To succeed online you need a great website. You want a website that will support and grow your brand. Now you just need to find the right company for the job. With more and more companies offering web design at affordable prices that should be an easy pick. However, in my experience the choice is not always that easy or obvious. It’s important to keep focus on the right things to make the right choice. Otherwise you may end up with a website that doesn’t work for your company, doesn’t bring you the success you expected and might have to be changed soon again.
So how do you find the right web design company for your website? I’ve used my over 10 years of experience to compile a list of advice and things to consider when making that choice.
1. Get a Website That Will Reach Your Goals
For many companies, the purpose of a new website is to attract new leads, customers, employees etc. or provide existing customers with information. The company you choose to develop your website should provide a clear strategy on how the website can give you exactly what you (and your customers) need and want. The developers need to know your goals and base your online strategy on that. The online strategy can also extend beyond your own website to strengthen your brand online.
The reason why this is the number one priority is that this can make or break the success of your website. In most cases a great design means nothing in terms of conversion if the website isn’t build and planned with the goals of your company in mind.
2. Check the References
You should preferably look for a company that can provide you with a solid track record of successful websites from previous clients. It may even be a good idea to ask if you can contact some of the previous clients. You could ask how satisfied the client was with the process, the result and the support afterward.
If you can find a company that has successfully created websites for companies similar to yours that may be another advantage.
3. Get Answers to Your Questions and Get it in Writing
The company you’re entrusting with the development shouldn’t have a problem answering all your questions. Questions like:
- What is the price of the project? Is it fixed or are you working within a price range? Do you pay in advance, based on milestones or upon completion? Is there a monthly fee for running the website?
- Can you work within my budget? Will value or ROI increase with a different budget?
- How long will the whole process take?
- What is required from me (e.g. text, images, information about my company, goals etc.)?
- Can I get a design draft and have it changed if I don’t like it?
- Do you maintain the website or can we be trained to do it?
Ask questions until you feel comfortable that you have the answers you need. Make sure you get everything in writing and a document/contract describing the extend of the project, any deadlines, payment terms etc.
4. Create a Website That Can Grow With Your Company
The best web design companies will know the importance of your investment in a website. That means your website should be serving your company for a long time. It should employ the right technologies and be able to grow as your needs change.
You also need to make sure the web design company can create a website that is accessible across platforms (computers, tablets, phones) as browsing the internet is not just restricted to computers.
5. Talk About Design and Values
In the beginning of this article, I mentioned that a great design means nothing if the website doesn’t fit your company goals etc. While that’s still true, you obviously can’t talk about web design companies without talking about web design.
The design of your website should follow your company and brand values. Ask your web design company about their ideas for design and how they plan to create the right design for your website.
Your Perfect Web Design Company
If you follow these 5 tips you should be on track to finding a good web design company to help you guide and develop your online strategy.
To summarize, your web design company should:
- Ask about your goals and tell you how they plan to achieve them with your website.
- Have strong references.
- Provide you with answers (in writing) to all the important questions.
- Create a website that can grow with your company.
- Create a design that represents your company and values.
However, there are still many pitfalls and things to consider. Hidden within the above 5 tips are many intermediate steps and questions you may need to consider and ask to have a safe journey into the online world. Those questions are beyond the scope of this article, but feel free to write a comment or contact us if you have any questions.
We would like to hear your opinion on this subject. Leave a comment with your thoughts, so we can all learn from it and improve the way we create great websites.