If you Google “bad website design,” you’ll find a slew of horror stories about what can happen when you choose the wrong company. So, how do you choose the best design company for your business?
Simply stated, the right company is one that solves your business problems–not just anyone’s problems, but more specifically, your problems. Finding that company means doing your homework and asking these five questions:
1. What Do I Want?
Do you want an online brochure or a site that does something, like sell products? Will your team be adding new content on a regular basis? Do you want responsive design? By defining your core objectives, you can tailor a short list of companies that can help you meet them.
2. Are You Listening?
Meet with each company on your short list. Do they give you a standard sales pitch, or really listen to your concerns? Do they ask good questions, like what are your business goals? The best companies understand that this is a collaborative effort–they know design, but you know your business. By assessing their listening skills, you can avoid the mistake of going with an inexperienced, cheap freelancer, or an expensive mega-agency where you’re just another project and not a valued client.
3. What Are Your In-House Capabilities?
The best companies retain control over core competencies. Outsourcing isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but it does pose some risks. That’s because the best creative teams are synergistic, feeding off each other’s creativity. There are also practical concerns–for example, addressing the tension between site design and search optimization. The work of SEO experts and designers is more likely to be complementary when they’re on the same team.
4. After You’re Done, Will I Be Able to Make Changes to My Site?
Unless you want a static site, you’ll need a good Content Management System (one of the best is WordPress) to help you keep all of your awesome content organized. Be sure you know what CMS will be integrated, how it works, and whether you’ll get support in learning how to use it.
5. Will You Call Me Back?
How long has each company been in business? Assuming you’ve found one with some longevity and success, ask about their record for developing long-standing partnerships with their clients. Even with the best CMS, you’re bound to encounter problems you can’t deal with by yourself. Make sure your website design company has a philosophy (and history) of providing the long-term support you need.
Choosing the right website design company can be challenging. Focusing on responsive companies with the in-house talent to meet your objectives will help ensure you get the site you need to boost your business.