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How to Select the Right Web Design Company

Picking a web design company for your business is an important decision because your website represents the image of the company you want to portray. A poor design that is not engaging and appealing will not gain the attention of potential prospects and make them want to learn more.

Unfortunately when someone lands on your website, you have about five seconds to grab their attention before they click the back button on their browser and are lost forever.

Here are some tips to help you make the important decision of selecting the right website design company for your business:

Know Your Basic Needs First
Before contacting any web design company, decide in a preliminary way what you want from your website. For example, what is the objective of your site – to simply present a positive image of your company to support other sales efforts, to capture names of prospects for follow up activities, and/or to take orders online?

Decide the basic pages you want for your site such as an “about us” page, a “frequently asked questions” page, a “contact us” page, and pages for your products or services. Get clear on the scope of the work you want done, such as the type of content. For example, will you employ video, audio, or flash animation?

If you have looked at other sites you like, provide those examples to web design companies you are considering.

Get Basic Information About the Web Design Company
Find out how long the company has been in business. Ask how many employees are working full time in the business and if the company specializes in web design only as opposed to other work. Find out the name and title of the person who would be assigned to your account and what their experience has been.

Ask to See a Portfolio
Ask the web design company to let you see samples of their work. Try to find samples in your industry or samples with objectives the same as yours. If the design company does not provide these, don’t disqualify them. More important is to see the quality of the work the design company delivers.

Grid Analysis
Develop a checklist of common criteria you will use to objectively analyze each company. Compare each company in a grid format to help determine which one you will select.

Maintenance
As a company and the marketplace change and evolve, changes are often required to a website. Find out if the web design company proposes making all the changes and what the costs will be. Generally, it is better to be able to make minor changes yourself to reduce maintenance costs.

Find out what ongoing maintenance charges will be.

Control
Find out what underlying technology will be used to design and deploy your site. Make sure commonly used technology is employed so that if you decide to seek another company, changing the site is relatively easy.

Make sure you own the domain for your site and not the web design company. Not owning the domain could results in problems such as the design company holding you hostage before they release the domain name to you. This practice is uncommon, but it is better to protect yourself compared to having potential problems in the future.

A website, an integral component of your marketing, provides an exciting opportunity to propel your company to the next level, improve your image, and attract new employees. Approach selecting a web design company the right way and your project will be a resounding success. When you are ready to get started, keep the previous tips in mind. You’ll be glad you did.


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