Hiring a web design firm to redesign your business website is a big decision. You want to be sure that the company is a good fit for you and can accommodate your needs in a manner that best suits you.
Below are four things to consider when hiring a web designer or web design firm:
1. Budget: Many business owners might consider website expenses an area where they can skimp. I strongly urge against this. A website is a crucial part of your brand image. Without a website that accurately portrays your brand message, you’re providing clients with a perception of your brand that isn’t correct. This can have severe consequences for the success of your business.
When looking to hire a website designer, you want to be sure that you are getting the best website possible. This doesn’t mean that the most expensive web design firm web design firm is the way to go. That’s why you have to research all of your options.
Business owners who spring for the cheapest website design firm with the hopes that the firm will give them a satisfactory product is by no means the right mindset to have. A low-budget firm that provides generic template designs cannot possibly create a website that is in line with your brand image.
Your brand is special and different from your competition, right? If you hire a design firm that provides you with a generic web design interface, you’re not expressing to your audience that you’re special. Rather, you’re showing prospects that you provide a generic and average service. You won’t stand apart from the competition, and you won’t see the business success you desire.
A successful website is customized, easy to navigate, and effective in driving prospects and customers to take action. A web design company that can provide you with a website that embodies all three of these characteristics is exactly what you want. But not every design company knows how to do this-which is why the successful ones tend to be on the higher price range. They have a skill that is difficult to find in other firms.
If you’re not ready to spend a large sum of money on your website just yet, then hold off a bit longer until you have the budget to get your website done right the very first time. I’ve seen many business owners go through several ineffective website designs before hiring the right firm to get the job completed exactly to their liking. These business owners have wasted thousands of dollars by choosing a design company that was low budget.
2. Location: Would you rather your web designer be located within driving distance, or does it matter to you where they’re located? That’s definitely a question you want to ask yourself. This tidbit of information will help you narrow your search. We’ve worked with several design firms in the past. Some were located across the country, others in our city. We don’t mind working with design firms across the country. If they’re the perfect fit for us or our clients, then we’ll use them. We won’t force a fit with a company in our city if we’re not crazy about them.
3. Previous Designs: Always view both the firm’s testimonials and portfolio. Just looking at a design company’s portfolio isn’t going to tell you what it’s like to work with them. They could produce an excellent product but cause their clients massive headaches and stress. You want a firm that is easy to work with and provides you with the best product possible.
Testimonials will tell you the experience past clients had with the company, and a portfolio will show you the types of websites and designs they produce.
If you don’t see testimonials or a portfolio on a designer’s site, this could be a red flag. You shouldn’t have to ask a firm to send you images of their past designs-these items should be easy to find on their website.
Some things to look for in a company’s previous designs include…
- Ease of navigation through the site.
- Effectiveness in encouraging site visitors to take action.
- Visual aesthetics.
- Static HTML pages that contain optimized web copy and images that can be crawled by search engines. When an entire site is flash-based, it cannot be crawled by search engine spiders and robots.
4. Your Gut Feeling: Always trust your gut feeling. If a company rubs you the wrong way-even if you can’t pinpoint what’s causing the bad feeling-don’t go with them. You want to feel completely comfortable with and confident in the firm you choose. If you’re uncertain about anything, address your concerns with the company. And if you’re still unsure about working with them, hold off and look for other firms that might suit your needs.