How to Find a Good Web Design Company in Los Angeles
Once you’re ready to boost your business’s online presence, the next thing to do is find a good web design company in Los Angeles.
With countless design studios throughout the metro area, knowing which one to pick takes detective-like sense and observation.
Not all companies do what they should, and others charge far more than they should. You want to find a web design studio that can deliver on your needs without wrecking your budget. So how do you do find the right fit?
Start with a Plan
Look, most design companies can build a website or custom app, but it takes the right one to execute the project just the way you want it. By picking a team without any plan of how to move forward, you’ll end up with a boring website that doesn’t match your brand.
Before you look for a developer, know what you want for your business. Take some time to draft an outline of your site, selecting colors, fonts, and themes you like. That way, when you begin looking for help, you can spot the wrong developer a mile away.
Say you want to build a restaurant website or app, for example. Your web design team should have experience with culinary industry web design. By taking the time to plan out your own web design, you’ll have clearer expectations about how to pick the right designer.
Use Your Favorite Sites as Examples
One huge time sink when working with a web designer is planning out the aesthetic details of how your website will look and feel. While it’s fun to sandbox ideas and imagine the future, it will drain your budget quickly without helping you get anywhere. Instead, have ideas ready for your developer.
If there’s a site that knocks it out of the park, show it to your developer and say, “I want that.” There will be plenty of time to customize from there, but having a strong foot forward gives your developer more time to build.
Another benefit of looking at great websites is that you could end up finding the right developer in the process. If you scroll to the bottom of many websites, you can sometimes find the developer’s contact information.
Give them a call. Ask what they charged and if they’re willing to do the same for you. Even if they can’t help, they probably know someone else who can.
Pick a Local Company
When looking for a good web design company in Los Angeles, it’s important to know you’re working with actual Angelenos—not overseas consultants hired by an agency (it happens more than you might think). Some people advertise themselves as web design consultants with a high price tag, but the actual work is being done at discount rates paid to novices.
You should be able to meet your developer face to face. Yes, it’s tempting to consider overseas contractors as a way to save money, but even that isn’t without a price. Many times, working with people globally poses risks of coding errors, missed communication, and cultural boundaries that don’t show up right away.
Hire a Team that Gets You All the Way to Launch
Your web developer has the skills to create your website or app, but do they know how to market it and get it ready for people to see? It’s important to find a team that can walk you through the whole process—from blueprinting to launching it on the web.
Building a great website or app takes more than just programming acumen—it takes experience with how the whole process works. If your developer doesn’t have any understanding of marketing, it’ll be tough to get your project off the ground.
Late changes to your launch cost more—sometimes so much so that your project goes bankrupt before it even gets the chance to launch. The experience of your developer makes a big difference in how your project will succeed after it’s built.
Make Sure They Have a Timeline for You
Good web designers stay on schedule. Once they take you on as their client, they have sprints and timetables for you so that you know what’s coming up and how to get ready for it. They also stick to these timetables and avoid delays.
Part of a good web design project is knowing your timeline, and if your developer doesn’t have a way to keep you informed about the status of your site, it’s probably going to become a problem later. Ask them upfront how long they think your project will take and how they plan to stay on schedule.
Keep in Touch
Nothing is worse than paying a developer a few thousand dollars to get started on a project and having them disappear afterward. It happens more than you think—developers are notorious for getting behind on a project and then avoiding clients to keep from having to admit a mistake. Don’t let this happen to you.
When you work with a good web design company in Los Angeles, they will have a direct line for you to call when you need something. If they don’t answer (which will happen more often than not), they’ll return your calls within 48 hours.
Communication is crucial. One major complaint of project managers who work with overseas teams is the inability to stay in touch whenever they want. Because schedules are reversed, it becomes impossible to casually ask how things are going or make any requests. Your local web design company should be easy to talk to.
Also, don’t abuse your line of communication by calling them every other day and musing about what you think would be “cool” on your website. They need clear, established milestones that don’t change every day. Help them by scheduling a call every week or two and sticking to that schedule.
Look Ahead to the Future
Websites are just the beginning of a strong web presence. As business starts to grow with your burgeoning online persona, you may find it helpful to look into building a custom business app. By taking a more daily role in your customers’ lives, you can drive more brand loyalty and help them in new, innovative ways.
Your web developer should have a plan in place to get your website its own app. No, it doesn’t have to happen today—it could take years before you have the budget or even the need for an app—but with a good web developer, you’ll have all the pieces in place to make an app when the time comes.
Trust Your Gut, Man
There’s no substitute for intuition. You should enjoy working with your developer. If their work is great but they’re tough to communicate with, it could have consequences in the future. Get on the phone, have questions ready, and don’t be afraid to walk away if things don’t feel right.
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David is the Co-founder and CEO of Goji Labs. David loves working closely with passionate founders to understand their vision and help them build beautiful applications while focusing on risk-mitigation. As an author, he focuses on informative and educational blogs that enable our clients to make the most of their businesses.