In this 5-minute read I’ll quickly go over 5 ways you can tell a good web design company from a bad one. The first 3 you can do ahead of time before contacting the company while the last 2 are things to look for and ask when reaching out to a web design company.


1. Website

First impressions are everything. If a web design company’s website doesn’t look good or is outdated, what makes you think that the work they do for you will be any better? If it looks like they didn’t put any effort to make their own website and their own company make a great impression, what makes you think they will do that for you?

I don’t think there’s anything else that needs to be said here. If their website looks like shit, the one they build for you won’t be far off.


2. Live Portfolio / Case Studies

On their website, or their social media pages, somewhere, they should have some case studies or portfolio to show off their work. These should be live websites of their client’s not “sample” website or anything like that. Actual clients, actual websites that are up and running.

If they do not feature a client portfolio this can only mean their work is trash and they know it, so they don’t like to show it because, if they did, you would be like “Hell, no!”.

Anytime I design a website, I can’t wait to add it to the “our work” page and show it off on social media, because I’m proud of, and confident in, the work that I do.


3. Reviews

Reviews go a long way. I personally read reviews on almost everything I buy from things that are $50 to things that are $50,000 – phones, cars, headphones, electronics, accountants, dentists, it doesn’t matter – trust that I’ll be reading reviews on it first.

On that same note, I ask for reviews from our clients.

More recently, I’ve been asking them to post it on the Grandway Marketing Google page and then I’ll copy those onto the website as well. I’ll tell you why. Anyone can write up bullshit reviews and put them on their website. You’ll see a lot of reviews on websites that only have the first name of the client that left a review. Look, that could be fake. That’s why I get them to leave a review on Google themselves. Also, when I copy those on the website, I put the first name, last name, and company name of the client, so you can search them up and see it’s all 100% real.

So, if a company doesn’t have reviews – that’s a bad sign. It could mean they do trash work and because they know it, they don’t ask for reviews. It could mean that they just haven’t done much web design work.

If they have bad reviews – well, that speaks for itself. At the same time, you can’t always keep everyone happy and there’s nightmare clients in all industries. But you will notice a ratio. If a company has 100 great reviews and 3 bad ones, they are probably a good company. If they have 100 bad and 3 good, then it’s bad news.

If they have fake reviews, you should be able to tell as they will most likely be only on their website and feature no last names, no company names, etc.


4. Consultative / Multi-disciplinary Approach

When talking to a web design company you will want to look for the consultative and multidisciplinary approach.

Are they asking you what your company is all about to figure out what the solution for your company will be? Are they asking what the website objectives are? Are they mentioning search engine optimization? Are they asking or talking about driving traffic to the website?

These questions show that this are a company that is looking to design a quality product and generate ideas and actual solutions that contribute to your company’s success rather than a company that will just throw some shit together quickly, effortlessly and thoughtlessly, and call it a website.

There will be a significant price difference here as well, because a consultative and multidisciplinary approach takes a lot more time, thought and expertise.


5. Pricing

Only you know what your company’s budget is – so you know how much you can afford on the company website. Remember however, that the website is the online face of your company, and you shouldn’t cut corners here and risk making a bad impression.

That being said, if a web design company is so cheap that it seems to good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. If it’s ridiculously expensive, you can probably find a better option unless you have the money to ball out with the best of the best and the most reputable.

Pricing depends on a lot of things as well.

A company of one to three people that work remotely from home will have a lower overhead than a company that has 23 employees and an office in Downtown Toronto. That difference in overhead should translate in a difference in price. Take that in consideration.

Some companies will throw a website together quickly without much thought or strategy and others will spend more time on strategy, objectives and carefully putting a website together to actually work for you. I mentioned this above. So, ask them, what is all included in the price and what’s involved in the process.

Also, maintenance, training, and ongoing cost is another topic of discussion. Ask them how much to maintain and update your website? Or how much to train you or your staff to update it? What are the ongoing monthly or yearly costs?


To recap, the first three things to look at when choosing a web design company is their own website, their portfolio or case studies, and reviews. When speaking with a web design company, focus on their approach to figure out if they are a quality-based, solution-based company. Finally, if the pricing sounds right to your budget, sounds fair to their approach, looks in line with their portfolio, get off the fence and pull the trigger.

I hope you found some value in this post and now you have some idea as to what to look for when choosing a web design company for your project.


If you’re looking at getting a new website for your business, reach out for a free consultation over the phone. I’d love to learn more about your company, as well as take a look at your current website if you have one. Let’s connect – no obligation or pressure.