Every aspect of building a website is important, from the hosting service you choose to every word of content that makes it onto one of your pages. Of course, the design of your site and pages plays a key role in the success of your site, having a hand in everything from SEO to whether or not your browsers stay on your site and revisit it later.
Thousands of web design companies and freelancers are competing for your business. It can be difficult to find the best one to suit your needs. Here are some pointers that will help you along the way.
Look at Their Site
The biggest sign of whether a web design company is any good is their own website. You’d probably be surprised how many companies speak very highly of themselves despite their websites looking awful. If they’re talking about the latest trends, like responsive designs, clean and slick design, or having content above the fold, yet don’t tick any of those boxes, look elsewhere.
View Their Portfolio
There are two parts to this. The first is do the websites that they’ve designed work well and look good. The second is do you like it? The second is especially important if you notice a design company has produced a large number of similar designs and you’re looking for something a little different.
Many guides will tell you to look for experience in your industry, but we don’t think that matters so much, as looking for this just increases the likelihood of you getting a site that looks the same as all others!
Do They Know What They’re Talking About?
Ensure you have a telephone conversation with someone at the company before deciding whether you want them to work on your website. Email might be fast and convenient, but it is also a great way for a design company to get vague on any questions you might have asked. Talk over the phone, and you’ll immediately learn whether they actually know what they’re talking about and will be able to deliver for you.
Who Owns My Site?
This is a common problem both with some hosting and design companies. Make sure you become the owner of your code, designs, and any applications or plugins that are used throughout your site. A design company might say that them owning the content will make it easier to apply updates and do on-going work. However, if you then want to hire your own webmaster or developer to take it over, you’re going to have a problem, and might even have to start your whole site again from scratch.
There are many aspects to finding a great web design company, and you’ll no doubt have some others that are specific to your own requirements. However, using these four fundamental ‘must haves’ as a starting point will give you the best chance to find a great design company.