Let leaving your mark guide you
As a marketer, one decision stands above the rest in shaping your organization’s future–choosing a competent web development company that can be entrusted to optimize your brand and expand your business. To ensure your organization’s reputation and legacy, the web development agency you select should have strong competencies in everything required for a successful website build. They should have plenty of ability and experience in research, planning, strategy, development, and launch. Your organization must have a compelling, well-designed, and functional website to maximize your potential for growth and recognition. Ultimately, this is the most effective way to Leave Your Mark.
To guide you through the process of selecting a suitable web design company, we have created a list of selection criteria. Please note that these tips are based on our experience. To refine your evaluation process further, you might need to add other items that are deemed important to your organization. At the end of this article, we are also providing a fillable comparison table for your convenience. Please feel free to use it for your selection.
The potential web design company candidate must have an effective, well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing website of their own. Examine each page, looking up and down for positive attributes or for potential problems like lack of aesthetic balance, poor space management, grammar or spelling errors, an illogical hierarchy of information, or subpar value propositions. Although there may be some check marks, you and your business can’t afford to ignore any of these red flags.
The potential web design company’s site should make it easy (and encourage) for visitors to find what they are looking for. This encompasses giving them satisfactory means for quickly accessing information. On many websites, the navigation process is generally accommodated by a search function, sidebar navigation, footer navigation links, top navigation buttons, and whatever else will make it easy for the user to move around the site–no matter where they start. Most importantly, think about your impressions after you left the website. Did it seem clear and concise? Was it informative and proper? Or was it confusing, overwhelming, and disorganized?
Usability overlaps navigation in many respect, but also includes built-in security, page loading time, search function, internal linking, and evidence that the site works consistently across different browsers and screen sizes. Is the developer’s website conscientiously designed? Is their website mobile-friendly and aesthetically pleasing? Have you viewed it on different devices, including laptops, tablets and phones?
Scrutinize their online portfolio for overall quality and breadth of industry expertise. Ask the developers how many of their sites in the same niche as yours have launched successfully. Visit those sites and check how smoothly they work. Specifically, pay attention to UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). Evaluate them with the same criteria described above for their site. Has the company had success with diverse projects, industries, and clients–demonstrating adaptability and a quick learning curve? Meaning, would they by likely to struggle with any particular detail of your project, or would they be likely to use their experience to pass with flying colors?
Also pay close attention to the types of projects showcased in the portfolio. A great web design organization will have exceptional competencies in several related areas. These will likely include a proven track record of search engine optimization (SEO). Do their clients rank highly for relevant searches in Google? Is the seo limited to just key words, or do they also come up in image searches, map searches, etc? If you have an ecommerce business, you will want to know if the candidate has experience helping other clients reach more customers with highly effective online stores.
See our Portfolio.
Although very few will admit it, not all IT companies provide a full scope of web development services. There are many nuances to website development that go beyond a basic coding ability or knowledge of computer networks. They may lack competence in the discovery phase, UI/UX design, quality assurance, maintenance or support. As far as you can tell, how comprehensive are their processes and methodologies? Are they using the latest technology to present their designs and ideas, or are they still using ink and paper?
Even if your company has an in-house IT person who can help, it is essential to commission one company that covers the full range of services required for your website. Speed, accuracy, cost, and quality of delivery could be negatively affected if you work with multiple sources or companies instead of one. Also, ensure the potential web development company has warranties that protect you against future problems.
Learn about our Expertise.
Positive testimonials, including video testimonials, especially those for projects similar to yours, are a must. You will still need to ask for referrals and talk to past clients (a good candidate should be able to easily provide references) but do not overlook or underestimate testimonials. Look for signs of genuine commentary such as naming specific team members or referencing specific ways the web developers helped or worked with the client to achieve their goals. A testimonial that merely states a fact that ABC web developers created a website for XYZ company, without providing more positive detail, could be a sign that the testimonial was given without full, positive intent.
Watch our testimonial videos.
