Here are a few tips I put together to help you know if you’re hiring a reputable website design company:
1. Do they just do website design or do they do print design and tons of other stuff?
Today, there’s SO many little details that go in to making a good website, you should hire a company that just does website design and nothing else.
- Do they optimize for Google PageSpeed?
- Do they set up microdata / structured markup?
- Do they pour over error_log files when a website launches?
- Do they have a dedicated team of testers?
Again, there are just tons of these little things and missing some of them can be devastating for your website.
2. Do they have an SEO department that is up to date on what Google wants?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) literally changes weekly. There’s always something new out. Yes, I said “literally” and I hate using that word since it’s so trendy but I use it when it’s valid.
Why are there new things out all the time? Well, think about it… the amount of new websites and content on the Web changes daily, right? Millions of new pages are published every day – basically an entire library. Google has to sort through that in order to find the best results to hand out, right? The only way they can do that is if they tighten things up and add more rules and decide on a list of factors they think are important.
This is exactly why some websites look terrible to Google – it’s because things have changed and your website is either too old and needs to be redesigned with new standards or your website isn’t too old but the person or company the built your website did not keep up with the latest standards.
Now you know! 🙂
3. Check out their portfolio.
Look at other websites they’ve made. Do you like them? It’s easy for a website designer to get into a rut. If all the websites you see from a certain website designer look the same, that means they’re in a rut. If you want something different than what they’re doing, it’ll be up to you (most likely) to help get that designer of out that rut. Are you up for that?
4. Call their clients.
Yes, call their clients and find out if they are happy with how their website is working and how the website design process went. Do your homework and check references.
5. Do they respond to you?
Give them a call or contact them through their website? Do they get back to you in a reasonable amount of time?
That’s a good list to get started but the main point here is that there are a lot of small, technical details that go into making a website today. If you’re quoted a rock bottom price, then guess what? You’ll get what you pay for. There’s really no way to create a great website for cheap. It’s just not possible. Something will get skipped. They will have to skip some steps somewhere and you’re left with a website that Google might not like. Is that worth it?
Of course, my company, Webstix, does all of these things and can help you if you like.