Choosing the right web design company should be done with care. You are developing a relationship which will most likely span many years, and the result will be something that reflects your business to the entire world. So it is best to choose wisely and do your homework before committing to the web design company you will work with.
At Awaken Solutions we meet and speak with many different companies of all sizes. Our goal is to give advice that is best for the company, and if the result is that we work together, we are delighted. The following five points are what we feel is most important to consider when considering a web development agency. We have built websites for every type of client, from small personal sites to large-scale websites including eCommerce, online registrations, secure portals and more. Regardless of the needs, this article is a valuable starting point and we would love to hear from you if you would like to discuss your project needs.
# 1: Trust
The first thing to consider when meeting with a web design company, either in Montreal, the greater Montreal area, or anywhere in Canada and around the world, is your level of trust in the person sitting across from you. Our intuition is usually pretty fine tuned in everyday life to sense a person’s motivations and honesty. But when it comes to a website or something else that may be more technical than you are used to, you may feel that this intuition isn’t as strong. That is not so. You should trust your gut and, even if the technical aspects aren’t entirely clear to you, still realize that this is a person with whom you will be working with longterm and the relationship needs to feel comfortable.
The second thing to consider is the reputation of the company you will be dealing with. A web design company may have past clients that you know and can contact to get their opinion (often this is the case already if the referral was from word of mouth). Or researching on the internet might show you some feedback other people had about this company. In either case, do your best to find out something about this company before you meet them. And if you can’t, then ask them when you meet them if they can provide referrals so that you can contact them and get their feedback. This isn’t the best approach since they will obviously only provide you referrals to people who had a positive experience, but at least you know that if they can’t provide one, or a few, then they are probably not as reputable as you would like.
#3: Track record
The third thing that is important to consider when you choose a web development agency to work with is the portfolio of websites that they have. You should be able to see on their website a clear Portfolio (like our website portfolio) and get an idea of their design aesthetic, their typical client base (in our case it is quite varied, we have made websites for companies in every sector) and how many websites they have built (although this may be a bit misleading since, as is the case with our portfolio, not all client websites will always be shown there). Above all, it will give you an idea of the professionalism of the company and website design standards they use.
Depending on your needs, the expertise of the company you hire may be different. If you need a basic website, perhaps an intermediate web development agency would suffice. But your needs may grow with time, so even in that case, it is recommended to hire a web developer that has the necessary web programming skills to build whatever you may need in the future. Whether it be custom registration forms (with or without payment), user management systems, email systems or anything else, you want to be sure you hire a firm with the necessary skills to do the job now and in the future. If ever you are not sure based on their portfolio, ask the company what some of the more advanced systems they have built. It is also good to ask about credentials. Our company president and lead developer has a Masters in Engineering and is Google AdWords certified; our other developers and our server administrators have either Bachelors or Masters in Computer Science; and the entire team has decades and thousands of hours of experience in web development and the associated technologies.
The fifth and last thing to consider when hiring a website design company is, of course, the cost. There is no doubt that the right price must be reached for the services rendered. No matter what the transaction may be for. In the case of website design quotes (which you can use our website quote calculator to get an idea of), they can be far ranging and ambiguous. Make sure the company you are dealing with clearly outlines all the upfront and ongoing charges. For example, the website building phase is a one-time cost, the website hosting and ongoing maintenance are ongoing costs. This will help you get a proper idea of the entire project cost short-term and long-term. Then, as always, you should shop around, meet different companies and judge them based on the aforementioned points in this article. Once that is done, you can weigh their quote with the trust you feel towards them, their reputation, their track record and their expertise to arrive at a decision you are comfortable with. The lowest quote is not always the right choice.
Hopefully some of the above points have helped expand your thinking about what is most important when hiring a web development company. We encourage you to consider Awaken Solutions for your website needs, and invite you to let us know if you have any questions. You can email us at [email protected] or submit our Contact form or Quote form.