Most importantly, do you like the work in their portfolio?
If you are looking through their previous work and you are utterly appalled by their designs, your best move onto the next company. However, if you find that their aesthetic matches the design aesthetic you want for your website, that is a great first sign that this is the web design company you wish to choose.
Do they have at least 5-10 websites in their portfolio?
If a web designer has previous experience, it is more likely that they will develop your website with the best tools and software available. It is also more likely that they will create a website that is cool yet professional. An experienced web designer will integrate new design trends into your website quickly and give you a site that exceeds your expectations. It’s great if the web designer has five websites in their portfolio but even better if they have 10 or 20. The more experience a web designer has, the easier they are to work with, and the better they are at anticipating what your site needs. The burden doesn’t need to be all on you to know what you need and want in a website. Most businesses have no idea what they want, and that is okay. A great website designer will guide in the right direction.
Choose a web design company that has other marketing experience.
You are spending a high price on your website, and the intention for most businesses is that the site will help you increase sales. If your website designer has marketing experience, they will think like a salesperson and design a place meant to help increase revenue. Do not expect to launch your site and have immediate sales come in as a result. You also need to incorporate a good SEO strategy. A good web design company will even understand SEO and other online marketing tactics, all of which need to be incorporated into your site.
Has the website company designed a site for another company in your industry or something related to it?
Look through their portfolio and see if you can find a web design for just one company similar to yours. Do you like the design? If not, check out some of their more recent work and see if you prefer those designs. If you do, chances are they will do an excellent job for your company too.
Call them and see if you like their personality and communication styles.
You will likely have an ongoing relationship with this web design company or individual, so it’s essential you get along with them. If there are any red flags, you need to listen to that and find a different company. There are plenty of excellent web designers to work with, and you don’t have to settle with someone you don’t like. We’ve heard many horror stories about web design companies taking advantage of clients by asking for thousands of dollars and getting nothing in return. Avoid this type of web design company by following your gut and picking a friendly and reputable company.
Can the web designer code?