Deciding on a website design company to handle the tasks of developing and implementing your company’s online content is a decision that must be weighed carefully if you want the venture to be successful.When you select a website design company, there will be certain aspects of the design process that should rightfully be left totally in the hands of professionals. However, there are also things about the design process that you should be familiar with and in control of, to ensure that your site ends up being exactly what you want and exactly what your business needs.
Here are a few great do’s and don’ts for selecting a design company and making sure they will be the right choice to put your business website on the digital map:
The “Do” List
1. DO know exactly what you want out of your website before contacting a website design company. Define your goals, and be specific! Most firms will consult with you and offer advice, but you need to have a starting point so that the website design company can offer relevant advice.
2. DO protect the security of your domain name by having it registered to you or your company.
3. DO ask the website design company to give you a tentative timeline for completion of all phases of your website and monitor their progress.
4. DO make sure the website design company has the ability to optimize your site for use by internet-ready mobile devices (i.e. the company should offer responsive design).
5. DO look for a web design company that cross-trains their team in various disciplines (e.g. their developers might have UX training, or designers might also have front-end coding knowledge). Cross-trained teams are often more efficient, and can usually communicate more efficiently with clients.
The “Don’t” List
1. DON’T work with a web design company that shuts you out of the web design process. You should be heavily involved in order to ensure that the end-product reflects your business Goals. You should ask questions and give feedback on each design iteration.
2. DON’T hire a web design company that will not provide active and functioning website URLs for which they have done the website design.
3. DON’T forget to lay out a deployment plan with your web design company. Do you need them to manage the deployment process, or do you have your own IT team that needs to be involved? Hammer out these details early so that both sides can prepare accordingly.
4. DON’T hire a web design company that doesn’t have knowledge of SEO best practices. They should be able to develop content and a site structure that reflects your SEO goals.
5. DON’T let your website be designed specifically for search engines, because those are not your target audience. Make sure that your web design company can optimize your site without having to sacrifice user experience.
Even if you aren’t well-versed in the world of website design, you can still contribute quite a bit to the process itself, because you are the one in control of what gets created to represent you or your company on the internet. The final say belongs only to you, so keep that decision firmly in your hands and make sure you’re getting exactly what you want out of a website design company.