Important factors to consider when outsourcing a web design company

Important factors to consider when outsourcing a web design company

These days most small companies do not have an in house web design team.  This is primarily due to the extra costs, time, and resources necessary in running an in house team.  Therefore many businesses choose to outsource their internet and design needs.  But what are the most important factors to consider when outsourcing a web design company?

Luckily as a small business owner there are numerous website design companies located throughout the world.  Some are large and some are small, some specialize in e-commerce sites and some specialize in branding sites, some are inexpensive and some are really really expensive, there are tons of choices and we’ll give you some insight to help you cut through the clutter.  At the end of the day, you want to find a web design company that will meet all your needs, expectations, and deliver a great product that fits your budget. So let’s go through some of these factors.

1. Get to know the company.

You need to be familiar with the web design company that you are working with. Who are they? What kind of background do they have? Do they have previous design experience? What type of sites do they usually build?  These are just some of the questions you should ask when qualifying a web design company.  You want to make sure that they are good fit for your specific website.  You don’t need a design team that is good at everything; they just need to be good at what you want them to do.

2. Communication

Communication is critical when working with an outsourced team, because you will not have day to day interaction with them in the office.  You may never see them in person so you’ll have to make sure that there are clear lines of communication. Discuss whether email, phone, or chat will be the best way to communicate.  Discuss what times are best for both companies and what response time you can expect from them.  Unanswered emails and phone calls are clearly red flags, but make sure that you are not bombarding them with unnecessary requests and questions.

3. Commitment

Find a web design company that is committed to their work and have some sort of guarantee.  Most companies will say that they are committed but you want to make sure they hold up to their commitments. Ask them if they have any guarantees and what process they have for settling disputes.

4. Deliverables and Timelines

Measurable deliverables will reassure that your project gets done correctly and within the projected timeline. Split the project into different parts and set a timeline.  At each set point, you can check the progress of the project with the design team and confirm that it is on track.  In addition, any changes or corrections that are necessary can be made at these set points, given that unexpected changes and additions will also affect the overall timeline.  This will be the road map for the overall project and following it will give you good insight on its progress and completion time.

5. Pricing and payments

Pricing and payments are important for both parties.  The web design team wants to make sure that they are paid completely and on time for their good work and the customer wants to make sure that they are getting what they paid for.  Deposits and payment schedules dependent on deliverables is a fair and easy to solution for both parties.  This will make sure that the customer gets what they ordered and the web company gets paid for their work.  Escrow accounts may also be helpful when dealing with international companies and/or large payment amounts.

6. Check their references, testimonials, and portfolio.

First check out their portfolio and testimonial page.  You will be able to see what kind of projects they have worked on in the past and see if you like them.  Unfortunately, many companies will display fake sites or inaccurate testimonials so the next step would be to get some current references.  References are one of the easiest and most honest ways of getting accurate information on a company.  A reference’s time is important so you don’t want to waste it.  Ask them your most important specific questions only.  The previous points that are listed above are a great place to start.

Use good research and information to make the best decision for your investment.  These factors should give you a comprehensive understanding of the web design team and if they fit your needs.  In some cases you may never meet the company face to face, which makes these factors that much more important.  It’ll protect you from choosing a fly-by-night company or an incompetent company with poor business ethics.  Do your research and outsourcing a web design company for your project should be easy.

Contact us to learn more about how Sideball can help you with your project while following all the factors above.