In this market, there are so many website design and development companies out there that it can be nearly impossible to settle on one. In one sense, the size of this industry is to your advantage if you own or manage a small business; stiff competition allows you to get some excellent deals on top-notch web design. But for every great custom website design company out there, there’s a far less experienced one with the potential to actually damage your company’s online presence. Here are three red flags that should warn you away from sub-par web development firms:
- A Graphics-First Approach
All too many web design companies will create a sleek, modern site for you — and then expect you to write all the content (which usually leads to your copying and pasting from your old site). The biggest factor in conversion, or turning site visitors into customers, is actually well-crafted copy. If your web designers aren’t paying attention to content at all, it’s likely they have no background in marketing and won’t be able to help grow your business.
- A One-Size-Fits-All Strategy
Anyone who claims to have found the singular secret to expanding your online presence is lying to you, plain and simple. It’s important that a custom website design company have a solid understanding of general best practices, whether that has to do with your website’s layout or your search engine optimization strategy. But the web design and promotion world is largely one of experimentation, and any company you work with should expect to do some old-fashioned marketing work. That means defining your target audience, doing some research, testing several approaches and adjusting as necessary.
- A Setup-Only Business Model
It’s possible to get cheap web designs on fast turnarounds. But be wary of a company offering these sorts of arrangements; it’s likely that they’re just customizing free platforms (like WordPress), selling you the sites at a considerable markup and then leaving you on your own from there on out. Working with a truly custom website design company, on the other hand, leaves you not only with a better product but also an ongoing B2B relationship should you need further services in the future.
What else is a bad sign when it comes to evaluating web design companies? Join the discussion in the comments below.