When the Web first came around it was very easy to find a company to build your web site, because very few existed at the time. Search marketing was also in its infancy, and just beginning to become commercial in nature, so finding web design companies online was also easy, because there were so few available results.
Today, there are an almost unbelievable number of web design companies and providers, and if you were to search for a web design company you would probably get roughly 1 billion search results. Most likely, you would choose one of the top results you find in your browser, but is that the best way to select a provider? Maybe.
One question you need to ask yourself is what kind of a provider would be your ideal provider? Do you want to deal with a large company, or do you want to find a smaller local provider? There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Large companies typically lack that personal touch you'd get from a smaller firm, and smaller firms would probably lack some of the resources that a large provider brings to the table. The question is, which one would provide you with the customer exprience you'd ideally want.
The size of the company, and even the quality of their previous work, is not a surefire indication of how they would do "today" on your job... It may sound a bit touchy-feely, but it pays to go with your gut. If you get a good feeling about the service you're receiving, it may be a good idea to trust that. Conversely, if you have an uneasy feeling telling you that you may not get the service you deserve, then you should probably listen to that feeling as well.
So, how can you tell which company to hire for your upcoming web design job?
One thing to consider (which as we said, may not be the ultimate answer) would be to take a look at their previous work. Does it meet your aesthetic standards? Do you think they can be consistent enough to give you outstanding results on your project, or does the quality of their designs waiver?
How knowledgeable is your contact person within their company, and do you get the feeling that the rest of the staff is just as professional as your main contact person? Do they appear to understand your needs clearly, and are they able to communicate clearly with you without reverting to confusing industry jargon?
A salesperson can be very convincing, but how good is the technical staff behind the scenes, and what kind of quality assurance systems do they have in place? When it comes down to it, your salesperson is probably not the one who will get hands-on with your actual web project, so what assurances can they make to show you that they will follow through on all their promises?
Who will do the maintenance on the web site, how much will it cost, and what are the stipulations (if any) on who will own the web site code at project completion? Pay close attention to who owns other assets, such as domain names, web hosting servers, email accounts, analytics accounts, phone and chat accounts, etc. This can all make a big difference.
These are just some of the questions and concerns you may have when outsourcing a web design project. This is by no means a comprehensive list of to do's. Rather, these are some general guidelines that may help you to narrow down your web design company search with some quick and easy points to consider. Basically, trust your gut feelings, ask a lot of questions, and make sure there is good communication at all stages of the process.
If you have any further questions about web design, or choosing a good provider, you're always welcome to contact us with your questions, and we'll do our best to help you.