11 Tips on How to Choose a Web Design Company

Think of your website as your company's virtual storefront. Always providing the first impression to your potential customers. The design and functionality of a website are crucial elements that can significantly influence prospects from window shopping to entering your store.

Both your clients and all search engines are relying on you to have a website worth looking at. But when it comes down to how to choose a web design company, finding the right option might not be easy easy as it seems.

In this guide, I'll show the importance of selecting the right web design company and the impact it can have on the success of your website. We'll explore the key factors to consider when making your decision, and how the right choice can enhance user experience, improve your brand image, and ultimately, increase your bottom line.

To Start: Understand Your Website Requirements

Before I jump into the selection process, I always find it crucial to define the purpose, goals, and target audience of your website with precision. Are you seeking to drive sales through an e-commerce platform, establish industry authority with an informative blog, or showcase your creative portfolio to attract new clients? By crystallizing your objectives upfront, you lay a solid foundation for effective communication and alignment around your website need.

1. Research Potential Companies

Once you've identified your need for a web design company, you can start with the basics of researching potential options to find the right fit:

Conduct online research

Get started by researching the options available. Web design is one of the most-offered services out there, so the options are essentially endless. But is that necessarily a good thing? Not really. With so many options, both cheap and expensive, it can be impossible to find your starting point.

When I need to look for a web design company, I'll usually start with a few options:

  • Asking Twitter: Tweeting out "I'm looking for a web design company" will have your replies filling up in seconds. Maybe not the best option if you don't feel like sifting through offers, but offers you will receive.
  • Checking out lists: Searching for 'best web design companies' or something similar will provide you with lists upon lists of options (and information about those options) to choose from. Be weary for lists that companies have clearly paid to be on. We've done our research and whipped up this list of reliable graphic design services that you can check out as a starting point.
  • Asking Reddit or Quora: These boards will generally provide you with previous customers of web design companies and web design agencies, along with a few companies and agencies plugging themselves.

Consider Recommendations and Referrals

When choosing to sign up or buy anything, I always recommend tapping your existing network to see what the people you trust around you have to say. Who knows, maybe your mother-in-law knows a solid web design company? Sounds daunting, but it's surely worth a check. I promise.

A recommendation or referral means reputations are on the line. Rarely will people forward a company, agency, or service they know won't pull through. This is how I've found my most reliable partners, service providers, and companies that I work with from years ago to this very day.

I've found this template to be the best way to ask:

"Hey (name), I'm currently in the market for (current need), and I thought it would be best to ask you first before choosing the first option I see. Do you know of any options?"

See how easy that is?

Read reviews and testimonials

Whether it's a web design company or a design agency, reading reviews and testimonials is paramount. Good web design requires experience, and any service with experience will have reviews.

Visit websites like Trustpilot to find verified reviews. Your chosen options may also have Google My Business profiles, which not only include reviews but also add credibility to the company itself. Regardless of where you find reviews, make sure to at least find 2-5 testimonials that give you a good idea on what to expect.

2. Evaluate Client Work

A good web design company with experience will have good work to show for it. Get all your ducks in a row, check all boxes and make sure those who have walked the path before you came out of that path with work you'd personally enjoy.

Assessing Previous Client Projects

I find that one of the best indicators of a web design company's capabilities is the quality of their previous client projects. Take your time to closely review their portfolio, paying close attention to the look, UX, and functionality of the websites they've designed.

Look for evidence of creativity, innovation, and attention to detail, as these attributes will enhance the appeal and effectiveness of your own website.

Reviewing Developed Websites

Marketers reviewing a website portfoli

A portfolio can sometimes only tell half of the story of a design agency. Beyond simply browsing through a portfolio, it can be a great idea to explore the websites actually developed by the company.

Test out features such as forms and interactive elements to ensure a seamless and intuitive user experience. By experiencing firsthand the websites developed by the company, you'll gain insights into their expertise, and how closely aligned they are with what you're looking to achieve.

Considering Relevance to Your Industry or Niche

Always assess the relevance of the portfolio work to your industry or niche. The right web designer will have examples of websites developed for businesses similar to yours so you can ensure it will be a right fit. Find a similar project they've worked on and decide whether the company has experience addressing the specific challenges and requirements unique to your industry, such as compliance regulations, customer expectations, and competitive landscape.

When you choose a web design company with relevant industry experience, you can leverage their insights and expertise to create a tailored and effective online presence that resonates with your target audience.

3. Look at each web design agency’s website

The french have this saying: "The shoemaker always wears the worst shoes". That doesn't apply here. A good web design company should have a website that properly reflects the sort of service they provide. I usually spend 10-30 minutes going through the websites of my potential choices before moving forward in order the slim the list down.

On their website, you can also find additional portfolio work to give you a good idea on the projects they're most proud of. These will usually be in an 'our work' page (or something similar), as well as scattered amongst the site.

You should also be able to find links to the company's social media accounts. Viewing these accounts and their social media presence will provide a full picture on the brand itself, ultimately giving you a well-rounded introduction.

Lastly, consider their search engine rankings. Reputable agencies and companies will have a somewhat established ranking on Google and other similar search engines. This can be a good indicator of how long they've been operating, and the success they've managed to achieve over the years.

4. Understanding of User Experience and Bounce Rate

Good web designers don't forget about user experience (UX)! Often neglected, UX is the side of website design that will make a difference in how your potential customers feel as they scroll through your site. Is the information architecture confusing? Do they know where to find what they need? Do users know where to go next? Proper UX design addresses all these points, providing an experience to your website visitors that has them staying for more.

