Let’s Talk Web Design
How to Choose the Best Web Design Company for You
Let’s start this off by talking about what “best web design” means.
It’s a marketing tactic (and kind of a sleazy one) to tout your services or company as the “best” without any real data or criteria to back that up. Even commercials that say “preferred to competitor brand by 9 out of 10 people” don’t hold much weight. Who were those 10 people? Were they paid to take place in this study? Do you really want to put trust in such a small sample size?
At BrandSwan, you’ll rarely hear us talk about the best of anything. Instead, we talk about our recommendations for different situations. The best website platform for a massive retail store might be Shopify, while the best website platform for a hands-off service-based business might be WordPress.
While we don’t agree with the concept of best as a “one ring to rule them all,” we do agree that there’s a best fit for your needs at any given time. And no one knows your needs better than you. So let’s talk about the criteria you should consider to help you choose the best web design company FOR YOU.
Criteria to Determine the “Best” Web Design Company
Web Design Portfolio
Have you ever hired a designer without first looking at their work? If you answered yes — shame! Design is incredibly subjective. Even if you love everything else about your web design company, if you don’t like their design style you won’t be happy with the end result. Look for website designs that make your eyes and heart happy, but also feel like they’d make the right impression in your industry. If your preferred web design company doesn’t have a portfolio piece in your exact industry, does their portfolio at least demonstrate the ability to adapt to different design styles and aesthetics? Set your expectations before you hire.
While you can often get a lower rate with a new web designer or agency, it comes with the risk of being part of that company’s learning curve. Maybe you’re ok with that and maybe you’re not. But make sure you understand the level of expertise your web design company has so you won’t get any unpleasant surprises down the road. Ensure their skillsets match your needs for everything from SEO to ADA Compliance. While technical skills are incredibly important when designing a website, it’s also important that your web designer understand branding and marketing so they can ensure the website will work with the rest of your promotions as a cohesive whole.
Some people prefer a hands-off approach and just want to see the end result. Others want to be involved every step of the way, from writing website content to browsing templates for inspiration. The best web design company for you will have a process that matches the level of involvement you’re looking for. Regardless of which end of the scale you fall on, ask about the design process and make sure the company can articulate what they’re going to do and what’s included in a website. If they don’t know what they’re doing, then how do you know if it’s a good fit for you?
Your web design company doesn’t need to share your exact political views and go to the same crossfit gym you do. But in general, it’s helpful to have some alignment in values. Some companies provide a more high-end, high-touch experience. Others just want to do the work and get paid. The best way to learn more about a company’s values is to read their reviews, check out their social media, and talk to them! While people tend to be on their best behavior in a first meeting, you’ll still get a better idea of what it will be like to work with a company by getting on a Zoom or phone call than any other research tool.
Last but certainly not least, the product has to fit the price. Not every design project will fit within your budget nor is every website design experience the same. It’s ok to talk to more than one company before you make your final decision. Weigh the price vs the features, design, and experience you anticipate from each company and then decide which is truly the best web design company for your project.