There is no argument anymore that every business must have a website nowadays. So you know you need one but where to go to get a good one? Who to trust? Or is anyone, any company good enough? What issues or possibilities are waiting for you along the way? Well, there are some obvious issues as well as some hidden ones that might turn your life into hell.
What is out there?
You might start your search on Google by typing "cheap web design", then no doubt, what you get will not be the best. There are many "web design companies" on the market that are actually a single person who happens to know how to do a thing or two. There is also a group of people or even registered companies that have limited knowledge and experience. The competition is quite high, so they would cut the price down to get any customers they can. Unfortunately, everything begins to go downhill after that.
You need a clean, fast and secure website. This requires knowledge and years of experience. The codes must be written well, speed optimized and secured from outer threats.
Another important issue is the support. It doesn't matter how great the website is, it will need care and attention. It will need updates, management and bug fixing. It is quite common to be left alone after the website built. Many individual designers disappear or do not provide support after the website is done. Don't forget, support is everything!
So how to find the right one?
Do NOT go for the cheap one! Everything has a price and if it is much lower than others there Has to be a reason. Nobody would do anything for less unless there is something hidden behind it. Many companies offer low prices because all they want to get you first. The hidden fees start coming up later.
Always read the reviews! Check if they have reviews but not the ones on their own website. You should check the ones on Google, Yahoo and social media and start with the bad ones if any. Bad or low scored reviews do not always mean that they are bad but it wouldn't hurt to see what went wrong there. If the number of good reviews is higher, then you are at the right place.
Check their portfolio! If they provide their past work, check if you like the outcome. In case they don't have them on their website, ask them to send you some samples. Of course, what they have done in the past would not mean those are the only job they can do, but it would give you an idea.
Support! Ask them about their support and get a contract if possible. Make sure they will be there for you in the future. This is VERY important.
Accurate Quotation! Tell them all the details before they give you a quote. It is also very common that clients don't provide all the details at the beginning and later ask for more features. Then the designers get frustrated or you end up paying much more than what you agreed for.
Don't forget, this is your project and you should have saying in this. Discussing ideas, sharing opinions and being offered some suggestions are also important parts of the process. Your designer should be someone you can trust and feel comfortable with.