Web Design

The 7 Steps to Choosing the Right Web Design Company In Philadelphia

As you are probably well aware by this point, all professional companies have websites. There is simply no escaping their necessity in the business environment of today’s world. Customers flock to the internet for everything from finding out closest stores near them to determining how late a particular company is open.

As you are probably well aware by this point, all professional companies have websites. There is simply no escaping their necessity in the business environment of today’s world. Customers flock to the internet for everything from finding out closest stores near them to determining how late a particular company is open. Some businesses only  operate online in the form of ecommerce websites. The point we are making here is that if you don’t have a website, then you are either from another planet and simply haven’t gotten the memo yet, or your business is already so successful and well-established that you don’t need any new customers. If you are one of the many sane business owners who do have websites for their companies, then this means you at one point had to make the decision of deciding with whom you would entrust the image of your brand online.

If you are like most people, this decision wasn’t as simple as you might have hoped it would be in the beginning. In fact, the amount of web design specialists and web developers out there nowadays seems to be growing at an exponential rate, making such decisions more and more difficult to make with each day that passes. This, coupled with the fact that websites are playing an increasingly important role in the value of your company and its potential to succeed in the modern world, makes choosing the right web design company for you no easy task. So how do you make the right decision and choose?

While there are many different factors that all contribute to an individual’s decision making process, we have attempted to distill down an algorithmic process to help guide you in the daunting feat of selecting the right web developer to meet your business’s needs. Using Philadelphia as a model for our examples, we will show you the best and most practical way to make the right decision for you and your business when deciding how to choose a professional web design company that will build you a site that works specifically for you.

Step 1 - Make a List of No Less Than 10 Web Design Companies in Philadelphia

This is by far the easiest step in our opinion. Since you are indeed dealing with companies whose specialty is a presence on the internet, you can find and compile a list of them simply by using Google. It is important that you create a table and place the names of the companies and the sites in an organized list so that it is easy for you to refer back to and add additional information as you see fit. As you scan through the Google result listings we should first say immediately that just because a company is as at the top of these listings doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best web design company in Philadelphia. Make sure that you scan through at least ten different pages to make sure you are diversifying your options. We also believe that you will be surprised at the sheer number of companies building websites in the Philadelphia area…

Step 2 - First Attempt to Communicate

After you’ve narrowed down your top choices, you are going to want to reach out to these companies to find additional information that is specific to your company and needs. A simple email should suffice. Something along the lines of: “We are a beauty salon working in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Our site was developed many years ago and needs to be updated or completely redone. Judging by your site and the information on it, it seems as though you offer such web design services. If you could send us some basic information detailing items such as whether or not you have the capacity to handle such a job, a preliminary price quote, and any other information you deem necessary to share, we would greatly appreciate it.”

Step 3 - First Round Cuts: Removing All Companies Who Can’t Work Quickly

This might seem like common sense to some, but if you don’t receive a response from any of these website design companies within two working days, it is your best bet to cut them from the herd and remove them from any further consideration in your decision-making process. The fact of the matter is, if it takes them this long to respond to your initial offer, imagine how long it will take them after they already have your money. If you are feeling generous, increase the wait period to three days, but definitely no longer than that. You will be genuinely surprised at how long it takes some companies to respond, and you will greatly slim down your list. Some companies simply won’t respond at all.

Step 4 - The First Meeting

This is the longest and most exhausting step in the whole process, but it is also the most crucial. It is at this point you are vetting for a potential partner who will be with you for several years in the future. We understand that time is indeed money, but you must give this stage the due diligence it deserves if you plan to make money from the internet as you prepare to spend money to be on it. It goes without saying that, as you prepare for this meeting, you must come up with a lengthy list of professional questions. Your list of questions should range from everything this company has done in the past to asking about how they would handle potential problem areas down the road. The goal here is not only to determine whether or not they are capable of meeting your immediate needs, but also to see if they will be the kind of company that will stick with you long-term even after all the paperwork is signed.

