How to Choose the Right Web Design Company
Are you a local business owner?
Are you trying to figure out how to go about choosing the right local web design company to work on your web design project?
Frankly, just getting started can be overwhelming.
We are going to cover the seven areas to consider when looking at working with web design companies.
With this information, you’ll be able to pick the right agency for you and most importantly get the right website for your business.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Look at Local Web Design Companies First
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but generally, the further away a web design company is located from your business, the higher chance you’ll experience poor service. That’s probably true in most industries.
In our industry it’s not uncommon to see web design agencies that appear to be local, but are really based out of another city, state or even country.
While working with an out-of-town company can yield great results, it’s harder to maintain accountability when there’s zero change of a face-to-face interaction, so the risk to your company increases.
Start by looking for locally owned and operated web design companies by using search engines, asking fellow business owners or even friends and family.
Now that you have a growing list of web design companies, make a simple list of the things you want from your website.
- The specific services and/or products you want to offer.
- Any special functions or features you’d like your website to do.
- Do you want it to show up on search engines to attract new prospects?
- Do you need a writer and/or photographer/videographer to create the content?
- What action (CTA) do you want visitors to take once they’ve absorbed your website?
A call-to-action (CTA) is the thing you want visitors to take.
While a call-to-action can be whatever you want, here are the most common ones.
- Call now
- Buy online
- Complete a contact form
- Make a reservation
- Schedule a meeting
- Join an email list or newsletter
Look for a Web Design Company with a Stable History
The next step is to visit their website.
- Find out who owns the company.
- Are they local?
- How long have they been in business?
- Have they collected a healthy amount of reviews and past client work?
Watch out for these red flags:
- No clear understanding of ownership.
- No local address.
- No local phone number.
Check Website Portfolios and Case Studies
How do you know if a web design agency is experienced enough to meet your business goals?
Look at their past work.
Review Website Design Portfolios
Visit their website(s) and look for portfolios of past work.
Are the designs modern and professional?
Is the content convincing and persuasive?
Does the whole of their portfolio reflect the general approach you are looking for?
Can’t find their portfolio? Take that as a sign.
Read their Case Studies
Case studies are a powerful way to dig into a web design company’s process and see how they go about serving their clients.
Some case studies may be an overview and others may get into the details.
Generally, the more detailed a case study, the more you can see how the agency thinks, conducts business and demonstrates their ability.
Read Past Client Reviews
It’s hard to overstate the importance of client reviews.
Most consumers today are influenced by them and it makes sense.
We need to know what other people are saying before we buy.
Check out reviews on their website, Google Business Listing, social media and third-party sites like Yelp or Trust Pilot.
The more specific a review, the better.
Reviews that say things like “…you can’t wrong with…” or “…give them a call…” are probably from friends and moms.
Pick a Professional Web Design Company
Most local business owners don’t know much about web design or digital marketing, but they are experts in their specific field.
So partnering with a web design agency that collaborates and offers valuable insights will help you realize your vision for your website.
Do They Have a Refined Web Design Process?
Like any other industry, the best companies have clear processes that they have refined over time.
If their website doesn’t spell out their web design process, then look at what their business is focused on.
Is their core business aligned with the kind of work your company needs done?
For example, if you want your website to show up for search engine rankings, then Local SEO (search engine optimization) should be one of their core services.
Or if their core service is running pay-per-click (PPC) advertising than web design may not be their strong suit.
Modern Web Development and Responsive Web Design
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but you’ll want your web design company to use the most up-to-date best practices for website design and web development.
What’s the difference between website design and web development?
Website design covers the layout of the website pages, color schemes, graphics and general flow of the website. All the visual elements.
Web development covers the build and optimization of the website.
- Responsive web design so it works on every device.
- Fast load times so visitors don’t leave.
- Search engine optimization so it shows up on local search engines.
Collaborative Marketing Advisors
While the agency you are choosing should be easy to work with, they shouldn’t agree with everything you say.
Even though their core strength should be in launching websites, they should have a wide understanding of all digital and traditional marketing channels for local businesses.
You’ll want your website to be positioned, designed and built to work with all marketing channels.
This can be a good time to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Striking up a conversation is the easiest way to see if they are experienced, have valuable insight to provide and are easy to work with.
Choosing an experienced web design agency will give you the best bang for your investment.
Get The Right On-going Website Support
This goes back to identifying experienced and stable web design companies.
Before partnering with an agency, check their website for on-going support plans.
Are you getting locked into any monthly or long-term contracts?
Are you required to work with the company after you launch?
Will you have full ownership over your website files and website hosting?
Even if you plan to self-manage your website, it’s good know you can call on the web design agency that built it.
Compare Your Budget With Their Prices
Oddly, most web design companies don’t publicly post their prices.
This can make it difficult to begin to set a budget.
If you can’t find a range of prices on their website, send an email asking for a quote.
The numbers can vary widely depending on different factors.
Investing in a high-performing quality website isn’t cheap, but using a web designer that’s not experienced or picking a web design agency based purely on price may cost you in the long run.
On the other hand, no one wants to get overcharged.
Here’s a deep dive in to understanding how much a website costs.
If you’re on a barebones budget, you may have no choice, but to use someone that is new to web design, just so you can get a website online. And that’s ok.
If and when you do have the budget, you’ll have more options to pick from so you can get the right fit and better long-term results for your business.
After investing some time researching your options, you should end up with 2-3 closely related web design agencies to choose from. They should all be experienced professionals within your budget.
Choosing the Best Web Design Company for Your Business
How do you know you are choosing the best web design company for you?
When picking from a small group of agencies, it’s probably the one that is easiest to work with and understands your vision for your business.
Go ahead, share this article with your favorite people.