What Should You Look for in a Web Design Firm?
There are many factors that go into choosing a web design company to work with on your next website project. Price is almost always the number one factor, and hidden costs are almost never taken into account.
For you next project, slow down, take a step back and think about each of the following. Short or long term, it could save you a lot of that precious money you have to invest.
First and foremost, you have to be compatible with the people you are going to work with. No matter how great each side is at executing, if you can’t get along and respect each other, your project will be a miserable mess and fail. There have been several times that we have chosen not to take a project because the vibe just wasn’t right. Would you grab a bite to eat or maybe a beer with them?
Many companies will take any work that they can get. They’ll also sell you what you don’t need. When was the last time someone said to you “You don’t want that. It won’t work and here’s why.”?
And Now for Something Completely Different
Finding a company that knows the ins and outs of your industry can be very comforting. They know the language. They know the players. They might even know what works.
They might also be a safe bet that only gets you the same thing as your competition. If you just mimic the other guy, you’ll never win. Go to the edge and try something new. You’ll be surprised.
Strategy, Creativity and Vision
Most web projects are executed to check an item off a list – “Hey look, we have a website now!” What those projects should be is part of something much bigger. A strategy. A unique creation. A vision.
What other methods are you using to market your business? Print materials, billboards, hand outs, commercials, etc. A great design firm wants to know what else you are doing to make them all work for each other. Those firms then take this information and arrange the pieces into a cohesive plan. Only then will you get the most benefit for your efforts.
This is how marketing works for you.
Content is King
In the world of the web, the only differences between businesses are the people who run them and the information they produce. The best websites have great people providing truly useful content. They also work with search engine experts to make sure that great information gets in front of the people who are looking for it.
Grammar isn’t dead. It’s more important that ever. The search engines know it and you should too.
There are thousands of ways to build a website. Hundreds of languages, even more frameworks. Most design firms specialize in just one or two. What you really need is the right tool for the job done in a cost effective manner. Make sure you pick a vendor that can fill your needs and not shove their needs down your throat.
What’s it really going to cost me?
Last but not least, we’ll circle back to the cost of a project. As you may have seen from the items above, the dollar amount on the proposal is only one small piece of the puzzle. The people you work with and the choices you make together have a much greater impact in the long run.
When it comes down to it, you have to get in front of the people who need you and sell them what you have. A cohesive strategy to be the best is what will make you shine at the top.