6 Tips to Choosing a Website Design Company for Small Businesses

choosing website design company small business web designers

There are a lot of dazzling salespeople in the world. So how do you know the difference between a good pitch and a truly good website design company? 

A good website design company is more like a partner than a vendor. Before taking on a partner, you would consider due diligence. You'd ask for outside opinions, check out their previous work, and make sure you have good communication. 

Read on for specific tips about how to get and give the right information to find the right web design company to partner with. 

Tip 1: Make Sure They're Listening 

When it comes to client/vendor relationships, there's nothing more important than communication. And that doesn't simply mean finding someone who will agree with everything you say or provide template answers to every question. 

Starting with your first point of contact, make note of the important things you've told them. Hopefully, they're taking notes, too, and they'll bring up those same points again without being prompted. At the very least, they should be able to answer questions about things you've already told them. That includes your primary conversion goals, demographics, or other specific needs. 

Tip 2: Collaborate on Website Design Ideas 

This is sometimes tricky. But as long as you both understand your roles and expertise, design collaboration can be a smooth and enjoyable experience. 

Since you're hiring a website design company, that means you probably aren't an expert. But fear not: there's still a lot you can contribute. 

Start by finding competing websites that you like, free icons to add to your design, or templates that appeal to you. Ask the company if these can be incorporated into the design. Keep in mind that a good web design company won't always say "yes" to everything. A convincing reason for saying "no" is better than a default "yes" that leads to disappointing results. 

Tip 3: Web Design Experience 

If they're ahead of the curve, they'll already have case studies available on their website. If not, ask for them. If they don't have anything as formal as case studies, ask for examples of previous work. 

Tip 4: References and Reviews 

Along with case studies and work examples, references and reviews are critical. The company you're considering may already have a great reputation. If not, search the web for review sites, mentions on Reddit, or other ways of confirming the quality of their work. 

Tip 5: Expertise With Your Type of Business 

This isn't necessary, but it helps. If you're an alpaca farmer, it can help if you find an agency that specializes in designing websites for alpaca farmers. On the other hand, certain website design principles apply to many different types of business. A good cross-section of different types of business—and different design standards—can be just as valuable as targeted expertise. 

Tip 6: Ask About Process 

Some website design companies do best with strict processes. Some of them do best with loose processes. But very few can succeed with no process. Evaluating the overall quality of a process is no easy task, and usually unnecessary. So don't get too lost in the weeds. 

Just ask them what their process is, what parts of the process most often see challenges, and how they address those challenges. This will tell you a lot about their preparedness. 

Choose Your Website Design Company 

The tips above are more than enough to get you started when choosing a website design company. Keep in mind: you know more than you think when it comes to web design work. After doing your due diligence, your gut instinct and intuition can help you make the final call. If it doesn't work out, just cut your losses and try again with your newfound web design experience.

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