People often wonder where to turn when they are ready to start looking for a website design company. I often tell them to look for companies that serve the following needs and that embody the following philosophies. Here is what I usually tell them.
First, pick a website design company that has built up a solid and positive reputation across a number of industries. Of course, if your company is in a specific niche and you can find professional website design companies that fill that niche and that have excellent reputations, by all means go for it. But if your industry is more generic and there are no professional website development companies that match with your specific industry, look for more well rounded website design companies that have their hands in lots of different fields. This shows versatility on top of reputation.
Second, pick a website design company that knows its market. Of course, this can conflict with the previous statement that the website development business should have a well rounded level of experience. But it really means more that the website design company should be very familiar with your industry. In other words, it should have at least one client already that does something similar to what your company does.
Third, pick a website design company that can show you significant proof of its work. Ask for a client portfolio or a document with URLs and links to sites the company has worked on recently. Websites created even a handful of years ago are less effective than those created within the past year, so you are looking for recent experience here. Also, this shows that the website design company is busy creating new web pages for clients, which can help satisfy your requirements of hiring professionally trained designers who are good at their jobs.
Fourth, pick a website design company that handles ancillary services like search engine optimization and social media. Creating your website for you should be just one of many areas in which the website design company has specialties. It could of course resell these services rather than offer them in house, but the point here is that these services are available all in one spot for you. Optimizing the site that is created is just as vital as having that site created, so ensuring the company you choose has all of these elements in place is of the utmost importance for you.