Web design, like any business, has its sharks! The language can be technical and you can easily be confused or dazzled by a slick presentation. Thankfully there are few simple steps that can help you protect yourself from falling prey to unscrupulous web design companies.
Know your competition
Look at your competitors' websites and put yourself in the shoes of a customer. Are their websites easy to understand, do they leave you with unanswered questions? Do the websites convey a sense of trust or do they look thrown together? Web design is a visual medium and your website needs to look as professional as your competition if you are to be competitive.
Check out the designer's website & portfolio
Visit the designer's website and the site listed on his or her portfolio asking yourself the same questions as before. Do you like what you see, are the pages balanced and are there any large areas of unused space? Look at the bottom of the page where you should find a link back to the company that built it. Is it still the same company or has it changed?
Take up references
Go through the designer's portfolio, visit websites he or she has built and use the contact details to call their past clients. A few questions like the ones below will help you sort the wheat from the chaff.
- What were they like to work with?
- Is the site exactly as you imagined it?
- Were they easy to get hold of?
- Do they make changes in a timely manner?
- Would you recommend them?