value. Use the factors that I’ve listed in this article as your guideline.
- What platform do they use for development? There are web design firms out there that will sell you proprietary design work on a platform that only they can work on. This ensures them any and all future business from you. If you decide not to do business with them down the road, they will take down the site and you are left with nothing. Make sure your site is developed on a known platform such as WordPress and that you have complete ownership over the site. This way you are free to host and contract with any firm you choose down the road.
- How do they guarantee your satisfaction? The scary part of hiring a web design firm is the fear that you won’t be happy with the results. A good firm should just require a deposit to start and then the rest on completion. This guarantees that you don’t pay in full until you are happy. Beware of any firm requiring 100% payment to begin work.
- How will they support you after the sale? Many times there are issues with a site that don’t show themselves right away. Be sure to ask for a window of time where the firm you hire will support their work and correct any mistakes that may have been made that weren’t obvious at the launch.
Hiring the right web design firm is always an involved process. Hopefully this guide will help you on your journey in making the right decision.
All the best!