How to Choose a Web Design Company in 2024: 3 Tips & Tricks

Web Design
November 17, 2022

In the sea of website developers – determining how to choose a web design company these days is challenging. Should you work with a US-based boutique agency that will cost you extra for quality results – or is it best to outsource to multiple contractors? Is there a US-based web design company that could offer the pricing benefits of working with overseas developers – without compromising the quality?

Many businesses focus too much on pricing, from small business owners, growing healthcare and technology firms to start-ups and enterprise-level customers. However, we all understand that you truly get what you pay for in today's world. And making the mistake of choosing the lowest bidder often results in higher costs down the road - including redesign or hiring a new website developer.

Learning how to choose a web design company breaks down to a few simple principles – which offer the best service, communication, quality, transparency, and build websites with scalability and user experience top of mind.

Who is willing to take the time to define the scope clearly, and understand the vision, brand, and elements you need to connect and convert online visitors? Do they offer case studies for similar projects, can they provide testimonials from previous clients? And more importantly – does that company stand by the quality of its work by creating customized maintenance solutions that make financial sense.

So – if you want to learn how to choose a web design and development company in 2024 – this is the article to read in detail. We'll outline three proven tips that will help you determine how to choose a good web design agency in the information below. We'll also provide some questions you should ask any web design agency before hiring them to help elevate your online presence.

Why is the Right Choice of a Web Design Agency Important?

A common mistake in learning how to choose a web designer is not defining what is important to you in the companies or individuals you work with in the first place. This is especially critical when choosing the best web design company.

Let's assume that you've compiled a list of five equally qualified web design and development agencies – all of them based in the United States, and each with a proven track record of creating visually stunning websites. If all things are equal on the surface, how do you determine what to look for in a web designer?

A significant skill and attribute missing in many technology-based firms is transparency in communication. We strongly believe that the web design company that establishes trust through honesty and transparency from the initial conversation – is the one that will have fewer mistakes, reduce delays, and save you time and money in the short and long term.

Choosing the right agency with the right web design cost is more critical than ever – mainly due to changes in our global consumer market. But functionality trumps cost and price always. Today's online consumer needs a website to load quickly, be 100 percent accessible and responsive on multiple devices, and filled with UI and UX features that help them navigate information quickly.

There are multiple moving parts in website creation to check all these boxes. It makes more sense to work with a single agency that can handle everything in-house versus working with multiple outsourced vendors.

How to Choose a Web Design Company That Will Best Cater for Your Needs: 3 Actionable Steps

We're now going down the rabbit hole to explain how to choose the right web design company for your specific business. As mentioned above, taking time to complete the website agency vetting process is more critical today than in years past. If you follow these three actionable steps – you'll be better prepared to make an informed decision.

Step #1 – Take Time to Define Your Target Audience

It's impossible to build anything if you don't start with the end goal. Ultimately, a website is intended to provide education about your company, reach your targeted audience, and ultimately convert those qualified leads into sales. None of this is possible if you don't first define your target audience, the services or products you offer, and how customers engage with you currently.

Here are a few reasons why this is especially important when you're vetting a website design firm.

  1. Impacts UX and UI features: The best web development companies integrate many elements into the design of your site. One of the most critical is consumer UX or user experience functionality. Specific consumer groups have preferences for website layout, navigation, and other interactive features.
  2. It is Relevant to Content: Another key website element infused into overall design concepts is content. This would include imagery, color scheme, written terminology, graphic design, and more. Again, specific consumer groups prefer different content structures, layouts, or designs to engage with their websites.
  3. Determines Scale: Your target audience will also impact the bandwidth or scope of your website. A website for a handful of website visitors has an entirely different architecture and technology than those targeting hundreds or thousands of visitors per day.

When you're defining your audience, answer these questions.

  • What do you sell? Are you an eCommerce merchant, offer digital services, or operate a brick-and-mortar business? These are all questions that help developers design the right website.
  • Who are your customers? Consider demographic information such as average income, location, age, and other data points.
  • What is your bandwidth? Can you handle thousands of new business customers? Or do you gradually need to scale your business to meet increased demand over time?

Step #2 – Determine the Facts About the Web Design Agency

When you have a clear understanding of your business model, the time to begin the vetting process of picking a web design company officially begins. We touched on some of the critical attributes that the best website development agencies share – mainly their transparency, ability to communicate, and manage successful projects from start to finish.

When you find a website design business online – or receive a referral from a peer, here are a few important questions you should ask during a discovery call or introductory email.

  1. Are there specific industries they specialize in building websites? Some web developers are niche-based, servicing specific industries, business types, or those who sell digital or eCommerce products. Then others are full-scope – and have a proven record they are happy to show you.
  2. What type of websites are they experienced in designing? Do they specialize in single-page landers, eCommerce websites, and multiple-page platforms?
  3. What is their bandwidth? Finding out if a design team has the time and availability to work with you in a reasonable timeframe will help you determine if they are a good fit for you now – or potentially down the line.
  4. What is their business model? If they are a US-based web design firm, it's important to know who will be working on your project? Do they have all their employees working out of their office, or do they outsource work to overseas contractors? Or – do they offer a hybrid business model?

These are just a few basic questions that you can ask initially – or find out directly on their website, as a good web design company is dedicated to genuine transparency.

