Web design written on a chalkboardCreating a sold, successful presence on the WWW is uber important. Do your business a favor and hire an awesome design company to create your website. But be aware, choosing a design company is a decision that requires some research on your part. One of the first things you’ll want to think about is whether you’re going to work with a local, national or global company, as each option has its perks and pitfalls.

Reaching Outside Your Local Pool

If working with a national or global design company is a consideration for you, ask yourself a few questions before signing on:

1. How comfortable are you with technology?

Working with designers from a distance could pose a challenge if technology isn’t your thing. However, if you feel confident that you can communicate with someone via email, phone or Skype to get the project finished then this is a viable option. Although MayeCreate is located in Missouri, we work with clients in California and collaborate on projects for clients in China. Location doesn’t have to be a limitation.

2. Do you prefer face-to-face meetings?

By choosing to work with a local web designer, you have the ability to meet one-on-one and face-to-face with him or her. A personal relationship can make a great impact on your end goals. You can sit down, show and explain all of your ideas in a way that would be less frustrating and confusing than communicating via email or phone with a web designer out of town.

On the other hand there are many programs that allow virtual face to face meetings.  If your office has a good internet connection you can easily converse as though in person to get the face to face feeling and cut down on driving time.

3. Do you want to fork their yard if it all goes south?

If you work with a local designer you know “where they live”.  That can make the designer even more accountable to do a good job.  A strong reputation is something a local company wants to protect.

However, good companies to work with are accommodating, responsive and reliable regardless of their location.  Don’t pick a local designer that seems to be less than perfect just so you can fork their yard if the relationship goes south.

4. Do you live in a small community?

Consider your business’ website design as an important investment; it can potentially be pricey. If you live in a small community with a low cost of living odds are good that local businesses may have less expensive prices than those located in larger metropolitan areas.  Also, small businesses in smaller communities typically charge less than a nationally or globally recognized web designer because they have less overhead.

5. Where do you want to place your tax dollars?

We all want to better our lives and the locations we live in. The investment you make in your website, created by a local web designer, stays within your community and supports a local small business. In the end you’re both working together to build businesses in the area you reside.

6. How do they manage their staff?

Some local designers have such a small team they outsource parts or all of their projects to other companies to cut down on staffing costs. These cost cuts may be reflected in the bottom line of your estimate or they may just make the process more challenging if you’re not paired with trustworthy staff members to carry out your project’s deliverables.

Although we MayeCreaters work with companies all over and have staff in many cities we pride ourselves on completing our work in-house. We may be a small team, but we make sure to get the job done right, using on staff team members, no contractors or outsourcing involved. If we choose to engage in a project that needs skills we can only obtain through outsourcing we always let the client know upfront.  And investigate our contractors thoroughly, their performance effects your experience and your experience impacts our reputation.

When researching different design companies, be sure to ask if they outsource their projects before you sign on with them.

Tips and Tricks spelt out with Scrabble letters

Tips for Finding Your Perfect Match

1. Ask the Right Questions

Make sure you write down all of the questions you may have to better understand your future web designer and determine if they’re the right fit for your project. If you get completely stuck on what kind of questions you need to ask, refer to our e-book Design Company Interview Guide.

2. Look Through their Portfolio

Ask to see some of their work. It’s always best to see what they have done so you know their style and capabilities.

3. Talk Money

Discussing money is never a fun thing to do but it needs to be done. Don’t hesitate to ask if they can get the job done within your budget. It’s also important to make sure you know your budget’s boundaries and limitations to avoid possible strife down the road. Be upfront and clear with your designer; they’ll appreciate your honesty.

4. Speak with Past Clients and References

It’s completely acceptable to request references and past clients from your potential designer. It’s helpful to know other projects went smoothly, relationships were solid and professional and that the end result was successful. Or not!

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More about the Author

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Monica Pitts

Monica is the creative force and founder of MayeCreate. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Economics, Education and Plant Science from the University of Missouri. Monica possesses a rare combination of design savvy and technological know-how. Her clients know this quite well. Her passion for making friends and helping businesses grow gives her the skills she needs to make sure that each client, or friend, gets the attention and service he or she deserves.

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