The attributes to consider while selecting a web design company for your business:
- Integrity & honesty
It’s fundamental to your relationship that the web company have integrity. You need to trust that they’re behaving ethically and morally, since their guidance will affect not only your website but also your business. They also need honesty, so that you can believe and trust what they tell you.
- Long-term partnership
Your business website isn’t a fleeting thing; it’s a major player in your marketing efforts, and maybe even the operations of your business (for example, an ecommerce site). You should be seeking a long-term relationship with your web company, and they should be looking for the same thing. You don’t want a company that’s only looking for a quick buck.
- Soft skills
It’s not hard to find technical skills in a web company; they’re often started by technical people, and the teams usually contain technical people. What’s harder to find, yet critical to success, are the soft skills (people skills) such as communication, empathy, reliability, and responsibility.
If you’re serious about your website (and you are, right?), you want a web company that’s been around for a while, and is likely to stay in business for a while. We’ve talked to so many small businesses who had their sites developed by a friend, family member, part-timer, freelancer, or startup, then their contact disappears or gives up. We’ve rescued many projects from these situations. Save yourself the hassle and choose an established company from the start.
- Focused on business results
You have a website to accomplish business goals (selling in some way). The web company needs to understand this and create your site based on business goals, not on technology or trends. If the company seems more concerned about experimenting with technology than understanding your business, it’s not a good sign.
- Project management
Even small web projects require some project management, and it becomes increasingly important the more complex the project gets. The company needs to be competent at juggling multiple requirements and keeping the project on budget and on schedule. It may be hard to discover a company’s project management abilities, so ask a few of their clients who they managed their projects.
- Speaks your language (at your level)
Some web companies try to impress or intimidate with their techie language. Good companies won’t, because they want you to understand what they’re saying. They ask, “does that make sense?” after explaining something technical, and are willing to explain.
Websites don’t exist in vacuum; they’re part of your broader marketing efforts. Most companiesdon’t have all the skills necessary to provide everything you’ll need as you grow (for example, photography, copywriting, SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, etc.). A well-connected company will be able to subcontract, partner with, or refer you to skills they don’t have.
- Quick to reply
You’d be surprised how many web companies take days (and sometimes weeks) to reply to prospects and clients when they email or call. Do you want to wait that long when you need help, while creating your site or maintaining it? Look for a company that replies relatively quickly; within one business day