You don’t find the right web design and development company by asking your friends and family for recommendations. You don’t find it by looking yourself for web designers and developers either. You find the right web design and development company by finding a website that you like.
Last edited: March 10, 2015
After reading Surviving Web Designers, Developers and Several Mental Breakdowns, and after following the 3 steps in How to Get the Customized Website You Want, you’re ready to start contacting web design and development companies.
But, how are you supposed to find the right ones? Where do you start? Who do you contact?
1. Don’t ask for recommendations from friends and family
I did start my search with asking friends and family if they knew anyone who designed and developed websites.
It was a mistake turned disaster.
Everyone knew someone-ish. Meaning that they knew someone who did something with computers, not necessarily with the design and development of websites.
I spent most of my time writing emails back and forth and sending out rejections. All hyper polite, of course, because you can’t upset anyone.
When I did get in contact with an actual web designer and developer, the style and quality of their work was never in line with what I was looking for.
This is when I discovered that you don’t find the right web design and development company by looking for a web designer and developer.
You find the right company by looking for a website that you like.
Furthermore, do note that the design and development of a website is a huge and terribly stressful undertaking.
No website has ever been developed without a fight, so ask yourself: “Do I want to be fighting with a friend of a friend?”
2. Browse until you drop
Look for 10 or 20 websites that you like and then find out who made them.
Usually, the name of the company that designed and developed the website will be clearly marked in the footer.
If you can’t seem to find this information than simply reach out to the owner of the website (using the contact page) and ask for details.
3. Don’t just check the portfolio
Like I said, you find the right web design and development company by finding a (fully functioning online) website that you like.
If for whatever reason you find yourself browsing portfolios instead of websites, make sure you check that the websites listed in portfolios actually exist in the online world.
Curiously enough, it isn’t uncommon to discover that some (or most or all) websites, even though included in a company’s portfolio, have non-existing web addresses.
May this happen, you can comfortably forget this web design and development company: it’s definitely not the right one for you.
Another reason why it’s important to click through is because looks can be deceiving.
Designing a couple of still images that look awesome in a portfolio is incomparably easier than developing a fully functioning website.
You want to see the still images in action, so click through. Use the website.
If the websites don’t look or aren’t functioning like they should, there’s no reason to assume that the one they’ll be making for you will.
4. Contact both the big shots and the not-so-big ones
Once you know which web design and development companies have created the websites you like, it’s time to check out their portfolios.
You’re not looking to find out if they made more websites you like. That’s not important. You already found one. It’s enough to know that they’re capable of making something you like.
What you’re trying to figure out is how popular each web design and development company is.
Big portfolio means plenty of experience and expensive. Small portfolio means not so much experience and (should be) less expensive.
Now that you know who are the big and the not-so-big shots in you’re list, contact them all and request a quote. Make sure though, you’ve read Surviving Web Designers, Developers and Several Mental Breakdowns and How to Get the Customized Website You Want first.
Why all? Because, firstly, you need to gain a better understanding about how expensive it is to design and develop a customized website (hint: crazy expensive).
The sad truth is that you most likely can’t afford the well-established companies. Asking the big shots for a price estimation will puts things instantly in perspective.
It’ll make it easier to accept that you’ll be working with a less experienced web design and development company.
Secondly, knowing what big shots charge for the design and development of your customized website, helps you recognize when a smaller company is asking too much for their services.
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to finding the right web design and development company.
Tell me what you think. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (links match discussion pages for this post) and let me know: Do you have any helpful tips on how to find the right web design and development company?
If you haven’t already read Surviving Web Designers, Developers and Several Mental Breakdowns then you should do so now. It covers insider information that will help you to avoid pitfalls ahead of you.
How To Get The Customized Website You Want will show you in 3 steps how to get your ideas across to web design and developers, so you can get the customized website that you have in mind.