If your small business needs a new website or a website redesign then your options can be truly limitless. There is a large number of web design and development companies out there to choose from. Here are a few pointers on a good process for choosing the right web design company for you.
1. Assess your needs and budget – The first step in choosing a web design company is examining your own business needs. Why do you need a website? What will the site be used for? Do you need to redesign an existing site that is no longer current with today’s technology and style? Will you be in need of an eCommerce solution, or custom-programmed functionality? Do you have a budget and time frame in mind for this project? Determining your needs and budget will later help in evaluating your options.
2. Evaluate your options – Can you get away with a cheap do-it-yourself template based solution, or do you need a professionally designed, custom built website with functionality tailored exactly to your business’s needs? When looking at custom web design companies ask yourself first: Do I like their website? Do I like the work shown in their portfolio? If you do then try contacting them by phone to discuss the details of a possible project. After contacting a few companies you should be able to narrow the list down to a few finalists for which you would like to schedule a face-to-face meeting.
3. Compare finalists – Meeting with the finalists for a web design project is an essential step. Come prepared to discuss your project in an organized and thorough manner. Try to discuss the entire scope of project, and then determine which finalists you feel most confident in communicating with and working with. Ask for a written proposal from each finalist. When comparing companies you will want to determine which company volunteered the best ideas, which company seemed most capable, and of course which company offers you the best value.
4. Come to an Agreement – Upon selecting your final choice you will want to have the web design company supply a written contract agreement that covers all aspects of the project’s scope, and clearly defines the payment terms and expected time frame. If you haven’t previously you will need to discuss related services like hosting, domain registration, and SEO to determine if these will also be handled by the web design company or if you will need to seek these services separately. It is vitally important that any company you work with will transfer the source code of the project to your ownership once the project is completed and paid-for. You should also always have ownership of your chosen domain, and access to the website files on the live server.
Good luck in your next web design project.