Selecting the right website designer for business websites can make a huge difference to your business and your image. When looking for website design services, consider the following factors:
- Design Portfolio - The vendor should have a design portfolio that appeals to your aesthetic tastes. For example, some designers rely on Web 2.0 format, which is similar in appearance to a blog. Other designers have certain “styles” that they are known for, such as techie, corporate, artsy, mom-and-pop, and more. Make sure that you like the work in a designer’s portfolio before agreeing to work with him or her.
- Price – The costs associated with building business websites can vary significantly. For example, using a template is much less expensive than having someone create an original design. There are no standards when it comes to the cost of a website. Therefore, it’s wise to put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) in order to analyze the options that are available to you.
- References - Whenever you hire a vendor, it’s important to check references. Make sure that the web design company actually has live business websites in his or her portfolio. When you call references, ask questions such as: Did this website design vendor deliver the site as expected? What are the company’s strengths? What are the company’s weaknesses? Would you use this company again? How was the follow-up after the launch of the site? Have you noticed any major errors in the website design since the launch? Was this company easy to work with?
- Technology - All website design companies don’t use the same technologies. Are there specific technologies that you require for your website, such as a payment processing system, content management system, calendar, data storage, client log-in, RSS newsfeeds, or newsletters? If so, then create a list of all of the things you’d like to have on your site. Make sure that the web design team you choose is able to address each of the items on your wish list. Compare the prices that each vendor will charge for these additional services.
- Customer Relations - It is important that you are comfortable communicating with your website design team so that they understand your needs. If you choose to work with a team that is located in a different area, the team should be able to share files, notes, and progress updates in an easy-to-understand and efficient method. If you prefer to work side-by-side with a web team, make sure that the team understands this in advance and can visit your office or meet with you at their office. Being able to communicate with your web team will help to ensure that your website design project is successful from beginning to end.