This has got to be the million dollar question, “How do I choose the best web designer?” Chances are, during your hunt, you now have hundreds of quotes from many web design companies and freelance web designers. So you are now wondering how to filter through all the choices, well we have some advice for you here.
1) Don’t let price be your only factor in decision making. Many fly by night web design companies will offer you some nonsense pricing just to take your payment and deliver no work or poor quality work.
2) Don’t limit yourself to hiring a local web designer. There are web design companies nationwide, and in this business you really don’t have to be face-to-face, explanations can easily be made through descriptive emails and phone calls. I would limit this tactic to staying within your own country, if you hire a web design firm overseas, language barriers and time differences could be a bit of an issue, as well as their ability to understand your project.
3) Check the legitimacy of the business. Visit yelp to see if there are any bad reviews, check their website to see if they are members of any associations or have any major partnerships. I would also look at their Facebook and twitter accounts to see if they are updating often.
4) Read the content of their websites carefully, well written, fresh, and original content is usually a good sign of expertise.
5) Examine the web designers own website and those shown on their portfolio page. If the web design company you are trying to contract has an old, outdated, and unappealing website, this should be a red flag that they either no not have the proper skill-set, or they are outsourcing work and have no staff themselves.
6) Watch out for Bait-and-switch. Be careful in regards to the general rule of “you get what you pay for”. If a web designer is promising you a web design for $200, and everyone else is quoting you $3,500, I would steer away as quickly as possible. If you do decide to use the cheapest bidder, you may want to get a detailed descriptive proposal outlining everything that is “in-scope” meaning what they consider to be a part of your project. In the web development world, it is easy to leave details out and if everything you wanted was not listed, that developer could end up charging you much more than you agreed to because there were so many “out of scope” details left off.
7) Personality. If the sales agent is only nice to you when he or she thinks you are going to provide your credit card details, this is another red flag. Some sales agents can get pushy, rude, and even nasty if you end the call with a phrase like “I will get back to you” or “I have to think about it”, this is likely because they really don’t care about anything else but collecting your money and moving on to the next number on the list.
8) Organization: Web Design Companies who have contracts, proposal letters on letterheads, and a great deal of documentation to provide are more likely to have been in business longer and would be better choices to work with.
9) Patience: Is your web designer listening to you? Is he or she making comments and suggestions relevant to what you need? A good designer can even offer advice that would enhance your original idea, a bad one will only hear what you have to say when there are dollar signs present.
10) Good Communication: If your design company is following up, communicates well, as a genuine interest in doing business with you, and is always on top of your conversations with them, I would say that they are likely a good choice.