They may say, “Never judge a book by its cover” but people are all about judging companies by the quality and professionalism of their websites. Almost half of the web users say they see a company’s website as being the number one factor in determining how their view that business. You have a lot of web design options and it can often be hard to look at different web design companies and know which one will the the right one for you. Your website is as much a reflection of you and your brand so you need to pick your website design company wisely.
Start by deciding what your goals are.
What do you want your website to accomplish? Is it an e-commerce site? Do you want prospective clients to call or come into your office or place of business? How will you know if the website is successful? There are a lot of web design options to tailor sites to the specific needs of the particular
A lot of that will be determined by what kind of business you are in. A restaurant will have very different needs than if you are selling goods online. If you manage an online magazine, you will have an entirely different metric to measure how well the site is doing. Just give some thought to what you need and what you will expect from your website. This is a really important step. If you do not know what you want, you will be unhappy with any designer and any page they create for you.
1. Do not go with the lowest bidder.
The return on investment for most great websites is high and a bad site can do you so much more damage than you can imagine. Your site represents your brand so people will judge you. If you go with a web design company or just let an intern develop your website, you may end up doing your reputation a lot of damage and cost yourself a lot more in the long run.
Think about this in terms of your marketing and communications strategy. You would never think of putting a substandard billboard out on the highway to advertise your business. Your website is just a bigger billboard on a much more trafficked highway.
2. Find a web design company with a solid reputation.
You do not need to go to the longest running company in the business to get a great website but they should be able to show you some of their work and let you talk to some of their current or former customers about their experiences working together. If they have client testimonials on their site, check them out. Unfortunately, it is easy to fake these so you want to make sure the testimonials they list are real and verifiable.
3. Find a web design firm who understands your industry.
After you have identified your goals, find an agency that can help you achieve them. For instance, you have a medical practice that you want to promote with your website. When researching your web design options, try to find a web development firm with some experience working with medical or even dental offices or organizations. You may want people to be able to request appointments and communicate with your office in different ways, the web developers who have only done work in a completely different industry may not be right for you.
If you find a web design company whose work really speaks to you and after talking to their references, you think you can work with them, that is a different story. It is not absolutely necessary that they know the ins and outs of your industry, it just may help.
4.Remember, your site will never be “finished.”
You will be forever tweaking and fixing your website. When you are looking over your web design options, try to find a company with whom you can have a long term relationship. With any luck, you will be working with them for a long time.
It is important to spend some time hiring the web designer who will do your site to get the most you can from it.