You’ve taken the plunge and are embarking on the road to a brand-new, optimized website. That takes courage and a leap of faith – so, go you! Now, you have the thrilling task of choosing The Best Web Design Firm for the job.
This is easier said than because, in addition to choosing an experienced web designer who gets results, you’re choosing a business partner of sorts. These people need to get you. They must understand what it is you do and who your buyer personas are. The web design team should intuitively understand your brand and – perhaps most importantly – they need to be pleasurable to work with.
5 Simple Questions to Find the Best Web Design Fit
After doing a bit of online research, narrow your options to no less than three and no more than five different possibilities. Then, use these 5 simple questions for the ensuing consultations (aka “Interviews). Their responses will enable you to pick the best fit for your company and brand culture without any regrets.
- Can we take a look at your portfolio? So website performance is the name of the game, but looks are a key to a website’s performance. Stanford’s research regarding internet users’ and website credibility shows that between 75% and 94% of visitors make snap judgments about your company based on how the website looks. While it would be great to say that “a good web design firm designs it all…,” this simply isn’t true. Like interior decorators, web designers have their own flavor and style niche. They’ll do their best work when working in their natural, creative modus operandi. If a firm’s profile doesn’t resonate with you, they aren’t the best choice.
- What services do you offer? Website design: two little words that can mean A Little or A Lot. A Little means, “you supply the content; we whip it into an awesome shell.” A Lot means, “we create the design, provide content that engages your target market and help with SEO, blogging, PPC campaigns, social media management and more.” These days, successful companies invest in a web firm that offers A Lot rather than A Little, because it’s almost impossible to keep up on all that stuff in-house.
- Can We See Before-&-After Data? You want a website that performs; ergo you need a website design firm that understands and implements metrics and analytics. Have them provide client references and concrete data demonstrating how their work notably improved their clients’ website performance. Then speak with those references for further insight.
- Who will we be working with? This is a loaded question. You want to know about credentials and experience, who the direct contacts are, how communication will take place and if the person/people selling the services are the same people who will be working on your project. If not, be wary of the disconnects that can occur between sales and marketing.
- What does your process look like? Hopefully, it includes a business analysis of some sort, so the design process moves more fluidly. Make sure you’re going to be included in the creative process so you can approve/decline ideas, allowing you to green-light the design before they move forward with development. Will they be using a content management service you feel comfortable using? This is key if your company plans to take over the content management side of things.
Read, Evaluating Web Design Companies…, for a more detailed list of “interview questions.” Don’t be shy when interviewing potential web design firms; they’re working to serve you and your brand, and their final product should back that up.
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