There are thousands of web site designers / firms around the globe, and often it can be an arduous task choosing one that offers value as well as competency. It is imperative that you try to gain a basic understanding of the web site design process before committing to a company.
Firstly, speak with friends, business acquaintances and family. Have they had a web site built? Do they know a designer or design firm? Personal recommendations can be an excellent way of getting to know a web site design company, even if it’s only letting you know who to avoid!
Try and find at least 5 companies to compare, if you cannot reach this target by referrals, try your local press, design magazines or the internet. Local companies can prove advantageous, but don’t fear companies based at the other end of the country, at the end of the day you’ll be looking to choose the web site design company best suited to your needs, wherever they may be.
3) Your own research
In order to narrow your shortlist further, it’s a good idea to visit your potential designer’s web sites to see what they’re capable of. It’s crucial that your web site is accurate, and created with attention to detail and care. This is the primary requirement of your shortlisted company’s web sites.
Have a browse around their own web site, do you find the navigation easy and structured well? Is the site easy to follow, uncluttered and well designed?
If it’s likely that the company will also provide hosting for your web site, does their own web site load quickly?
4) Approach the company
Hopefully, you’ve now managed to wittle your shortlist down further, which means now is the time to begin contacting the companies, and requesting quotes. You shouldn’t find much resistance or hardship at this point, most companies will jump at the chance of pitching their company, and discussing your needs.
You should already have a good understanding of the types of web sites they have designed in the past and whether or not they’ve undertaken work similar to your requirements. Ask them to discuss any similar projects and don’t be afraid to ask for contact details so that you can request a referral.
Following your discussions with your shortlist, and upon receiving their initial quotes, you should have a fair idea as to whom you are likely to partner with. If you feel like you need to speak to each company once more, do so, as you’re likely to be making a serious financial investment and it’s crucial that you make the right decision.