How To Shop for a Web Design Firm?

While few companies can boast as we do that our first ten clients are still with us today, many companies often change Web design firms to get a new perspective on how their Web presence could look and perform. The following paragraphs serve as a Buyer's Guide to use when shopping for a new Web design company.

First, determine what exactly you're shopping for. Is your Web site down a lot? Do you frequently have email problems? This may or may not be your Web site designer's problem. Many design firms outsource their Web site hosting operations and if that's the case, you may just need a new Web host. While most companies prefer to work with a Web site design company that also hosts their Web site because there are great cost savings to be realized in this type on environment, this isn't always the case and is a question that needs to be asked.

In addition, does the firm you're evaluating perform all of their services in-house or are they outsourcing development to India? This has become more of a common practice due to the extremely low labor costs, but if your site is changing frequently, this can present a lot of problems in delayed response, delayed postings, and other issues associated with working with such a time difference.

Furthermore, what kind of clients does the design company have? Do they have an online portfolio that you can view to see examples of their work? The best way to assess a Web site development company's capabilities is to look at their previous work. This will show you what they're capable of doing as well as whom they've worked with in the past. If the company has a lot of experience in a particular industry, they can bring invaluable information to the relationship.

In addition, how long have they been in business? While the Internet is only 10-12 years old, companies that have been around the better part of a decade have done so because they generally do good work. Make sure that you're not looking at some fly-by-night company that just popped up in the sponsor listings in Google.

Finally, avoid anyone offering the $500 Web site. If your business is interested in a professional Web site (as opposed to something built by your nephew), you have to be prepared to spend several thousand dollars. There is a lot of graphic design and advanced programming work involved and it takes time to do this. You've got to establish a realistic budget if you want to have any success online.

Most legitimate Web site design and hosting companies can do a great job for you, but determining the one that is the best match for your organization is up to you. Use the ideas outlined here to help narrow the search and then pick the one that you feel most comfortable with.

WebSolutions Technology, Inc. is a privately held full service Web site design, development, and hosting company based in the suburbs of Chicago. All design and hosting services are performed onsite by their team of professionals and WebSolutions is currently celebrating their tenth year in business. Please direct any inquiries to [email protected] or call 630.375.6833.

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