Choosing the right professionals to help you design a website is a lot like choosing the right ones to help you build your house. You want your new house to have everything going for it. It should be well-built, reliable, and sound. However, it should also be beautiful and easy to navigate – something you’ll feel is truly a reflection of who you are. You want your future website to be all of these things as well.
Naturally, knowing you’re in the market for exceptional web design services and actually finding the right people for the job are two different matters. Here’s what to consider when making your decision.
Experience and Expertise
You’re most likely to get the best results with a web design company that has been around the block a time or ten. That said, prioritize companies that have been in the business for years. You’ll also want to evaluate what their experience is when it comes to designing sites like the one you’re hoping to get out of the deal. If you’re looking to design an ecommerce site that ties in with your family-owned brick and mortar delicatessen, don’t choose someone that specializes mostly in wedding site design, for instance.
You’ll also want to make sure the company you choose is actually an entire development team, as opposed to just a one man show. The process of building a site is complicated. There should be graphic designers, SEO professionals, and programmers involved — each an established expert on their individual job.
An Exemplary Portfolio
A web design company’s portfolio can tell you everything you need to know about what they can offer you. That said, make sure you take the time to browse each company’s offerings thoroughly. While you may not see websites that look exactly like what you want, you should see plenty of sites that have the general look, feel, features, and functionality you’re looking to achieve.
It’s also important to pay attention to the details, because occasionally it’s the littlest things that make the most difference. Check out the page titles for each site. Are they all original and descriptive? Does each site have all of the components it should – for instance, a terms of service/use page, contact forms, and privacy statements? Thoroughness is key.
The Right Answers to Your Questions
Always take the time to ask plenty of questions of each company you’re considering. For instance, ask about the technical expertise of their professionals. What are their qualifications and what can they bring to the table that another company can’t? Don’t be afraid to ask about specifics as well. Do they test their sites on Mac or PC? Do they use templates or design their sites from scratch?
You should also feel that you’re treated the way you want to be as a potential client. Do they return your emails and messages in a timely manner? Are they friendly and personable when responding to your concerns and questions?
Last but not least, check out the company’s professional reputation. Do they have testimonials or references they can show you from satisfied customers? What do the references have to say about the company’s services when you contact them? What do they feel the company’s stand-out qualities were and did they feel they received a good value for their money?
It’s also a good idea to research the company in general online. Make sure that their overall reputation is on the up and up before you make your final decision. At the end of the day, you’ll be glad you did.
Sprout Media Lab has a team of expert web designers and developers that can help with everything you need to design your new website. Call us at (800) 617-6975 for a free consultation.