So you want to design a great website and don’t know how to start. You’re not alone—many businesses struggle with this exact problem.
Finding the perfect web design company can elevate your website, turning it into a powerful online marketing tool for your business. And with dozens of web design companies to choose from, the choice can be overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be. While your first step may involve looking at the best web design companies on Google—there are a few things you should know first.
8 steps to finding a good website design company
We’ve put together this guide to make your search a little easier.
Here are a few things you should know about when finding a web design company who is right fit for your business goals and company culture.
1. Start with a Google Search
Opening up a search engine is the best place to start. You can view web design portfolios and examples of work done by these companies all in one place.
You can see the most popular website design choices from the first few pages and which companies are employing the best practices. Search engines rank the most accessible and optimized websites at the top, so you know you are getting the best options right away.
Starting with an online search can also lead you to blog posts ranking the best web design agencies for you. These blog posts can compile more prominent, well-known names and boutique-style or local web designers that are also doing great work.
2. Check their websites to shortlist
You can do a quick sweep of possible companies using an online search or even recommendations from friends who have used website design companies in the past.
If you don’t have an aesthetic or concrete vision in mind, visiting competing websites can tell you a lot about specific agencies and the work they do.
Right from the get-go, you can see what catches your attention or appeals to your brand identity.
Web design agencies should be upfront and transparent in what they can offer you while proving their expertise in design, organization, and easy-to-use online interface.
If the web design company doesn’t do an excellent job of standing out, they may not be able to do the same for you.
3. Evaluate reviews and create a shortlist
Some of the best or most valuable advice on choosing the best website design company is to check what their existing customers have to say about their work.
Reading reviews from real customers can give you insight into the quality of the company’s products and services, their professionalism, and even their commitment to creating your dream website.
Find testimonials on the company’s website with client URLs, usually attached to the actual review. You can contact these businesses that have used the web design company to dive deep into their experiences. Sharing this unfiltered intel can help you understand how this company works and how it can work for you.
Also, beware of fake reviews or ones claiming absolute perfection. Finding the middle of the road reviews and ratings can sometimes offer the most honest testimonials and advice on choosing the right web design company for you.
4. Look at their portfolios for your top picks
To narrow down the list of your favorite picks, decide on the best three to five design companies, and check out their portfolios so you can get a better look at what they offer and examples of past work.
Try to find companies that offer variety in the design platforms they use.
For example, companies like Globalgraphics offer web design use the most popular design platforms such as WordPress or Shopify but can operate lesser-known engines like WooCommerce or Magento.
Some companies do great work, but their designing techniques might work for you.
Look for a company that has not only worked in your industry but understands the nuances of it, including particular language, insights, and goals.
Also, while choosing a website design company that works in your industry is a plus, do not eliminate other agencies prematurely, especially if you love their work.
5. Check out their blog posts.
These short-form articles can give you insight into more in-depth information on the company and other projects they are working on.
The content they create on their blog can also show how knowledgeable an agency is on specific topics and trends.
It can also help you evaluate their best practices further. Check out how they format writing and informative content and how accessible their blog posts are to read and engage with as a consumer.
6. Gauge if they can produce value-added content.
Good web design companies can work with clients to create their dream websites, but great web design companies also can produce a well-rounded unified customer experience for your website. It can come in the form of creative content like infographics, animated graphics, and explainer videos.
Check for visual storytelling material that adds something unique to their website while being informative and entertaining.
These added abilities can show how dedicated a web design agency is to your visual branding strategy.
Do they know the language you are trying to communicate? Do they have a good grasp on the audience you are trying to reach? Have they got a clear understanding of your business objectives and missions?
You’ll find answers to these questions if you check their value-added or creative content.
7. Check out their agency culture.
Should you go for large firms (dedication) or boutique (more personal) agencies?
You want a web design agency to create an excellent website for you. However, how they work and how well they work with you as a client is crucial in achieving that goal.
These are the people that are tasked with representing you as a brand, so having similar values and company culture can aid in how confident you can trust them.
Choose from larger firms with a solid corporate culture and a bigger team dedicated to your website or a smaller-scale boutique agency that offers a more personal feel. Either way, you want a company with a diverse group that can deliver world-class experience and expertise in an array of industries and areas, and can elevate the website they produce.
Companies such as Globalgraphics operate in the heart of Toronto and have a great team that mimics this unique and diverse city. Whether you are from here and want to choose local website design Toronto or are just interested in working with a great design team, Globalgraphics is always a top option.
8. Contact the shortlisted companies.
Now that you have your top picks, you can get in touch with them.
While some companies may look good online, discussing your wants and needs can tell a different story.
Great website design agencies will dedicate time to fully understand their clients’ visions before taking on the work. This shows good transparency, communication, and commitment to producing the best quality work that fits your online brand.
It would help if you also have an idea of what you are looking for in terms of design and content and what you might not like to see on your website.
A good way of deciding these preferences is by visiting your competitors’ websites and seeing what you think you can improve on with yours.
Questions to ask a web design company to ensure it’s the right choice
When communicating with a website design company, here are a few questions you can ask:
- How does your design process work?
- What design platforms do you use? (WordPress, Shopify, etc.)
- What is your pricing model?
- Does your company offer revisions? How many?
- How do you assign project management? (direct creative collaborations or assigned project managers, etc.)
- What is your availability to work on my website?
- Do they offer SEO or value-added content?
The final word
Take time to choose the right website design company for your business.
Many things factor into creating the perfect website for your brand, so properly researching who can do the best job is crucial.
After all, it’s your brand, and you deserve to have the right website built. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, be picky, and find a web design company that fits your goals.
If you’re not ready yet to commit to hiring a website design company, an unlimited graphic design service provider is a good option. It’s often less expensive than a website design company’s retainer fees but you can get so much value with unlimited graphic design requests.
Editor’s note: This guest post comes from Philip Deeley of Globalgraphics Web Design.
Philip Deeley is the Founder of Globalgraphics, a Toronto website design company that provides premium quality web design, eCommerce, and digital marketing services in Canada. For over 20 years, he and his team have helped clients create new businesses online, branding, web development, and eCommerce solutions. When he is not working, he loves to play music and walk his pet across the neighborhood in downtown Toronto.