:: By Richie Roland, Eighth Orbit ::
Creating a website can be a hectic process if you do not know what to do (and sometimes even when you do.)
Since it is going to be the online home for your business or organization, you cannot afford to make any mistakes, like who to hire for the job. Fortunately, thousands (perhaps millions) of other companies have gone before you and some crucial steps have emerged for hiring a Web design company, including:
Look at their site
Start by visiting the company’s site to find out what they have done for themselves. There is no way they can convince you that they will give you a good site when theirs is wanting. One of the common trends in this industry is that the company will use their own site to show you what they are capable of doing. Ensure that the site has the following features:
• It loads quickly
• It is visually appealing
• It has the right page layout
Indeed, there are companies that have sites that do not fit what you would want for your business. This is indication that they do not have the skills to do what is expected from them or they just do not care about what they do. If you notice that they are anything but professional on their sites, it is apparent that you should look for these services elsewhere. You, however, should be happy because many companies have site samples that you will fall in love with.
Look at the other sites that they have built
It is also important to ask for sites that they have worked on. These sites should be live so that you can try them personally and see how good or bad they are. If the company has been doing this for long, they definitely have lots of sites to show for their work. You also can easily find such sites through the testimonials on their website. You, however, should be sure that you are looking at a site that was built by the designer completely and not just bits and pieces. Avoid falling victim to quacks that show you other people’s sites and claim that it is their work.
You might try contacting site owners just to see if what you have been told is true. Ask them about their experiences with the Web design company. Sometimes, these services go beyond what you can see from the other end. You need to know about how easily the website owner operates their site. Ask them how reliable the company is and any other thing that they liked or disliked about them. You will find lots of opinions that will help you to determine whether or not to hire that company.
Take a new approach for better results
If you have been in this industry for long, you definitely know how fast the trends change. The things that were popular a few years ago are not even talked about anymore. It is because every day, people look for better ways to come up with websites that meet the requirements of their clients. The little evolutions eventually end up making a whole difference and so, people have no options but to move with the trends. If you are not careful, you might just find out that you have been left far behind.
It is the same thing when you are hiring a Web designer. Make sure that they are not stuck in the practices that were used decades ago. They should be able to come up with new ways that guarantee better websites. Creativity is important here because if they keep doing the same things that others are doing, they will give you a site that looks like a clone of another person’s work. The best thing to do in such a situation is to look for a company that listens to your unique needs and works on them.
There are new Web designers that come up every day. Many of them will promise you the best results but the truth is that they do not even have the capacity to deliver them. If you are looking for a sure deal, you should look for an established company. They have seen this industry evolve and therefore, they know what is best for their clients. Better still, they can easily predict what the future will be like and they will create a site that will be relevant for long. You definitely do not want to create something that will be a hit today only to fade away after a short time.
With experience, you can count on the company to offer expert advice whenever needed. There are people who want websites but they do not even have any idea of what to choose. They do not know about the themes that are best for them or the page layouts that will appeal most to their clients. For such people, their only hope is in finding a professional who is dedicated to their success. You need an expert who will take you through the steps, explain everything for you, and help you to make the choices. Such professionals are hard to find and so, you should be careful.
Make the Jump
Designing a website is an integral part of establishing online presence. It determines how much of an impact you make and how much traffic you attract to your site. By finding the right company, you will easily avoid some of the common mistakes that people make when creating a site. You do not have to rush into hiring anyone because in the end, what you want is a site that meets the purpose for which you decided to set it up.
Web design expert Richie Roland helps people conceptualize and create high-quality websites, as well as frequently writes about Web design best practices and trends.