We have all probably heard horror stories about a small business owner hiring seemingly legit web design firms only to receive a mangled parody of a website.
Or equally horrifying tales of what can happen when you ‘hire’ your friend or relative only to find out that your website is an unspeakable horror you cannot even criticize out of fear of offending the artist. So what should you do to avoid such an unenviable fate?
1. Look for a Full-Service Firm
Times when web design was done by individuals who simply laid out the design and left you to fend off for yourself are long gone. Today’s market is dominated by firms that provide a full range of service. According to MagicDust, a well-known Sydney web design company, a firm working in this industry today should provide SEO services, develop online marketing solutions, and support eCommerce websites in addition to traditional web design and web development. If a firm simply sells design without providing additional support, chances are you are dealing with a scam.
2. Take a Good Look at Their Website
Naturally, a company that does website design should have a top-notch website – it is the first evidence of their professionalism. If you examine their website and find out that even you, a non-professional, find it wanting, it is a clear case of a cobbler without shoes. In this case you should probably decide against hiring them for such an important task.
3. Ask if They Are Going to Use Templates to Build Your Website
You want your website to look unique and stand out from the crowd while following all the currently accepted principles of high-quality design. It is especially important and difficult when these trends have led to a tendency for all websites to look exactly the same. If a company uses templates it means that your website is going to look even more alike to all the others built by them, so you’d probably want to avoid it.
4. Ask for the Samples of Their Work
You should be able to see their portfolio to decide if they are capable of doing the job you want from them. Also, it may be a good idea to contact some of their former clients to find out how satisfied they are, how close the results are to what they initially wanted and how difficult the company was to deal with.
5. Define the Scale of Your Project
It is especially important if you have never hired a web designer before and have nothing to do with the industry whatsoever. If you know for sure what exactly you need you will avoid unnecessary expenses, will be able to give exact directions to the contractor and will be better suited to handling the project in general.
Of course, the main effort in creation of your website is going to be the firm’s burden, but you should be ready to take part in it as well: by clearly wording your wishes, by providing additional information on request and not changing your opinions half-way through. Do this, and you are sure to receive a website you will be proud of.
Image source: BigStock
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