How to Choose a Web Design Company
If you’re about to hire a web design company, you may be finding it more difficult than you had imagined it. A simple Google search for web designers in your area probably yields dozens, hundreds or even more results.
Moreover, every firm talks about being the best and every representative claims to be selling the number one products and services in the industry.
But you don’t have time for endless sales pitches. You just want quality web design and you want it now. So which company do you end up choosing, and why?
How To Make A Bad Decision
If you’re uninitiated in the arts of web design and web development, you may be inclined to believe that all companies are the same. After all, a website is a website, and all that matters is that it looks good, right?
Wrong. The web offers endless options, and no two web design companies are identical. Most people understand that opting for the cheapest provider usually leads to a serious lack of quality, but it goes far beyond that.
To avoid getting hoodwinked, here are a few ways you should not make your decision:
- Choosing the cheapest or most expensive option.
Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean garbage, but it usually does. Likewise, expensive designers usually command high wages because they offer high quality. But at other times, they’re just taking advantage of you.
- Choosing the highest ranked option in Google.
Even disregarding the advertisements at the top of the search results, the highest ranked company in Google is not automatically the best. Rather, it’s the company that’s currently the best at Search Engine Optimizatizing themselves.
- Choosing the company that promises you the most.
Promises are cheap. For example, if a designer tells you that their design or product will get you the top of Google, be very suspicious. Even though design and internet marketing overlap, they are not one and the same.
- Choosing the one with the most attractive portfolio.
Previous high quality work is definitely a good sign, but who’s to say that your new website will look as great as the one they’re linking to? Be especially wary of sites that only put up a small number of amazing sites.
So how do you choose the web design company that’s right for you?
Find Out What You Need
First of all, you need to have a good idea of what it is that you want.
Do you need a website with a lot of authors and contributors?
Do you want it to have a shopping cart?
Do you want a professional, minimalistic look or lots of shiny effects?
You have to understand that every website is 100% unique, so write a few paragraphs about what your ideal website looks like and what it does.
Once you have a vision of your future website, it’s time to start Googling for web design companies that can make it happen.
Take your website plan and click through to the websites of at least a dozen or so design companies (the more options you have, the better).
Look at how well they’ve designed their own websites, read a little bit about their company and, crucially, browse their portfolio.
Immediately eliminate any company that doesn’t show off previous work (or gives only a few examples).
Unfortunately, there are quite a few design firms that make up for their shoddy work with excellent marketing, SEO and sales efforts.
Look For The Best Fit
Once you’ve gone through a dozen or more company websites, you should have enough information to create a shortlist of the firms that are most likely to suit your particular needs.
These companies should have a decent amount of relevant experience, attractive examples of their previous work and a good reputation in the industry.
The last step is to contact them with your project and request a quote.
The way these companies respond to you will eventually determine which company you end up choosing. The best designers won’t just tell you what you want to hear. They’ll be honest with you, tell you what you can realistically expect, and try to find out how to best communicate your vision. Of course, they’ll also give you a price estimate, which is more than just a little important as well.
The ultimate decision is up to you. Remember that the most important thing to look for in a web design company is a good fit with your own company.
As long as you’ve chosen the web design company that you think is most right for your company (and not the one that Google, your wallet or some other third party tells you is best for you), you’ll be fine, and you’ll be wowing your customers with a fantastic new website very soon.