10 Tips for Choosing a Web Design Company

Papercut was recently interviewed for an article about digital marketing in the November issue of EDGE, a local magazine that covers business in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina. In the interview, I shared some tips about choosing a digital marketing agency, and this got me thinking about selecting a web design company.

Designing and developing a website is complicated, and it requires a certain level of trust and confidence in your agency of choice. With that in mind, I’ve come up with a list of 10 tips to make the process of finding a web design agency a little easier:

1.     Make sure that their services match your needs. – What exactly are you looking for? Do you only need a website built or do you also need technical assistance and marketing work after it launches? Have a good idea of what your needs are so you know if the company in question is a good fit for you.

2.     Check their references. – References are invaluable when deciding on a web design company. Get on the phone, call the references listed in the company’s proposal, and see if you can get some information about what working with them is actually like. It’ll go a long way in guiding your decision.

3.     Ask who your point of contact will be. – Find out if the company has a dedicated account manager to oversee the work being done for you and to ensure that the ball doesn’t get dropped.

4.     Choose a company with experience in your field. – Everyone has to learn somewhere, but it doesn’t have to be on your website. Ask about the company’s work and experience within your industry. You should choose a company that understands what works and what doesn’t for businesses like yours.

5.     Find out if they’re up on the latest industry standards. – Before you make an investment, get an idea of how long that investment will last. If they’re not providing you with the latest industry-standard technology, you might wind up spending thousands of dollars on a website that will be outdated in a year.

6.     Take a hint from the sales process. – More often than not, the sales process provides an indication of how your working relationship will be. Are they slow to respond to emails? Do phone calls go unanswered? If so, they might not be accessible, even when you are a paying client.

7.     Plan ahead for a long-term working relationship. – If you’re planning to work with this company for years to come, make sure they’ll be around. Choosing a brand new company or today’s “it” company always comes with risks. Find out about their track record and choose a company with a solid reputation.

8.     Don’t let cost be the deciding factor. – Lower costs can be a red flag. Research the average costs of the services you’re looking for. If someone is pricing well below that, their work (and your finished website) probably won’t live up to your expectations.

9.     Make sure they’ll work for you and with you. – Choose a company that will listen to your questions and concerns and take the time to address them. They should have the flexibility to adapt their plans and schedules to meet your needs.

10.  Know what to look out for. – Read up on best practices and have a list of questions ready that will help you determine the company’s level of expertise, reliability, and experience. Having at least a basic knowledge of design and development is invaluable. When searching for additional digital marketing services, such as SEO, take promises and guarantees with a grain of salt.

Above all else, remember that you should choose a company you feel comfortable with—not only with the services they provide, but also with their staff and their process. Let this guide your decision, and you’ll be on the path to a successful partnership.

To read our thoughts on digital marketing, check out the full EDGE article here.