Finding a web designer for your new site isn’t a decision to take lightly. This is going to be the online face for your entire organization, after all – you’ll want to get it right. But with so many options out there, narrowing down the list can feel like a really tough task.
So how do you choose the right web design firm for your Irvine business?
Here are 5 things to look for in a great web design company provided by GreatLike Media:
1) Responsive Design Expertise
Responsive design, simply put, is the idea that your website should automatically respond to the user’s behavior and environment. That means things like adjusting the size of images and grids with smartphone screens in mind.
Mobile traffic is actually starting to outpace visits from desktop computers in many industries, so it’s important to find a web design firm that specializes in responsive design. Even Google recognizes its necessity: this is now a major factor in search engine rankings, and you can be penalized for not offering mobile visitors a nice experience.
2) An Active Portfolio
The best way to tell if a web design company really knows their stuff is to take a peak at their portfolio of live websites.
Ideally, you’re looking for more than just a series of pictures – a truly great portfolio will expand to include an overview of each project and an explanation of how the website was designed with the clients’ needs in mind (click on the images in our web design portfolio for an example).
Take a few minutes to visit some of these websites, too. If their quality really speaks to you, it might just be the perfect match. But if you don’t see anything you like, that particular design firm might not be a good fit for your business.
3) CMS Integration
A Content Management System, or CMS, is basically a software tool (hosted on your website) that makes it easy for folks on your team to create new pages, update old ones, publish blogs, etc. Without one, you’ll be calling your design company constantly with requests to update the site – not a great solution for either side!
Look for a web design firm that not only integrates a reliable CMS (WordPress, Drupal, and Magento are some of the more popular ones), but also provides basic training in how to use it.
Believe it or not, some web designers still recommend going with a static HTML page. Unfortunately for them, we’re in the 21st century now.
4) Conversion Experience
It’s not enough to slap together a few fancy graphics and call it a day. A good web design firm will understand that the web marketplace is hyper-competitive, and that looking “pretty” isn’t enough to make visitors take action.
Look for a company that’s prepared to use hard data and proven methods as part of the design process. User experience (UX) principles – like an intuitive layout, optimal navigation, and calls-to-action in all the right spots – are the key to a successful online presence.
5) A Wide Range of Clients
“I really need a new website for my restaurant. A web designer that specializes in food service? Sounds perfect!”
It’s an easy trap to fall into. After all, that design firm must know restaurants better than just about anyone, right?
That may be true, but there’s a problem too. If you pick a designer that only works in your specific industry, you’re likely to end up with a new website that’s mostly indistinguishable from the other several dozen sites they’ve worked on recently. If you really want to stand above the competition, you want a unique solution that draws on lessons learned across a variety of genres.Back to main posts