There are thousands of website designers & agencies around the globe, and often it can be an difficult task choosing one that offers value as well as competency. It’s important that you try to gain a basic understanding of the website design process before committing to a company.
Firstly, speak with friends, business acquaintances and family. Have they had a website built? Do they know a web designer or design firm?
Personal recommendations can be an excellent way of getting to know a web design company, even if it’s only letting you know who to avoid!
Try and find at least 5 web design companies to compare, if you cannot reach this target by referrals, try your local newspaper, design publications or the internet. Local companies can prove advantageous, but don’t fear companies based at the other end of the country, at the end of the day you’ll be looking to choose the website design company best suited to your needs, wherever they may be.
Your own research
In order to narrow your shortlist further, it’s a good idea to visit your potential web designer’s websites to see what they’re capable of. It’s crucial that your website is accurate, and created with attention to detail and care. This is the primary requirement of your shortlisted company’s web sites.
Have a browse around their own website, do you find the navigation easy and structured well? Is the site easy to follow, uncluttered and well designed?
If it’s likely that the company will also provide hosting for your web site, does their own web site load quickly?
Check out the portfolio of the company, do they offer a variety of different looking websites and have they got any reviews you can read?
Approach the company
Hopefully, you’ve now managed to get your shortlist down further, which means now is the time to begin contacting the web design companies, and requesting quotes. You shouldn’t find much resistance or hardship at this point, most companies will jump at the chance of pitching their company, and discussing your needs.
You should already have a good understanding of the types of websites they have designed in the past and whether or not they’ve undertaken work similar to your requirements. Ask them to discuss any similar projects and don’t be afraid to ask for contact details so that you can request a referral.
Following your discussions with your shortlist, and upon receiving their initial quotes, you should have a fair idea as to which web design company you are likely to partner with. If you feel like you need to speak to each company once more, do so, as you’re likely to be making a serious financial investment and it’s crucial that you make the right decision.