When starting up your online business or taking your current business to the internet, it’s important to do your research and make the right choice because you’re entrusting your business along with its reputation and future to a website design company. The web design company should implement all your needs for your website and customize it according to the type of business you have and the products and services your offer.
There are several factors that should be considered when making your choice, but one of the most important is the portfolio of the company’s previous work. Many times, the portfolio can tell you more about the company than can be described by the website designer or developer. When analyzing the company’s portfolio, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:
It may seem obvious that a web design company should have their own website with a selection of previous works. Do not be surprised when you see one without it. For a varying number of reasons, a company may not have its portfolio online, which makes it difficult for you to envision the type of website you’ll end up with. The portfolio is the most important part of a web designer’s website, so it should showcase the company’s best work and be regularly updated with recent work.
Number of Works
There is no magic standard number that will guarantee making the right choice when choosing a web design company. It’s important to remember that quantity does not equal quality. 100 successfully completed projects may be better than 10, but their quality is also important. Compare the number of works with the frequency with which the works are completed to understand the number of projects per month or year. Keep in mind that the average website design takes approximately 2-4 weeks to complete.
What does the number of works signify for a potential client? You can conclude that the website design company has enough experience and expertise. The number also shows a stable flow of consistent work and the professional staff needed to complete the projects, ensuring a timely project deadline for your website.
Type of Work
Look closely at the websites designed by the company. How many websites resemble something similar to the type of site you need? Do the websites function the way you would ideally want your future website to function?
If you need a specific type of technology to be used for your website, ask the website design company if they have ever worked with it. They should be able to show you some samples so you can get a feel of the technology in action.
If you need a website focused specifically on one type of business, like real estate, look for this type of site in the website design company’s portfolio. Since these sites have specific features and pages, it’ll make you more confident knowing that your chosen web design company is experienced with specific business markets.
Quality of Work
Make sure that you’re actually experiencing the websites showcased by your web design company. How long does it take for the home page to load? A few seconds is ideal, meaning the web designer knows how to write clean code with optimized images. A Flash site may take a minute or two to load because normally the whole website loads at once. A Flash intro which loads before actually entering the website may also take a long time to load because of movie or sound. A simple HTML website should not take more than a couple of minutes to load. Be weary of a website design company that has plenty of HTML work in their portfolio, but none of them load quickly (with a normal internet bandwidth).
Look for user-friendly navigation, design and color choices, and a positive first impression upon looking at the websites. Sometimes a web design company is forced to create a website according to strict standards by the customer, who doesn’t always have good taste (which is reflected in their website). There may be a couple of such sites in the portfolio, but most of the work should reflect the company’s good taste and aesthetics. Don’t forget to pay attention to the website design company’s own website; is it appealing? Is it navigation friendly?
Web design and development is a highly competitive industry, so it’s important to know real references whose sites have been designed by the actual website design company. Some companies place cheap templates in their portfolio with fake business and contact info. Contacting the clients whose websites were designed by the company is a great way to gather reliable information about the client’s experience and overall impression of the website design company.
These are just 5 tips to assist you in making the right choice when it comes to choosing a website design company by looking at their portfolio of work. Don’t be afraid to do your research and ask questions, because the future of your business lies in the hands of your website!
Our portfolio at Arpi Design studios can be found under the Portfolio tab. All of our work comes with a short description for reference, but don’t hesitate to contact us for questions or more info!