And that staying for more is important. High bounce rate can indicate that a website's content is not relevant or engaging to users. Google doesn't like that one bit. As a result, your site will suffer in rankings and sink further and further from that highly sought-after first page. User experience plays a huge role in marketing. To get prospects through the funnel, it needs to be perfect from top to bottom.

Make sure any web design company you choose knows their user experience. Ask questions around usability, information architecture, and how they approach user experience to ensure your users don't get left in the shadow of a design that didn't have them at the heart of it.

5. Comparing Pricing and Value

You can build a website for free. You can also build a website for $200,000. The range of which websites can cost boggles everybody's minds, no matter who you ask.

The real difference? The value. A website for $3000 can oftentimes be of a better quality than a website for $50,000. Many web design agencies take advantage of non-tech-savvy individuals with big pockets entering the digital world. With no expertise and plenty of money to spend, it's easier for these individuals to just pay the top dollar in hopes that it means they're making no mistakes.

Make sure you can benchmark industry standards and get quotes from a variety of options before making your choice. To make things easier, you can use our free website cost calculator to get an estimate on what you can expect based on the industry standards and what you're needing.

6. Considering Digital Marketing Expertise

At the end of the day, your website is your biggest marketing tool. This is where first impressions happen. This is where prospects can get to know you. Having marketing expertise to make this marketing tool do it's job in the best way possible can make the difference between collecting emails or collecting high bounce rates.

After all, only 3 percent of prospects are ready to buy right now. When you go full sales-mode and forget about the marketing, you can also forget about that other 97% of your traffic.

A well-rounded web design company will integrate marketing strategies into web design that help you capture that big piece of the pie. Things like lead magnets, email captures, and any methods that help you provide value in exchange for emails before forcing prospects into a purchase.

Make sure to discuss these strategies with your design company, this will make sure the design is centered around the user and their journey rather than only the 3% of traffic ready to buy at this moment.

7. Assessing the Team

Whoever or whatever you choose, at the end of the day, you're choosing the people. I find it can be helpful to look into the expertise and qualifications of the team members. Is the team made up of web designers by trade? Can any team be found at all? The last thing you want is to be working through a contractor that uses the first few freelancers she can get her hands on.

Check Linkedin for:

  • Expertise of the team
  • Size of the team
  • Composition of the team

A great web design agency will have you working with Project Managers as well as designers. These folks will help move things along in the proper direction, keeping you on track with your deadline. Be sure to always assess the entire team and get that full picture on what to expect.

9. Understanding the Company's Approach

Every design agency or company has their own way of doing things. How to quality check designs, how to receive information from the client, how to action requests from the client, which team members do what. All of this comes down to something called Design Operations. Understanding how your choice handles their design operations can give you a better idea of what it will be like working with them.

You also want to understand the company's approach to website design itself. What does the usual process look like? How involved will you have to be? What do deadlines look like? It pays to get the full picture on expectations before moving forward with anything.

10. Evaluating the Company's Offerings

Web design is one thing, but you might find your needs going far beyond just that.

For starters, website design is often mistaken for web development. In reality, these are two totally different things. Website design takes care of the design side of things and how everything looks. Then, web development takes those designs and turns them into an actual functioning website. It's worth considering whether or not the company you're engaging does both.

Also, design needs for any successful brand rarely stops at just website design. The right design agency will host a wide scope of other design capabilities, from brand design to advertising design and beyond.

For example, using a Creative as a Service provider like Teamtown gets you access to your own dedicated design team that can take care of all your creative needs without stopping at the website. This lets you leverage the powerful effect of good marketing design, helping your brand stand out and taking it to the next level.

11. Following Up with Questions

You'll never get answers to questions that you don't ask. In my opinion, one of the most important skills one can possess is learning to ask the right questions. This is how to choose a web design company properly - getting the most information you possibly can in ways that aren't always available via the web.

You want to guarantee clarity on things like pricing, timelines, and ongoing support. These are the sorts of things that might not be advertised, but you'll have to confront at some point.

A list of questions to ask a web design company

Here's a list of question examples for you to start with:

  1. Can you provide examples of websites you've designed that are similar to what I'm looking for?
  2. What is your process for understanding my business and its goals before starting the design process?
  3. How do you approach responsive design to ensure my website looks great on all devices?
  4. What content management system (CMS) do you typically use, and why?
  5. Will I have the ability to easily update and manage my website content after it's launched?
  6. How do you handle website maintenance and updates post-launch?
  7. Can you provide references or testimonials from past clients?
  8. What is your timeline for completing my website project?
  9. How do you handle revisions or changes during the design process?
  10. What are your pricing structures and payment terms?
  11. Do you offer additional services such as search engine optimization (SEO) or digital marketing?
  12. How do you ensure my website will be accessible to users with disabilities?
  13. What measures do you take to ensure my website is secure from cyber threats?
  14. Will my website be optimized for fast loading times and performance?
  15. What kind of ongoing support do you provide after my website is launched?

Searching for a web designer?

This might all sound a bit overwhelming, and I don't blame you. In the choice economy, sometimes the amount of options we have at our disposal can be a limiting factor.

So let's make things easy:

Check out our list of graphic design services that offer web design here.

Check out the Creative as a Service model for affordable and reliable web design here.

Check out free website cost calculator here.

And finally, book a call with me and I'll walk you through the process.

The most important part? Getting that website live.


Today we've covered everything you need to know about how to choose a web design company. These 11 tips should help guide you in the right direction when making your choice. Remember to do your research, always check client work, review portfolios, check websites, compare pricing and value, always look for digital marketing expertise, research the team, evaluate processes and offerings, and ask lots of questions.

Stick closely with these tips, and you'll be working with the perfect web design company in no time.