Top 9 Considerations When Hiring A Website Design Company
Everyone wants to know if a web design company can make their lives easier and produce a solid ROI. The simple fact is, they can. However, finding the right company that fits your needs and your own business demographic can be like navigating a mine field. It can help to have step-by-step instructions of what to look for and how to source the best people to work with. We’ve done all that for you with our guide to the top nine considerations when looking for a web design company.
Who are they?
Who owns the company?
Do your research. Make sure you know who owns and runs the business you want to engage. Find out about them professionally--make sure they have a LinkedIn Profile and professional social media accounts.
What is the team structure?
How many people are employed by the business and in what capacity? Look at the people who you may potentially deal with-–do they have professionals employed who have the qualifications or are at the very least specifically trained in the service you require. If the prices being quoted are very low, it’s likely you might find yourself working with junior-level designers or, worse yet, have your work outsourced to even less experienced individuals.
What services do they focus on?
Not only do you need to consider a company that will meet your current needs, but the team should also be capable of tending to needs that may arise after your current needs are met. Some people might only want a site to be designed and set up for them, others might require professionals who can help out with maintenance afterwards, to ensure the site runs smoothly at all times.
What have they done?
Check out their web portfolio, their online presence, and customer testimonials.
A web design company worth their rates will have a decent portfolio of past and present clients and not be afraid to boast about them (in the nicest way possible). Look to see who they’ve worked with and if those businesses are in the same niche as you. Check out their testimonials from other satisfied clients and look online to see if there are other reviews about them as a team.
Look into their marketing campaigns and how they style themselves within the market.
Can the team you want to employ work across a broad spectrum of subject areas and provide well thought out marketing campaigns to suit a range of different niches and styles? Or do they focus specifically on just one area? If the team you're considering works with other businesses in your industry, you may want to find out whether they're working with your competitors. This could be a determine factor for your final decision.
Investigate the content they’ve curated.
Look around for articles, blog posts, or short form content they've created for their clients. How do you feel about their style and the writing overall? Even seemingly minor things like spelling and grammar typos can make or break whether that web design company is the right fit for you.
How do they measure site success?
How do they make sure it is achieved?
A good web design company will continually strive for success and work collaboratively to make sure that they’ve got every base covered. At every stage of the design process and afterwards, they monitor and track how your site is working. They'll make sure it is ranking properly with high visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and iron out any errors as soon as possible.
What if they don’t reach that success?
They’ll want to work with you to see what they can do to make things right. Any web design team with a history of walking away at the end of projects and failing to meet expectations should be avoided.
Do they focus on trends?
Are sites responsive and are they ahead of the game?
Trends are an important part of web design but should not be the only focus. If every site they build looks the same based on trends, how can you expect to stand out from your competition? Trends constantly change to meet the needs of factors like ever evolving search engine requirements and algorithms. Your site will need to be up to date, but it still needs to suit the requirements of your business. Make sure the company you employ considers the needs of your clients. It’s useless building a funky, fashion forward website for a site that doesn’t fit that demographic. A good pointer is to look at their own site. If they can’t monitor and look after that properly, can you really trust them with yours?
What industries have they worked with?
Do they have experience in our industry?
It might seem obvious, but you do want to employ someone who has built and designed sites in your niche before (if possible). For instance, if you run a website that sells farm machinery, do you really want to engage the services of a company that has only ever worked within the fashion industry? Look at previous sites they've built. If some of their former clients include businesses in industries similar to your own, they're likely familiar with your industry. But how do those sites differ from one another? Keep in mind you don't want a copy-and-paste version of your competitors' websites.
What platforms, programs, and development experience do they have?
Are their projects basic or complex?
Ask yourself if their work fits a broad spectrum. Are they one dimensional? Have they produced a range of work that fits simple design elements yet also encompasses the more complex needs of a larger business? If they're able to work across an array of platforms, then you know they can handle longer term, more complex projects.
Will it be easy for us to take control once the design process is complete?
The bottom line is this: it's fine for your site to be top notch with all of the bells and whistles, but it's useless if the web design company won't show you how to navigate and maintain your new site or worse—they refuse to give you ownership!
Do they communicate effectively and provide efficient project workflows?
How transparent are they as a company?
A company that wants to work with you and do so to the best of their ability will be honest and open with you about what they can and can’t achieve. They will voice difficulties and keep the project within the scope while keeping you informed.
Do they listen and work with us towards what we want to achieve?
The right web design company will have your best interests at heart, wanting to drive the right traffic to your site to help boost your ROI by creating a more user-friendly, visually appealing website. They will work tirelessly to bring the vision you have for your site to life, and together you can create a fresh spin on your classic brand.
How does site maintenance and ownership transition after the project is complete?
Make sure they explain how the transitional period will work and that you have been given the right guidance on maintaining the site after it is up and running. They may offer to do this for you, but if you’re going it alone, make sure you have all the information on how to keep it running smoothly.
How are their troubleshooting skills?
Can they see problems we encounter and find the root cause?
Oh no! Your shiny new site has hit a snag and it’s not working properly for you, or even worse, your client base has contacted you to let you know the site is down. A great web design team will be able to identify the root of your problem in little time and provide an effective and speedy solution to minimize your downtime.
Do they present solutions to problems (some we may not even know about)?
Design teams know what to expect in terms of problems with building websites, site migrations, and other issues with maintaining them. They should be able to outline potential difficulties in the site design process and offer proactive solutions, a sign of experience and transparency. If they don't bring up potential issues and solutions during your introductory phase, be sure to ask them and pay close attention to how they deliver their response.
What is the projected timeline, pricing, and payment structure for our project?
What are the costs and deliverables?
You’ll ideally want to see measureables. You want to know how much the service you’re requiring costs, but you also need to see how that breaks down over a time frame and what each individual part of the web design process will cost. Be sure to get a full breakdown of all costs before you begin, and get a generalized timeline that includes deliverables and launch. Most reputable web design companies will work out payment options that align with your budget.
How will the company handle any issues post-launch?
Ask how they price general site maintenance packages and account for additional problems that may occur after the site is live. This will help you prepare in the event any issues should arise—you'll know how to budget and what action you can expect from your new web design company.