We can imagine how you feel when you decide that you need services for your company but have no idea where to begin. Some companies do not seem to have any projects in their portfolio that meet your needs or some just want a few thousand of pounds and it can all feel very stressful. So here is our five tip guide to choosing the best one:
You may be wondering why this is the first one we've placed in our guide. Well, it is the most important. If you and the people who are going to create your awesome, cool, modern and amazing website do not understand each other then there is no chance of it ever happening (or at least happening without sleepless nights). Good communication means that you can understand where your project is at and how it is progressing while your needs and requirements are met.
If the people you are talking to are claiming to have worked on the largest and best projects with well known companies yet have no evidence or links to this work then something is definitely wrong. Not only is it important to see the work they have done to ensure they're trustworthy and have experience but to see the skill and work they are capable off. The greatest part of a portfolio is the agencies own work ("does their website work?"; "do their graphic designs look good?"). Although the company will have its own style if they have no work you like or that is in the area you want then they will most likely not be able to replicate it for you!
Be aware of companies which charge too much or too little. If they charge too much it does not necessarily mean you're getting what you pay for, it could be a scam or they may just be overcharging you. If you know your project is relatively simple then anything below £1000 should be good; if it's going to be competing with the very best then expect above £1500. On the other hand, ensure that you're not being tricked into paying very little for very little work, if most companies are charging £2000 and someone offers £500 the chances are you'll end up with only a quarter of the work.
What extra services are they offering you? It's nice to know they're going to design and code your website for £2000 but are they including a graphics and hosting? If not then the price could easily rise by hundreds of pounds. Most companies offer special deals with half price graphics or free 6 months hosting within the price you pay. Also, an initial payment (10-20% of the project cost) might mean you have to pay money before any work is done but it's better than having to pay 3 times the initial amount you thought at the end because the company could not afford to get the job finished.
So the next three mini tips are just ones that you can put all together. From the first time you contact them; take a note of how long they take to reply... One day? Awesome; but check to see if this changes over time, does it slow down? You do not want an agency who decides after working really well for a week on your project to hardly move the website forward. The next thing to check is the team, is it a one man team? Or more? It does not follow the pattern that more is better but ensure that the team or person is fully capable of fulfilling the work you require. A final one, what does it say in their about section? Does it seem like they're purely doing it for money... Or because they enjoy it? Great projects always require passion!
So that's our 5 tip guide to choosing an agency or freelancer or designer. We hope it helps with your decisions!