If you’re interested in a website that looks professional, works well, and sets you apart from your competitors, your best bet is to work with a professional web design company. But with thousands of web designers out there, and prices that range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars for a basic site, it can be confusing to make a selection.
How are you supposed to choose a web design company with no prior knowledge or experience?
The Template Dilemma
These days, there are dozens of free website builders that can help you create a website from scratch with no design experience and no outside guidance. Typically, users in these positions rely on one or more templates, tweaking them to suit their brand. While templates aren’t necessarily a bad thing for all users, they also shouldn’t be your default selection.
For starters, templates are basic and common. There are millions of sites using free templates for their content, and a trained eye can spot a template almost immediately. In fact, you might be using the exact same template as a competitor (or a highly similar one). Templates won’t help you stand out, and could actively hurt your reputation.
Additionally, not all website templates are efficiently optimized. They may not be designed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, and may not be designed to work as quickly as possible when the average user accesses them. This can hurt your average user experience and your search engine rankings in the long run.
Working with a web design company, by contrast, allows you to create a perfectly unique structure for your business or blog.
Choosing a Local Option
To start, consider working with someone local. For example, if you live in or near Long Island, consider working with a Long Island web design company. When you choose a local option, you can often have more personal, face-to-face meetings. You can also have a closer connection and work closer together on the collaborative nature of your web design.
Firm vs. Individual
You’ll also be able to choose between different types of professional web designers. One of your main decisions will be choosing between an individual web designer—like a freelancer—or an agency, full of expert designers.
While each of these options has a few advantages and disadvantages, it’s usually better to seek the help of an agency. Agencies have access to more designers, so you’ll have a wider range of styles and personalities to choose from. Additionally, agencies are more reliable, and less likely to get overwhelmed with other projects that set your timelines back.
The only major disadvantage of a web design agency is that agencies tend to be more expensive than working with an individual. Freelancers usually have lower rates—but remember, there’s a reason for that. If you wanted to save money, you could also turn to a free or inexpensive template from your website builder.
Online Reviews, Testimonials, and Work Examples
Next, you’ll want to look at the online reviews, testimonials, and work examples you can find related to this business. How many clients have they had in the past? Are they currently showcasing examples of their work, and if so, what do you think of them? Would you be happy if you ended up with a site that looked like that?
Pay close attention to the testimonials they feature on their site. Do these sound made up, attributed to anonymous contributors, or do they seem to be glowing reviews from real, happy customers? You may also be able to find online reviews in other channels and outlets. What are people saying about this design firm?
Finally, you’ll want to judge the potential value of the relationship based on your initial interactions. Even when you’re in the early stages of choosing a web designer, you should be having conversations about what you’re looking for, what your timeline is, what your budget is, and so on.
When you reach out to this web design company, how quickly do they respond? Are they available to talk to you within 24 hours? Even faster? And when they reach out, do they really listen to what you have to say, or do they seem pushy and uninterested in your personal priorities? It’s vital to have good communication going forward, so choose a partner you think you can collaborate with.
You may also want to consider your budget, especially if you have a hard upper limit dictating what you can spend. Different agencies have different pricing structures, and you may be forced to rule some out. Just remember; generally speaking, you get what you pay for, and more expensive firms are more expensive for a reason.
Article Submitted By Community Writer