Guide to Hiring a Web Design Company.
When it comes to hiring a web designer or a web design company, there are a few things you should take in consideration before you commit to one person or company. In this article I am going to break down the basics, now some of this information might be common sense, but I want to emphasis it so you as a business owner can make an informed decision.
Avoid Spammy URLs
1. First and foremost, skip over the websites that don’t have a company name for their URL.
Avoid sites like this!
If you do a search for Dallas Web Design, Dallas Website Designer, Dallas Website Design ect.. on the first page of Google you are more than likely going to find a handful of websites that don’t represent themselves as a company in their URL but are just stuffing keywords in the URL so they can get on the first page of Google. These companies don’t understand the concept of branding. Branding is the backbone of marketing and the fundamental of business. So if they aren’t branding their own company, why would they put the effort into developing a website that would brand yours. To find out more about branding read my branding blog post.
The other thing you should know is that most of these sites are a duplication site. Again companies are just trying to rank for specific keywords and probably have 3 or more sites that are “generic” and are all the same person or company. Can we say SPAM?
Nothing but Quote Form
2. Avoid companies who don’t have any portfolio samples and all you see is a big fat FREE QUOTE form. These websites and companies are only using the site for lead generation and collecting emails. Again this should be common sense but I can only assume since there are some sites out there that have zero portfolio samples and just a bunch of text and FREE QUOTE form that people must be emailing that site for free quotes, or that website owner would change up their tactics for getting business.
3. Look deeper at portfolios that don’t have live links but just images in their portfolios. Do a Google search on the site name and see if you can find the image sample in their portfolio. Usually what you will come across is that the live site looks nothing like the portfolio sample. What you have is a Photoshop Mock up making a bad looking site look good and they are using the mock up to build their “portfolio samples”. A Photoshop mock up is not a web design!
Text, Text, and more Text
4. Again this one should be common sense, but I am putting it out there. Don’t even bother contacting companies who have a tremendous amount of text on their page and very little graphics or a bad layout. Just because they are on the first page of Google doesn’t mean you should contact them…if their site is just crammed with text and not focused on design or have a decent layout, don’t even bother.
5. Watch out for template builders or as I call them template monsters that use templates purchased and charge for custom design. I have found alot of companies out there that are using templates for their sites and charging for custom designs. This is more predominate in WordPress than it is with HTML sites. Companies are buying a theme and using it over and over again for every client they have. Find out more about Spotting a WordPress Template.
Hopefully this cleared up the basics. And really it just a matter of doing a little internet research and keeping in mind that websites represent a business. And presentation is the key to any successful business.
The last thing you should keep in mind is that there are Designers and Developers, and a good website requires both of these skill sets. And usually once person doesn’t exactly fit both descriptions. To read more about the difference between a web designer and a web developer, checkout my blog post Web Designer vs Web Developer.