A great business website is the core of all your digital marketing efforts. It’s the center point where all your online marketing tactics culminate. Therefore, the task of building a website is the core foundational work that will determine the fate of your online business.

The first step is to find a website design company that has the right blend of affordability, experience, and creativity. That, of course, is easier said than done. There are no shortages of website design companies making tall claims to reel in new customers. Companies have been known to inflate their success stories and hide their limitations in order to bag a project.  This makes the task of finding a great web design firm amongst a long list of inferior ones very challenging.

To ensure your website creation process is as smooth as possible, the following are the 5 things you need to check before hiring a web design firm.  

Physical Location of the Office

A web development company located in your city is definitely an advantage. You can pop-in during office hours to get a better understanding of the project status. Therefore if you own a business in Manhattan, try and hire a website design company in New York. A website design firm with an office in your city also gives you confidence about their dedication toward delivering quality work.

Experience Creating Websites in Your Niche

A website design company that has experience building sites in your niche already knows what works and what doesn’t. They can also give you critical insights into digital marketing strategies and designs that can give you an advantage over your competitors.

Average Completion Time

While you do need to give a website development company a reasonable amount of time, you should not settle for a firm that takes too long. You want a responsive web development partner who can quickly implement changes whilst building the entire website from the ground up. Be direct and ask about their average completion time. Make sure you sign off on a project timeline so you know what gets done at what time.

Customer Reviews

Reading honest customer reviews is the best way to judge a company’s past history. Skip the testimonials featured on the firm’s website. Instead, go to an independent business listings site and check out the reviews and ratings. A great Better Business Bureau rating is also indicative of a professional firm.

Success Stories with Proven Metrics

Making tall claims is one thing, it’s quite another to back it up with actual numbers. Don’t shy away from verifying claims made in the initial meetings to check out the performance of the sites the company built in the past. Organic traffic numbers and Alexa score trends are great metrics to judge a site’s overall quality. If the company was responsible for relaunching an old site, then it should show an increase in the traffic numbers. If the site went on to lose traffic, then it’s not a good sign.