10 Tips on How to Choose a Website Design Company

This checklist of 10 tips on how to choose a website design company comes from our own knowledge of the website design industry. We’ve witnessed so many other website design companies trick people out of their money, deliver poor results, and even hold people hostage from their website!

If you’re looking to choose a website design company, make sure to read these 10 important tips below!

how to choose a website design company

10 Tips on How to Choose a Website Design Company

The following 10 tips should give you a pretty good idea if the website design company you’re looking to hire is going to scam you or deliver poor results…

1. Are They Promising a Fast Turnaround?

If a website design company offers a fast turnaround, usually between 3 to 7 days, then don’t hire that company!

The truth is that website design companies that build websites by hand, using real human beings, will take anywhere from 30-days to 90-days. Small business websites should take about 30-days to write and research all the content, plan out a design suited specifically for your trade, then run through all the checks and tests. Medium to large business websites will take longer due to more pages, more sections, and thus more planning.

  • TIP: A company that promises a 3 to 7 day turnaround is not building your website by hand. They are using a cookie-cutter design, then using a robot to build out all the pages and content.

2. Are They Offering a Very Low Price?

If a website design company offers a price ranging between $100.00 to $500.00, for a completed business website, then don’t hire that company!

When a website design company charges very low prices it means they are using a robot to build that website, using a cookie cutter design. It may also mean that they are outsourcing the labor to China, India, and Russia, three very popular countries where website design labor is extremely cheap. Ultimately, you’re getting a website that was not customized specifically for your audience. The content was not carefully researched.

A website design company that builds websites by hand, using real human beings, and built right here in the United States, will charge between $2,500 to $5,000 for a well-crafted, well-planned, business website. $2,500 is the price you’ll find in small cities and rural areas, while $5,000 is what you’ll find in larger urban areas.

  • TIP: When deciding how to choose a website design company, don’t look for cheapest price. A cheap price means a cheap website.

3. Are They Offering a Monthly-Price With No Up-Front Cost?

If a website design company is using the “low monthly fee with no up-front costs” gimmick, then don’t hire that company!

By offering you a monthly fee of about $300.00 to $500.00 a month, a website design company will end up making a lot more money from you in the long term than they would by charging an initial up-front price. Their monthly fee will cost about $3,600 to $6,000 each year, which is higher than what most website design companies would charge as an up-front fee. The monthly fee model won’t net you a better looking website, nor even a better performing website. You’ll just pay more money for the same quality (or lack thereof).

  • As an FYI, our company charges an initial fee, with 50% paid up-front, and the other 50% paid after the website is completed. That price includes a full year of hosting, maintenance, and edits, additions, and deletions at no extra cost. After the first year, we charge an annual maintenance fee to keep things going, priced about the same as a single-month’s price the above companies are charging.

4. Are They Displaying a Set of Templates For You to Choose From?

If a website design company displays a set of templates on their own website, for you to choose from, then don’t hire that company!

No website design company worth their weight in gold will ever display a set of templates for you to choose from. They will never ask you to look over a series of website styles and designs and then pick one for your website. They will instead interview you, ask you a series of questions about your desired audience, what you hope your website will accomplish, and then they will painstakingly research the right keywords and phrases, write all the content by hand, and then design the website from the ground up so that you end up with something that looks like was built just for your business alone.

  • TIP: When deciding how to choose a website design company, you should always look for something built from the ground up, and unique to your business.

5. Are They Local to Your Community, But Won’t Meet You in Person?

If a website design company has advertised as serving your local community, but is not offering to meet you in person, don’t hire that company!

Many website design companies are now adding landing pages to their own website for every state and major city in the United States. They literally have hundreds or thousands of pages, each of which keyworded for different cities and states. It looks like they specialize in building websites in your community. But in fact, they are actually “spammers”.

You can tell by contacting them and asking them to please visit you at your home, office, or a coffee shop in your town. If they refuse by saying that they don’t visit with clients in person, or that they are located too far away (such as in another state), then obviously that website design company is not taking your business seriously enough.

  • As an FYI… Our company, Choctaw Websites, will always visit a client in person if they are located in Oklahoma (our home state), and will even visit clients in surrounding states. We don’t spam Google with hundreds of pages focused on different cities and states. We really value your business, so much so, that we are willing to visit you in person, and earn your trust.

6. Do They Not Show Their Faces on Their Website?

If a website design company does not display both the names and faces of their company leaders on their own website, then don’t hire that company!

A trustworthy website design company should have nothing to hide. They should be able to stand behind their work by showing you the names and faces of their management. You should also be allowed to meet them in person and develop an honest, working relationship with them. If you don’t feel that you are allowed to get to know the people behind a website design company, then obviously that company is trying to keep some distance away from you.

Look, we’re talking about building your company’s online home! A website is supposed to your business’ brochure, store front, and official address. You wouldn’t hire a building contractor to build your home without ever knowing his or her real name and not seeing his or her real face, would you?

  • As an FYI, you can visit our, “About Us” page and see the names and faces of our company!

7. Does Their Company Website Suffer From Slow Loading?

If a website design company’s very own website seems to take long to fully load, then don’t hire that company!

Google has already made it clear that they will rank slow loading websites lower in their search results. So why would you hire a website design company whose very own website suffers from slow loading? It seems obvious that if you did hire this company, they will put your website on the same slow server, or utilize the same bloat code.

Now that most people access the Internet from their phones and tablets, it’s more important than ever to make sure your website loads quickly. This means using a simple design, with optimized images, and with headings and text clearly identified. A website design company should illustrate this with its own website. When deciding how to choose a website design company, make sure their own website loads quickly and looks readable from your phone.

  • As an FYI, our website design company, Choctaw Websites, is focused on building websites that are light, fast, and readable.

8. Does Their Company Website Have a Pop-Up Asking For Your E-mail Address?

If a website design company’s very own website has a pop-up asking for your e-mail address, then don’t hire that company!

A website design company should earn their income from building websites, not by collecting e-mail addresses. Many website design companies do send out e-mail newsletters, and will even have a small form somewhere on their website where you can subscribe. However, it’s when these companies display a “pop-up box” on your browser, imploring you to subscribe and get a discount or an invite to a free-webinar, that they become shady.

  • TIP: If a company puts an emphasis on collecting e-mail addresses, then that company is probably selling those e-mail addresses.

9. Does Their Company Website Not Display Their Portfolio of Previous Work?

If a website design company’s very own website fails to show you other websites they’ve built for clients, then don’t hire that company!

Every top quality website design company will offer a portfolio of previous work, or projects, or clients, where they describe what kind of work they’ve done for others, and even let you visit those other clients to see for yourself. Website design companies that do not allow you to see this usually offer cookie-cutter designs, or robot-built websites. They don’t offer any kind of researched content, thought-out designs, or custom work. When deciding how to choose a website design company, you should always be allowed to see that company’s previous work.

10. Did this Website Design Company Contact You First?

If a website design company contacted you, instead of you contacting them, then don’t hire that company!

Website design companies are not supposed to spam your e-mail, send you unsolicited text messages, or cold call you on the phone. This would be like a pizza restaurant sending you a text message out of the blue, wondering if you might be hungry for a Meat Lover’s right now. It’s spammy and unprofessional, and if a website design company does that, then you know you don’t want to hire them. Companies that utilize these poor marketing practices are trying curate as much business as possible, which means they have little time to dedicate to you.

Instead, a good website design company knows how to optimize their own website for Google searches. They know how to get themselves into online business directories. They know how to leverage social media to make themselves visible.

  • TIP: When deciding how to choose a website design company, don’t pay attention to those that contacted you first.


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