I can’t write enough on this topic.
The most important thing to consider for a small business owner or employee soliciting a bid to get a web presence up and running is communication:
- Does the vendor demonstrate interest in the purpose of the website?
- Over subsequent conversations do they demonstrate some commitment to memory of the details of your particular project?
- In general, is their communication of a professional nature? (I.E., quick replies, coherent and attentive emails with a courteous and professional tone.)
The answer to all these questions needs to be “yes.” Any vendor who doesn’t express specific interest in YOUR project cannot be expected to act as a surrogate problem-solver. As such, at best they can only sell you what you are asking for explicitly…but being possibly new to web design procurement, you may not know exactly what is in your business’ best interest. One client once told me his biggest beef with high-dollar service vendors was that they often gave him what he asked for, instead of what he needed. The distinction here is attention and communication.
As much as I hate to think about it, there are thousands of web design vendors out there who are more than happy to take your money to drum up designs using the bare minimum level of interest necessary to get you your deliverable and broom you out the door. It sucks, but it’s reality.
A good web design vendor will help you identify the right solution, even if that means spending more or less than what it is you’ve asked for explicitly. Part of the job description of a true professional web designer is to identify and address requirements.
More on that, after this…