Step #3 – Understand their Website Design Process

As you gain more specifics about the website design agency, narrow down your list of potential companies to a top two or three. At that point, it's time to start to explore how they turn your vision into a fully responsive and engaging website – built for efficiency, speed, user experience, and scalability.

It's always a good idea to schedule an initial consultation – or face-to-face / virtual meeting with the web design agency – and hopefully, your point of contact for the project. During this interview, ask them to explain their website design process in detail. An in-person or virtual interview is a key element when learning how to choose a website design company.

Some of the necessary items you want to have ready to check off your list would include:

  • The client (you) will first provide important style guidelines – such as required branding elements like colors, fonts, or other websites you like.
  • The client will outline their needed pages or website elements.
  • The website agency will then complete research, review their data, and consult with the client on best practices. They should also provide some initial branding options for the client to review.
  • The client will provide feedback to the agency. The agency should then revise until the client approves the design elements.
  • At this point, the website design agency should outline the project's scope, receive client approval, and proceed with additional discovery before the project begins.

If a software development company includes these bullet points in their web design process, that's a good indicator that they are thorough, detail-oriented, and will genuinely customize a website for you.

3 Questions to Ask Your Pre-Selected Web Design Agency

You've likely determined which agency is your top contender to earn your business. Now it's time to get to know them better by asking three questions that should clarify every significant detail.

Question #1 – How Long Will it Take to Design and Develop the Website?

Right out of the box, you'll find out whether the agency you're planning on working with is honest and transparent. Designing and developing websites are complex and technical projects. The design phase involves multiple schematics, graphic design, integrating branding elements, and creating user functions. The best web development agencies will spend time with you to ensure you are entirely comfortable with the design elements – before moving into development.

If the company is honest, they'll clearly articulate the reality of timelines involved in designing and developing a website from scratch. Don't worry about this – if you're going to build a website correctly – it will take time to do it right.

Question #2 – How are Changes and Updates Made to the Website?

Another important question to ask your future web developer is updating your website once it's done. If you have an in-house marketing or IT team who is technical savvy, you can request the web designer to create a CMS or content management system website that makes it easier for your team to update content.

However, it's essential to ask them about performance issues associated with these websites. Sometimes a CMS website will have problems with the loading speed, bandwidth, or specific user functions – so have an honest conversation with them about updates after the site is built.

Question #3 – What Website Maintenance Options Are Available?

Even the best responsive web design projects require frequent updates and routine maintenance. However, there isn't a one-size-fits-all update or maintenance solution for all websites. This is because all websites are uniquely developed. The best web designers will customize a maintenance service for you that fits the needs of the site, your budget, and your bandwidth.

Which Factors are Important in Selecting a Web Design Agency? Here is Your Checklist

The questions and details above should be good enough to provide you with a good feeling about the website design agency. However, gut feelings aside – there are some technical details you need to comprehend before starting the project fully. Here is a checklist of key details to verify.

  1. What are the prices for additional graphic design work?
  2. Are there extra fees for website content development – writing, SEO optimization, imagery, branding?
  3. Can they supply you with client referrals or examples of previous work to the one you want to have designed and built?
  4. Where will the website be hosted and deployed?
  5. What are their testing criteria and process?
  6. How do they integrate user experience into their website design?
  7. Who will be completing the website development – and what programming languages/frameworks will be used on the front end and back end?
  8. Do they outsource website content development or handle it in-house? What are the costs of creating content, if available?
  9. Does the website design firm offer SEO-content development? Or do they have an approved specialist they recommend?
  10. Will they use a template or develop the website from scratch?
  11. Do you own the website once it's live? What hosting options are available for you?
  12. What is the contingency plan for website maintenance if something happens to the website design firm?
  13. Do they truly understand your website needs?

Check Out Goldfish Code's Web Design Services

Most website design projects fail due to failures or lapses in communication, overpromising and underdelivering, or simply not clarifying specific details before starting the project. Attempting to hire multiple contractors often leads to delays, miscommunication, and budgetary nightmares. If you're looking for a proven website design company in the United States that can mitigate all these problems – Goldfish Code is the solution.

The Goldfish Code team carries 30+ years of combined experience developing scalable websites. We customize websites using the appropriate technologies and architecture – executed with precision thanks to a series of controls and best practices.

The in-house team at Goldfish Code is led by US-native English-speaking project managers, who are your single point of contact. They direct our international team of developers, marketers, designers, database architecture, and DevOps techs – so you focus on your daily business needs and operations.

Take some time to review some of our web design services.

Final Points on How to Choose a Web Design Company

We understand that you have hundreds of potential website development companies to choose to build a website. The importance of hiring a web design firm that checks all the boxes on your list of priorities can't be understated. However, it's also important to work with a company that provides you with an exceptional return on your investment.

Keep these important items top of mind as you're learning how to choose the best web design company.

  • Always be open and transparent with any web design company about your concerns.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for references, examples of similar projects, and detailed specifics about their design process.
  • Make sure you feel 100% comfortable with their website design and development process.
  • Set up a consultation so you can gain valuable insights with some face time.

If you follow the tips listed above and complete some initial research yourself about your business, customers, and goals, knowing how to choose a web design company will be seamless, less stressful, and ensure a wise decision.