How can you tell a good web design company from a bad one? Look for these 5 things!
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 If a web design company’s website doesn’t look good or is outdated, what makes you think that the work they do for you will be any better?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?
2. Live Portfolio / Case Studies
On a web design company’s website, or their social media pages, somewhere, they should have some case studies or portfolio to show off web design their work. These should be live websites of their clients – not “sample” website. Actual clients and actual websites that are up and running.
If a web design company does not feature a client portfolio this either means that their website design work is terrible or they have no clients.
Anytime we finish a web design project, I can’t wait to add it to our web design pportfolio page on our website and show it off on social media, because, as a web design company, I’m proud of, and confident in, the web design work that we do. Check out our portfolio here!
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.
Even better check for reviews on public sites like Google My Business, by searching on Google like this, for example. On many sites like this (Google, Amazon, etc.) the company cannot easily fabricate good reviews, or delete bad reviews.
If a company doesn’t have any reviews – that’s a also bad sign. It could mean they do terrible work, it could mean that they just haven’t done much web design work, or it could also be that their work is just not good enough that they could organically get any clients to leave a review.
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.
Check out our reviews!
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 something 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.
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. A Good vs. Bad website can literally make the difference of millions of dollars to zero dollars.
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, expensive office space and equipment, etc. 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 consultative, high quality, objective-driven 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.