Step 5 - Analyze the Data Gathered From the First Meeting

As we mentioned earlier, it is at this point where you should begin filling in the data from each meeting next to the name of each company in your original list. By aggregating all of your data into one convenient place, you will be better able to compare and contrast each company’s individual advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the questions that you should have found answers to:

  • What is the average speed of website development for a project such as the one you are proposing?
  • In that past two years, how many similar projects has the company successfully completed?
  • In terms of the company’s development staff, how many of them are in-house? How often do they use outsourcing?
  • Is the company capable of building your website and simultaneously promoting it? As you may know, it is one thing to have a website, but it is nothing if no one sees it. It is important to understand from the very start which companies are capable of bringing you the visitors you need to be profitable in the online world. While there are many different ways to reach all of these goals, the most convenient is having it all done by the same company.
  • How do payments work? Does the fee need to be paid all at once or can installments be made over a 6-8 month period? Be sure to ask about interest if financing is available.

Don’t be shy in asking for an initial design from the company before the contract is even signed. Some of the best companies are glad to demonstrate their capabilities for your business specifically in order to showcase their work and dedication.

Step 6 - Receiving The Commercial Offers

By this point you have continued to narrow down your list in accordance with the above-outlined standards and should be dealing with no more than 8-10 web design companies in Philadelphia. It is at this point that you should be calling or emailing these potential partners for an official quote and timeline for your proposed project. Before making any quick decisions, wait until you have received quotes from all of the companies you asked. Once all of the offers are aggregated and in front of you, we advise that, unless there are some highly unusual circumstances at play, you remove the two most expensive companies and the two cheapest companies. Oftentimes companies seek to inflate their prices either to take advantage or to begin the bargaining process from a strong position. Remember, we are looking for partners, not people who want to spin us for a loop. Similarly, the cheapest companies probably reflect their low prices in the quality of their work or their desperation for it. Either way, low prices in the web development world are often too good to be true.

Step 7 - Comfort of Communication

This is exactly what it sounds like. How easy was it for you Related Materials12 interesting and attractive website design ideas in Philadelphia12 interesting and attractive website design ideas in PhiladelphiaThe 30 Best Ways You Can Increase the Number of Calls From Your Company's Website Right Now: Part 3The 30 Best Ways You Can Increase the Number of Calls From Your Company's Website Right Now: Part 3 to communicate with the company in general and the people specifically? This is an incredibly important determinant in your decision-making process. You will be working and communicating with these people for several months, and it is their job to make it as easy as possible for you. Your role is to run your company and theirs is to bring it to life online, not to give you an extra line in your job description.

We suggest that you evaluate the ease of communication on the following parameters:

  • How long did it take for representatives to reply to emails?
  • How quickly were they able to provide data you requested?
  • In terms of the quality of company representatives, were they willing and able to go out of their way to explain all aspects of the web development process? Were they knowledgeable?
  • How did you feel throughout your correspondence with the company?

Step 7 Is, Without a Doubt, The Most Important

So, you have anywhere from 3-5 companies left from which to choose. You are satisfied with all of them truly, but how can you make the final decision and determine which is the best of the best? We offer you a simple and elegant solution to conclude your quest. On a large whiteboard in your office, write out the latest 10 sites created by each of your final choices. Once you have done this, ask every employee to visit everyone of these sites and mark a talley next to those that they like. This helps bring in outside perspective and remove any biases that you may have developed throughout your search. The company with the most tallies is the people’s favorite, and after all, it is the people you want to win over in the end. By the way, we at Direct Line Development always have the most tallies in the end… Our work truly speaks for itself.

Wrapping It All Up

This scheme is by no means exhaustive and we most certainly recommend that you amend it to fit your company’s specific needs and decision-making processes. What it will do is get you started in the right direction and help you root out the companies that will waste your time and money. In the process, we took into account all of the aspects that give customers confidence in their website design companies. We want to emphasize the importance of considering these firms for not only their abilities to meet your immediate needs, but to consistently provide for you and make you money. Put this algorithm into action and see how it works for you! If you have any questions about the viability of your results or about a company’s specific actions throughout the process, feel free to write to us and a representative will gladly address your concerns!