Look for someone who can explain things in English
We feel your pain. It is difficult to hire a company when the very language they use to descibe what they do sounds like Greek. And in some ways, it is a foreign language. But that doesn't matter. A good web designer should be able to explain what you need to know. Your web designer
becomes a partner in your marketing strategies. They need to be a good communicator that can help you understand the key issues of website ownership that will affect your business.
Look for a professional attitude
Website management requires good communication and a respectful, professional relationship between the design company and the
business owner. When checking out a design company, take note if they do not answer emails, return phone calls, or show up for appointments. This probably is a sign of things to come.
Ask for references
If they have been doing a decent job for their current customers, they have the references to prove it.
Remember...you get what you pay for
It seems everyone knows someone who has a nephew who lives in the basement that can write code. But there's more to
creating a website than just writing code. A lot more. And, if website design isn't a person's day job, the chances of them disappearing (ie: not returning calls or
answering emails) increases exponentially. This is what we hear often from new clients who are in search of a web design company after
a project has been abandoned mid-stream by a "friend that built websites" .
If the project is important and a professional website is important, it will save you time, money, and frustration to get a professional from the beginning to do it. It's an important investment in the sucess of your company or organization.
Read the fine print
Find out what happens to your website if your decide to terminate your business relationship. Do you lose the site? Do you have to start
over and pay for another website with another web design company? Or can you take it with you? What recourse to you have if they do not make content updates?
For more information read the question below entitled..."Should I go with a company that charges on-going monthly fees instead of upfront payment?"