Project requirements and processes
Experienced and knowledgeable web dev companies have highly detailed research, strategy formulation, and development processes – without exception. They should be able to show you examples of their entire plan and of each stage. Ask the potential candidates about their project requirements and processes to ensure you’re on the same page. Perhaps you really do only need a small brochure website, or perhaps your Fortune 500 company needs the best, most advanced and sophisticated methods. Ask for a sample of the product/results delivered in each step.
Learn about our processing Services.
Highly peer-reviewed and investigated projects that can capture awards are rare. A web design company you can trust will usually be recognized within the industry. It could be Webby, Awwwards, American Advertising Awards or something else. Your potential web development company should ideally have a dedicated awards page that showcases their successes (with reasons for their awards). All awards should be verifiable (linked to the source) and the importance of each prize should be conveyed and easily understood. People sometimes come and go from organizations, so keep in mind how recent the awards are. Are you going to be working with a company that is at the top of its game or living off past glories?
Learn about our Awards & Recognitions.
Indicators of effective communication
Websites are at their core – communication tools. And this communication must be nearly universal. A large company’s customers could come in all shapes and sizes and live in many very different parts of the country – or even the world. Companies that design websites must be able to demonstrate effective communication to ensure they can manage your highly important communication channels. Verify how easy it is to get in touch with them and how quickly they respond. Are they personable? Are they good with follow-ups? Do they have an effective, streamlined process for effective communication to address your needs? Exactly how do they communicate? Do they use email, a project management system or online tools such as Basecamp or Asana? And are their communication methods compatible with yours?
Offered product warranties
Well-established professional web design companies care about their clients’ reputations. They stand behind their products and ensure they will support the customer with any future problems. Ask the potential web design company candidates about the details of their warranties and make sure the coverage is thoroughly detailed in their contracts. You would not buy a motor vehicle without a warranty and you should not accept a web development company that does not stand behind their products and services. Their protection services should be well-defined, well-established, actionable and reliable.
Learn about our Warranty Options.
Exceptional websites demand regular, steady upkeep, just like any other. Make sure the web development company of your choosing has proper plans and offers packages to keep your investment in top shape. Many web design companies do not offer maintenance and support services, and this can greatly jeopardize your return on investment – or worse. An unmaintained website is an invitation to hackers, malware and general malaise. You need protection against any and all content management system (CMS) problems. Even something so simple as an update to the server operating system could cause problems if no one is maintaining a website properly.
Learn about our Support and Maintenance Services option.
In hard economic times (or even in good), CEOs and CFOs sometimes look for ways to cut back on web design project budgets. This often leaves marketing officers with the burden of either trying to convince decision-makers to allocate additional necessary funds or working without enough resources to truly help the company. Because of annual marketing budget constraints, many companies limit their vision for how an extra investment in a superior website can achieve great things for their brand and bottom-line profits. Finding a web design company that offers flexible and long-term payment options will give you more freedom to broaden your vision, expand available resources for the website and discover new avenues that might have seemed out of reach.
Learn about our Financial Services option.
This might not seem to be as important as the other points, but looking into the brand expansion of your candidates can pay dividends in a better decision. You may start with web design candidates’ social media posts. Ask yourself – are they on-brand, on-message, and informative? Are they strategized and organized? Are they creative and well-designed? A social media presence may not be the same thing as a website, but a well-managed web design company should not have subpar social media accounts. The good ones have capable, creative people who excel in several areas of online marketing. And today, more than ever, a social media presence is just an extension of a great website.
Use this web site evaluation criteria table
We have created an evaluation sheet you can use to run a comparison analysis. Please use it to evaluate your selected organizations, scoring each company on a scale of one to ten.
How to hire a web development company
As a highly-regarded web design company, OWDT has an expert team of web developers, designers, marketers, and SEO specialists who can be entrusted to optimize your brand and expand your business. Our awards and testimonials say more about us than we can. Our past clients are very successful and supremely satisfied with the work, guidance, and security that OWDT has provided and continues to provide 365/24/7.