Assuming you are following the established and sensible advice that you should not design and build your website yourself, you should now be considering which skills, talents and services a web design company should be able to offer you.
Before you choose any of them here are some of the core factors you should take into consideration.
#1 Programming and Functionality
No matter how stunning the graphics might be across your site, they are worthless if the website doesn’t function properly. Nothing will have visitors to your site leaving quicker than pages, links and other functions that do not work. It is not only frustrating for visitors but the impression it gives them of you and your business is entirely negative. Ensure any web designer you are considering can show you evidence that their programming skills are at a sufficient level for the needs of your website’s operation.
If your web design company has copywriters that can work on the copy within your site it can be a huge bonus. So many businesses lose out because they fail to see the benefits of well-written copy on all their site’s pages. Good copy will keep visitors on your site for longer, and will certainly be more effective in getting them to take action such as subscribing to your email list or making a purchase.
#3 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
It is sometimes shocking to see so-called web designers who have absolutely no awareness or understanding of the importance of on-site SEO, creating sites that are more likely to hurt rankings that help them. They do not need to be advanced SEO experts but a knowledge of the basics such as tags, titles and other metadata should be a prerequisite.
#4 Effective Design
Just as the words on a site that your copywriter creates should be effective, the visual design of your site also needs to be done in a way that helps your website achieve its main aims. Not everyone who visits is going to read the written copy. There are people influenced more by visual elements, than written ones, so it is important your web designer crafts your graphics accordingly.
#5 Value For Money
It is the easiest thing in the world to get a website designed cheaply. There are literally thousands of ‘web designers’ on sites like Fiverr who will throw you a site together in less than 24 hours. Now there are some scenarios where these sites are ideal, but if you are truly serious about your business in the long term, they are not the answer. On the other hand, it is not necessary to spend tens of thousands of dollars on the website either, unless you have a budget that can justify it.
The sensible action is to assess web design companies who offer the services you need and can provide them at a price which is both affordable and good value for money. If they are well established it is likely they will be around for some time to come, so there is always the option of returning to them for more advanced work, as your site and business grows.