How to Choose the Right Web Design Company

Web consultant desk

New businesses and startups need a website. Who do you hire to build it? Choose the right web design company and get the best value for your investment.

Think about these questions before contacting web design freelancers, agencies or consultants. It will make the process of finding the right company much simpler.

Why do you want a website?

It’s important to think about why you want a website for your business. Once you know what your goals are, it’s much easier to figure out what kind of company you should work with.

Set clear goals that will grow your business

Maybe you’re trying to get more qualified leads, or turn existing leads into customers. Or perhaps you want to upsell existing clients or increase renewals.

As a business owner or department head, you know better than anyone how your business needs to grow. By setting specific goals, you’re able to look for companies who can help you reach those goals.

What problems will your website solve?

You business most likely has some real problems that have prevented it from growing in the past.

  • Maybe your customers have a hard time getting in touch with you.
  • Or when people search for your business name on Google, they can’t find your business.
  • Perhaps you have no real sales pipeline to turn qualified leads into customers.

Just having a website designed isn’t going to solve these problems. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. You need to know what challenges exist in your business and industry before you can fix them.

Talk through your business problems to find solutions

Any web design company you hire should take a consultative approach and ask questions. Once they learn more about your business and industry, they can get to the root of your pain points. Then they’ll be able to put together a list of solutions that make sense for you.

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What kind of web design company is right for you?

It helps to think through your options and consider what kind of companies exist and what they can do for you.

Freelancers are inexpensive and they follow directions

Web design freelancer with laptop in a coffee shop

The cheapest option you have is to hire a web design freelancer. This is an independent contractor who will expect you to tell them what to do.

They’re skilled at design, development, SEO, digital marketing or any combination of the above. They have a particular set of skills, and they can execute a project when given a set of specifications.

Hiring a freelancer is a great option if you’re working within a budget of less than a few thousand dollars. They should have a portfolio which shows you their design aesthetic and style. This will also give you a feel for what industries they’re used to working for.

Freelancer logo

You can hire talented freelancers on and other similar freelance marketplaces. You can also outsource smaller freelance jobs on sites like 99designs and Fiverr.

But with freelancers, you get what you pay for

There are some downsides to hiring web design freelancers. They’re not going to help you set business goals or discover the problems that need solving. There’s no consultative approach or analysis of your business, competitors and customers.

You will need to provide them with a detailed document called a Project Brief. This outlines every single task that they should complete.

But do you know what tasks they should be completing? You’ll need to be your own creative director and project manager. This will cost you a lot of time to research web design, write a detailed Brief and manage them like an employee.

It’s unclear if the work you’re outsourcing will produce the results you’re expecting. —Tweet this

Design agencies provide a team of experts at a premium cost

Design agency collaborating

The other end of the spectrum from a freelancer is hiring a full web design agency. This means you’ll hire a company staffed with designers, developers, copywriters and project managers. They may also have information architects, user experience experts and search engine optimizers.

While it’s great to have a team of specialists collaborating, all their salaries add up. When you submit a Request For Proposal (RFP), the agency will need to cover their own expenses. A full-staffed brick and mortar agency will have a much higher bottom line.

Agencies also work with a high number of clients, so you may have to wait a while before your project can begin. If you’re in no rush, that’s great. But if you’re hoping to get started right away, an agency may not be your best bet.

Hiring a web design agency is a great solution when you have a flexible budget and timeline. It’s important to look for customer reviews and see their portfolio of past work. Make sure they have a history of quality work in your industry, and you should be in great hands.

Agency Spotter logo

You can search for an agency that fits your budget and timeline using tools like Agency Spotter and Sortfolio.

Web consultants focus on solving your specific business problems

Consider hiring a web consultant for help setting clear business goals and solving problems. Taking the time for a phone consultation allows you to set goals that make sense for your business. Be ready to answer questions about your company, your competitors and your customers. Most consultants will sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) if you need to talk numbers.

Web consultant laptop

Consultants tend to have a wide skillset and low overhead. Because they can usually do all the work themselves, there’s no need to pay for staff salaries or an office. They can also outsource parts of the work as needed, and function as project manager for you.

If you want to reach valuable business goals and solve problems with a new website, hire a consultant. You should budget at least a few thousand dollars, and expect that your project will be their sole focus. You won’t have to share attention with many other clients, like you would at an agency.

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