Choosing a web design company can be a tough decision, especially when there are so many to choose from.
It’s important to find a company that understands your needs and takes you seriously. After all, you’re not just putting a web design project in their hands, you’re entrusting the image of your business to them.
The aim of this guide is to help you to ask the right questions so that you can be confident in your choice and to help you avoid making costly mistakes.
How much do they charge and what is included?
This seems an obvious thing to ask a potential web design company but you need to make sure you know what is included in your quote to avoid any nasty surprises. Ask the designer to detail exactly what is included IN WRITING.
Things to consider would be:
- Does it include bespoke design?
- Does it include a Content Management System (CMS)?
- Does it include making changes if you don’t like the initial draft?
- Does it include the registration of a domain?
- Will the domain be registered to you?
- Does it include web hosting?
- Does it include ongoing support?
- Does it include search engine optimisation?
If any of these services aren’t included find out how much they are!
Where are they based?
A web designer doesn’t have to be local to you but it’s usually beneficial to have someone who is based in the same country. Different working hours could cause delays and can be frustrating if there’s a problem with your site.
How long have they been in business?
This is important. You don’t want a web design company that is around one day and gone the next. Can you be sure that if they design your site that they will be there to support you for years to come?
Size of the company
Generally speaking, the size of the company provides you with NO indication of the quality of work they can produce. There are a lot of freelance web designers who can produce far superior work to larger web design companies. Don’t let your preconceptions about the size of a company get in the way of the facts.
Do they have a portfolio you can review?
Every web design company should have a portfolio on their website where you can view some of the sites they’ve designed previously. Take some time to look through their sites and evaluate them.
Ask yourself the following:
- Do they have any designs that appeal to you?
- Do the sites look professional?
- Do they load quickly?
- Can you view them on a mobile device or tablet?
Can they provide references?
Speak to some of their existing web design customers and ask about their overall experience. Some good questions to ask them would be:
- Were they pleased with the results?
- Was the website completed in a timely manner?
- Was the web designer helpful and easy to deal with?
- Do they respond to support queries quickly?
- Would they recommend them?
Do you get on with them?
It’s important to establish a good rapport with your web designer. Not only will you be working closely with them during the design process, but hopefully for some years to come. If you’re instinct tells you that you’re not going to get along perhaps you should look further afield.
What do they need from you?
Any web design project requires some input from the website owner. You know your business better than anyone and should have an idea of the image you want your website to portray. It’s important that you get this information over to your web designer and that they understand it fully.
Here are some questions you could ask:
- Can I show you some websites I like the look of?
- Can you provide text and images or do I need to provide it?
How long will it take to complete?
Before ordering a new website it’s imperative you ask potential designers how long it would take to get your site live. Does that fit in with your preferred timescale?