When online marketing became the growing trend finding a website design company was easy. It was estimated in 2000 that almost 10,000 people in the US offered web developing services. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, more than 148,000 people indicated website developer as their employment. With this type of saturation, the question is often asked; how do I choose a web design company?
Choosing a website developer is not too different than hiring any other professional contractor. When the steps are followed, picking the right company is a snap.
Noted below are eight of the most important steps that any company should follow to find a web designer.
Document your goals before searching for a web design company
One size does not always fit every application. Whether you own an upscale restaurant in Queens or a boutique in San Diego, every business has different needs. Start your search by creating a general list of important business facts.
- Identify your customer. Write down attributes of the typical consumer including ages, income, and demographics. By knowing the customer the web designer can target them.
- Identify your brand. What makes the company unique or stand out among competitors? Is it family owned and operated? Started by a former US Military Veteran or female owned business? Establish what makes the business unique so the site developer can find them online.
- Are you selling products or services online or do you wish to at some point? E-commerce or online market place website development is a quickly growing industry. Determine this before you start your search.
Any professional web design company in New York will ask these questions. It’s best to be prepared ahead of time.
2. – What are the core services of the web design company?
The next step in how to find a good website designer is to match their core services to what you require. In most cases, professional web development companies will offer a suite of services that allow you to customize and create an online platform that is perfect for you. Regardless of what type of business you own, there are a few important core services any professional website design company must have including:
- Custom website design – the ability to design a look and feel of your website that will target and capture your intended audience.
- Custom website development – take a graphic design and code it utilizing the latest technology and tools to optimize the site to be fast loading, and easy to navigate.
- Responsive Design – a website that looks the same regardless of the type of device or internet browser the end user is utilizing.
- Professional Content Development – not everybody is a professional writer. Hiring a website design company that has them on staff and can customize content to target your audience is vital for success.
- Search Engine Optimization – the ability to create a website and content that will be discovered by online search engines like Google.
Although there are multiple core services that are unique to different types of business, make sure any website company offers the ones above first before proceeding.
3. – How do they price their services?
Some companies offer package deals. While this might seem attractive at first, the reality is that the best and most effective websites are customized to fit the needs of the customer. This is why you should avoid ‘cookie cutter website packages’ and always work with a web designer that will tailor make an offering that is affordable, but perfect for your individual budget and needs.
4. – Ask About their process
Any successful project begins and ends with communication and creating an effective plan of attack. In web development and design, having a proven process is critical. This process reduces mistakes, and achieves outstanding results from the get-go. A good web specialist will articulate their process in a transparent way to ensure you are fully comfortable with them. As long as they are efficient, detail-oriented and provide expert tips on how to complete this project – you will be working with a professional web designer.
5. – How do they measure results?
Like any other contractor or professional organization, defining success prior to beginning any relationship is paramount. One of the biggest issues that even the best web designers have are understanding customer expectations. This is why communication that is up front, honest and transparent from the beginning is critical when picking the right web developer. Be sure to ask them about how they measure results in website design, including specifically:
- What tools do they use for monitoring website traffic?
- What is their hosting plan or terms for hosting a website?
- Do they design their websites using templates or customize sites for maximum optimization?
The key here is to be blunt and not afraid to ask them about how they gauge whether or not a website is successful. Set standards from the beginning and the relationship and process will be much smoother.
6. – What are their credentials?
When you interview a new employee for your company, you’d want them to be qualified for the job – right? Same thing applies for website design. Always make sure to ask the potential web designer about their qualifications and credentials. What makes them experts in this field? Although education is important, in website design and development, having a successful and detailed portfolio is what often what separates contenders from pretenders.
7. – Ask About Timelines and Milestones
By this point in the process you should have a good feeling the company you’re speaking with is qualified. The next important step is clearly outlining timelines and milestones for completion. Any good website developer will provide you with goals and milestones. This includes design, development, content creation, optimization, beta testing and activation.
8. – Pick a Company that Continues to Develop the Site after the Launch
A website is just like any other business – it requires constant growth in order to be successful. This is why the last item on these 8 Steps on how do I choose a web design company is verifying that they will work with you to continually develop content for your site. Whether it’s creating blogs and posting fresh content on your website, or working to post news sections and optimizing them for search engines to find, the most professional web designers don’t stop their services once the site is launched.
When you look at hiring a website developer to create or re-brand your online presence, the most important step is to remain positive and feel 100 percent confident in their ability to guide you through this process. A professional company will be fun to work with, but also treat you with dignity and respect. Above all else, don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure the answers you receive make sense.