Many companies and freelancers offer web design services. The choice is huge. When choosing a web design company or freelance web designer, you need to ask yourself some basic questions:
1 Can the web design company deliver what I need?
2 Can the web design company deliver within my budget?
3 Do they have experience of designing the type of website I want?
Here are some steps to follow to help you answer these questions.
Look at the web design company’s own website
Do you like what you see? Is it easy to navigate your way through the information presented? Is the site full of jargon that you don’t understand, or is the information presented using simple, plain English?
The web company’s website can offer a lot of clues. Make sure that the company offers the level of web design services that you are looking for. Large web design companies are often more expensive as the cost of your website will include overheads for services that you have no need for.
Look at the web design company’s portfolio of work
Take a look at the websites that the web design company has already produced for clients. Do you like the look of their work? Do they offer the style of graphic design you are looking for? Are the websites easy to navigate and easy to understand? Do all the links work, does the site load fast and is it easy to navigate the site? Do all the pages have a consistent look?
Look for testimonials
A good website design company will have testimonials from satisfied customers that they will be happy to share with you. Testimonials will give you a good idea of the level of service and design expertise you can expect. Make sure that any testimonials displayed by a web design company have the email address and the web site address listed (so you can contact them if need be – don’t be afraid to do this). If these details are not available, the testimonial could be fake.
Expect free initial discussions with the web design company
Good web design companies will offer advice and initial discussions about your website needs for free.
Make sure you get an estimate
After initial discussions, a good web design will provide you with an initial quote based on they type of website you need. It should state clearly what is included in the contract e.g. how many pages, links, graphics? Does it include marketing and maintenance of your web site? If not, then ask what does it cost for the extras. This can include domain name registration, scanning and optimization of graphics and hosting.
Use the internet to compare prices, so you have a rough idea of what a website will cost. You can expect to pay half of the full price up front. If they are professional, they will accept credit cards for online payments. Do the prices include submitting your site to the main search engines? (This should be done by hand if it is done properly). Don’t be misled by those that say your site will be submitted to 3000 search engines by automatic submission software.
Ask about ongoing support
Support means offering help and advice if you have any queries or problems with your website. Expect a prompt and courteous answer to any question or concerns you may have.