1. Portfolio

When considering a prospective company, look at its portfolio. Unlike a lot of other industries, having lots of years of experience is not necessarily a requirement for a web designer. A lot of new companies have groundbreaking ideas and methods that should be considered. Instead, make sure that the designer understands your industry and has a good track record with the companies that it has worked with.

2. Customer Service

This website is your baby, and you want an agency that will treat it as well as you do. If a designer is too busy to give you their full attention, they’re not going to be able to understand your vision and give you the website that you want. Make sure that the agency has good customer service practices before going into business with them. Ask for references and ask if the developer was effective and responsive.

3. Location

Using a firm local to your area has a lot of advantages. These firms have the time and dedication required to build you a masterpiece website. Being able to meet in person and see your business in action can help designers better understand the objectives of your website. Local knowledge is also an incredible asset. These firms know your market. They have extensive knowledge of all the niches and neighborhoods that you’re trying to target.

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4. Design and Content

Good graphics and content are both essential to a website, A really pretty website with bad copy or a well written site with bad graphics will get you nowhere. A good web design company will make both a priority. The structure and copy of your website should be optimized for user experience and SEO.

5. Communication

The web is a complicated and ever-changing beast. Communicating what you want your website to be can be difficult. A web designer should take the time to listen and understand you so they can translate the bits and pieces of your vision into the website of your dreams.
Communication is a two way street, and designers should be by your side explaining what’s going on to you throughout the whole process. They should be telling you what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and why they’re doing it so you can make any necessary tweaks or adjustments along the way.

6. Maintenance and Support

A website’s maintenance and support down the road are just as important as the design of the website itself. The Internet is forever changing and new technologies and methodologies arise continuously. Your designer should not only be there to fix any issues that arise, but help you utilize new innovations that arise so your business can stay on top of the curve.

7. SEO and Marketing

Most web design companies also offer SEO and online marketing services. Even if you choose not to use these services, your web designer should be well experienced with SEO and online marketing best practices. Your website may be pretty, but if it wasn’t designed for SEO no one will be able to find it. A good web designer will build you a web site that is visually stunning, but also ranks higher in search engines, decreases bounce rates, and a whole slew of other great things.

8. Gut Feeling

Ultimately, it comes down to that gut feeling. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your web designer, so make sure that it’s someone you like and feel good about. Being able to build a good relationship with your designer and communicate well with them are key to getting your perfect website, and these things are a lot easier if you actually like the person.

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