While you sit down to start the process, you might realize that it’s not an easy task. It’s a big investment, and thus, something you want to make sure you handle correctly.
As based on your needs, we have outlined a process to help you hire the right company and hopefully provide you with the guidance you need to create the best website for you.
We are a customer friendly web design company, but this article is not meant to promote our services. Just like you, we want to work with clients that feel we are the best fit for their projects. It’s our hope that this information will help you to find the organization that is best suited for your business.
Alright, Lets look at some steps that can help you make your decision
1. Prepare the Necessary Information
Before contacting the web design companies you have found, it’s a good idea to compile some important information. Most web design companies will ask you some similar initial questions, here is a list of the questions you should be prepared to answer up front.
Who is going to be the main person on the project? – While it might make sense to have two or more people providing feedback throughout the project, it’s always good to have one person responsible for communicating with the web design companies and delivering materials by the given deadlines.
What do you want your website to do? – Many of the answers to this question stem from the goals you provided before. Do you want to have photo and video galleries? Do you want to manage volunteers or collect donations on the website? Do you want to allow board members to download files from the website? There are numerous things your website can do, so having an idea of what they are will streamline the process of finding and selecting a company to help benefit you.
What is your budget? – This can be a tough question, but you need to have an idea of how much you can spend. Whether you have an exact number or a range, knowing your budget can save you and your web design company a fair amount of time. You don't want to meet with a web design company, answer lots of questions, and then get a proposal that is a greater figure then what you were hoping to spend. Save time and give them your budget up front.
2. Choose a Small Number of Web Design Companies
There are a large number of web design companies in the World and almost every one of them have a website. So how, out of all these companies, do you find the firms that will be a right fit and pick which ones to communicate with?
How to Search for Web Companies
Google Search “Web Design” + Location – This one might seem obvious, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it. Two examples would be “Web Design Canada” and “Web Design”.
Check Out Blog Authors – If you find a particularly helpful article relating to website design on a blog, check out the author’s background. It is possible the author works for a website design firm.
During your search you are likely to find a great number of companies, but if you want to have time to do anything else besides talk to website design businesses, you should cut down the list to a manageable number. We suggest starting with a list of five, but in the end it is really up to you. Remove a firm from your list if it meets any of these criteria:
You Don’t Like Their Website Designs – Check out the company’s portfolio and if you do not like any of the websites they have made. Bear in mind you likely will not love all of their designs, but you should see some of their work that relates with you.
Pricing is Out of Your Range – Sometimes organizations will list their pricing on their website. If their price is out of your budget, you can take them off of your list.
Just remember that there are abundant of web design companies, so you have the opportunity to be a more selective.
3. Send Your Information to the Firms
You gathered your information and found some great web design companies. Now it is time to send over the information you compiled in step one. At this point it is up to the web design firm to guide you through the remainder of the process.
4. Get Answers to All the Important Questions
At this point the process can move in a number of different directions depending on how the web design companies handle the potential projects. Instead of trying to go step by step through each possible scenario, we will provide a list of questions that will help you pick the best company for your website project.
• Ensuring Website Quality
• How will the firm go about making the website search engine friendly? They should at the very least talk about programming code, content, sitemaps and file sizes.
• What web browsers will the firm test in prior to launching the website? The firm should test in at least Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. If you want the website to be mobile-friendly make sure to ask about testing there as well.
• What steps does the firm take to make the website load quickly? They should be doing caching, image compression, image sprites, HTML and CSS magnification.
• If your organization does not already have one, how does the firm recommend finding and securing a domain name?
• How will the website integrate with your social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram?
The key is to make sure you are comprehensive. We know it takes time, but the web design process is long and detailed. You definitely do not want anything important to slip through the cracks.
5. Choose the Best Firm for Your Project
After careful review and questioning now is the time to pick the best firm for the project. The qualities that make one firm stand out compared to another will be different for each organization. The key here is to make sure you are comparing thoroughly.
When all is said and done, your non-profit should be on its way to an awesome website with a qualified web design company. If you go through this process and create a website that delivers in every possible way, contact us and let us know. We would love to hear about your experiences.