There are lots of new businesses starting up and looking for a new website in America now that 2022 is looking better than 2021. There are even more businesses looking to upgrade their online presence with a new website or a custom website design.
We’ve been designing and developing websites and applications for almost 20 years, and in that time, we’ve heard of many horror stories of how our clients had been treated by their previous website developers.
We’ve compiled a few major tell-tale signs of red flags to look for when hiring a local website agency.
Research Your Web Companies
Even before you do your first interview with the website designer, I highly recommend you do your homework. For each developer you’re considering, you should definitely look into these aspects of each of them:
- Their Company Website: This is their primary business card and is a great representation of the quality of developer they are. Does the site look good to you? Does it work on a mobile device? Do they catch their misspelled words?
- Company Age: This is more important than most people think it is. Yes, every website business has to start at some time, but the longer they’ve been around, the more likely they are to stay around in future. The older the web businesses is, the less likely they will stop responding, and more likely they will have the knowledge and skills to get your project completed successfully.
- Completed websites: You want to see how many websites they’ve designed. Look at how their completed applications look on your computer and your phone. Do you like any of their designs?
- References and Reviews: Look at their reviews, and ask for references of their clients you can speak with. You can read the reviews they put on their on website, but you definitely want to look at their Google, Facebook and Yelp reviews. While not always perfectly accurate of the percentage of happy clients, as those with negative experiences are much more likely to leave a review, it should give you some idea of whether or not they are qualified for your project.
If you’ve done that, and you’re still interested in working with this company, here are 4 questions you should ask any new website designer before you hire them to make sure they will provide the best services for you:
1) Do You Design for Marketing or User Experience?
Websites are made to be used by humans. It’s important that your website be designed with them in mind. This includes creating your website and your website design to communicate to your potential clients and help turn them into successful clients. You can have the prettiest design on the Internet, but if your website doesn’t help your business market and meet its goals, it will not be worth the time and money spent on it.
2) What is the Timeline?
It’s important to know from the start what to expect for your website development timeframe. There should be exact dates written down for when certain information is due, and when portions of the website will be completed. This will also give you a good understanding of weather these developers are interested in working with you through the development process, or only plan on “the grand reveal” without consulting you for changes during design or development stages.
3) How do we Contact You?
One of the most common complaints we’ve heard about other website companies is that they would stop responding to calls or emails. When a project is new, it’s easy for the developers to keep in touch and making progress, but when a web project gets challenging, some website companies will become difficult to contact. Knowing the best ways to reach them
One way to test how responsive the local business is to give them a call during business hours. See if they answer, and/or how long it takes for them to get back to you.
4) What System Will You Build the Website With?
There are hundreds of systems and frameworks to build websites on today. Long gone are the days where developers have to program your entire website by hand from scratch. This speeds up development time by 10x, and allows for quicker customizations, but it’s important to know what system your developer plans to build with and why.
Some of these systems have additional and/or recurring costs. Each framework has its pros and cons, which is good to know about before development begins.
Here’s another good video on this topic
There are many things to be aware of when picking out which web designer to build your website, but I think these are the most important. Web design and development is still a fairly new industry with many possible pitfalls if you’re not careful. With a little bit of research and asking the right questions you can help ensure you find the right developer to build your website project.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to test this out on us.