Starting the process of getting a website built for your small business can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience. It’s essential to go into it with a clear expectation of what you want so you can find the perfect solution for your business. Once you figure out precisely what your business needs, you might find it’s easier to throw together a website yourself to save money. It’s important to remember that not every business needs a 10+ page website with many integrations. You need to make sure that whatever you get done is tailored to your target customer.
Decide whether or not you need a web design company.
Doing this can save you a lot of money but could have some potential downsides. With tools like Wix and Squarespace, it’s never been easier to create your website in a couple of hours. Without using a custom web design and development firm, your site will look like millions of others because you will only have access to a select few themes.
Also, another thing to think about is its maintenance. Websites are constantly evolving and need to be updated and maintained quite regularly. This means if you set up your site and don’t use best practices, it could cost a lot in the future to pay an expert to come and clean up the mistakes.
This decision comes down to how elaborate your site needs to be. If you need an essential one-page website, you should do it yourself and save money. If you need a 20-page website with features like live chat and google analytics integration, it’s probably best to look for a web design and development firm.
Ask to view their portfolio.
This is a no-brainer; before you get into the nitty-gritty, you should ask to see their website portfolio. Doing this gives you the ability to know if you like the companies design style.
You can use gtmetrix.com to run a speed test on the website. If the score is low, that is a good sign that they are just churning through websites and not focusing on building them using best practices.
Another thing you can do is type their domain name in google, and if they don’t show up on the first page for their name, you shouldn’t use that company.
Reviews can be an excellent way to determine if a company will be hard to deal with and help you steer clear of a bad web design firm. Reviews aren’t as important as you’d assume because companies can pay for fake reviews. What’s important is to read the reviews to gauge if they are spammy or seem contrived.
Compare websites in their portfolio for similarities.
Comparing websites in a portfolio is a vital first step. Some web design firms will charge you thousands of dollars to slap a cheap template on your website that looks like every other website they put out. The whole point of paying for a web design and development firm to build your site is to have a unique custom-built site. So a company charging the total price for simple template sites is a complete rip-off. Long story short, if all their sites look the same, steer clear from that web design firm.