What to Look for in a Web Design Company

You have a website. Maybe it looks good, or maybe.. not so much. Maybe you’ve tried to get help fixing it, but your current webmaster seems to have fallen off the face of the Earth. At the very least, they have been ignoring your pleas for help.

Here are nine signs it’s time you had best be shopping for a new web company:

  1. Lack of response (or even signs of life) when you need help.
  2. Email goes down regularly.
  3. Website goes down regularly.
  4. Website doesn’t work right.
  5. You can’t create and manage your own email accounts.
  6. You can’t create or edit content for your own website.
  7. You are paying monthly maintenance fees but you don’t make monthly updates.
  8. You tell colleagues what your web hosting costs are and they fall out of their chairs.
  9. You have been paying into a search engine marketing program for months with no results.

Okay, so now you know what you don’t want. What to look for in the next web company then? Your new web company should:

  1. Have been in business for a couple of years, minimum.
  2. Speak to you on your level; not above your head.
  3. Operate during reasonable business hours.
  4. Possess an attractive, easy-to-use website.
  5. Provide a mature portfolio of client work you can view.
  6. Have references you can call and/or testimonials you can view.
  7. Have a support path they can explain to you, including contact details and directions on opening up a helpdesk ticket.
  8. Offer tools that allow you to help yourself if you’re the do-it-yourself type. This includes ways to administer your own email accounts and webpage content.
  9. Come up near the top of the search engine results. (This tells you they will also likely know how to market your site online.)
  10. Be able to ask intelligent questions that help you frame your web goals.
  11. Provide you with a free estimate on web work, even if that estimate includes a “discovery” meeting where you both engage in a more in-depth analysis of your project requirements.
  12. Feel comfortable to you by the end of the first phone call.

Like choosing a lawyer, doctor or dentist, selecting a web designer is a commitment, so be sure to do your homework. Interview a few different companies to get a sense for personalities, the client base they are accustomed to working with, and their fees (both hourly and renewing.) Ultimately, you are seeking a smooth, pleasurable working relationship that marries your vision and goals with their insight, talents, and skill. Seek out the web professionals who feel right to you! Owning and maintaining a successful website can be a great undertaking, but it can also be great fun when you’ve teamed up with the right people!