The biggest challenge in hiring a web design company is finding the right one who can help you mould your organization’s online image. There are many self-proclaimed web design masters out there who pretend they know what they’re doing, but in reality, they don’t.
That’s why it’s crucial to ask your prospective web designers the right questions to determine whether they can perform well or not.
Here are some questions that you can ask to help you narrow down your search when choosing a web design company:
1. What is your level of experience in web designing?
When choosing a web design company, it’s important that you only delegate your web design project to professional hands. You surely wouldn’t like it if your website is used as an experiment done by inexperienced designers. Hire only a highly knowledgeable web design company, who has a proven track record and testimonials up its sleeves. Plus, ensure that the web design company has solid years of expertise in web design, and uses cutting-edge technologies and best industry practices.
2. Do you have a portfolio that I can check?
Every craftsman should have evidence of his craftsmanship. And while your first impression of the web design firm is usually their very own website, be sure to browse deeper into their portfolio. Review carefully the company’s samples of past works to give you an idea about their quality of work, which you are most likely to get from them. Also, don’t forget to visit the actual websites online to verify if there are any inconsistencies between the portfolio and the actual website. Looking at previous projects is the fastest and most efficient way to determine if they are the right web designer capable of delivering and fulfilling your expectations and specific requirements.
3. Can I see some references?
The best form of advertising is recommendations from satisfied clients. Reputable web design companies usually have many references from happy clients willing to share their experiences. So check if they have client testimonials visible on their website, and don’t hesitate to contact at least two references. Ask them their personal opinions and feedback about how the entire web design process went. Were they pleased with the results? Was the project completed timely and within budget? Would they recommend them?
4. Have you built a similar website before?
This doesn’t have to be identical, just a site with the same industry or goals and complexities. For example, you want to sell products and or services online, and accept credit card payments, does the web designer have experience in doing that? Having relevant industry experience or similar website should lead to quicker discovery because the web design company already knows your needs and options.
5. Do you custom design or use pre-made templates?
Some web design companies only use pre-made templates, while others do custom design. Depending on your online goals and budget, both website design templates and customized website design can be effective methods in building your website. For a minimal cost, templates are great for a start up business that only needs a simple website with basic functionality. If you want a unique website or require more complex features, go for a custom web design.
6. What is your typical turnaround time and how long until my website design is up and running?
Just like any other business project, a website design also requires a realistic turnaround time. Once you submitted your comprehensive website specifications to the website design company, and after their careful review, they should be able to provide you a timeline for the completion of the work. Having a timeframe will give you an idea on the completion date so that you can as well plan other important web-related stuff like website promotion, etc. Although, sometimes completion takes longer than the agreed deadline, just be sure to discuss what happens if they missed it.
7. Are the websites you develop multi-browser and cross-platform compatible?
Multi-browser and cross-platform compatibility means the website’s ability to display correctly on multiple browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera—and on both Mac and PC operating systems. A good web designer should be able to create websites that look and work the same regardless of whatever browser and operating system is used. You can confirm this yourself by opening some of the company’s previously designed websites using different computers and browsers. Make sure the layout is not broken and looks virtually the same in every browser. Although, there might be minor visual discrepancies (in a positive way) when running on more advanced browsers like Safari and Chrome.
8. How do you handle web maintenance and ongoing changes?
Professional web design companies understand that changes are necessary to keep a website constantly fresh and updated to attract search engines and visitors; therefore, improving performance and conversions. As such, it’s important to ask the web design agency how often can changes be made, and how will they be implemented. Some companies charge by the hour, while others offer maintenance contracts. If you plan on regularly updating your site, you might want to incorporate a Content Management System (CMS) into your website, so you can easily make changes as needed.
9. How will you market my site and will it be search engine friendly?
Certain web design elements like HTML and CSS techniques can favourably influence how search engines will evaluate and rank your website. Be sure to ask the web design company about these “clean-coding