Your web design company should have three things - training, vision, and ears. Yes, ears.
Why? Because the single most important factor in designing a web solution is listening to, and understanding, the client's needs. Of course, we have formal training, education, and experience in all areas of web development: design, programming, database, project management, networking, and even law. Yes, we have the creative vision and web skills to help bring you to the top. But most of all, we listen to you, and understand your business and your needs. Then, we design a solution that makes the web work for you. And isn't that what it's all about?
Ok, if you're thinking there must be more to it... here are a few other items you should look for when choosing a web design company:
A legitimate web design company will have an office space where they'll perform the work of designing, programming, maintaining your website. This is sort of a must have. We've tried pulling it off without the office, and it just doesn't work well. The office space benefits both customers and the web design team by giving them a place to collaborate, a place to be productive, a place to belong to and have a sense of purpose, a place to meet you - the customer, a place to solve problems, a place for computers and equipment, and a place to grow.
We've done work for several public institutions over the years, and they all require us to have insurance. If you're shopping for a web design company for your public institution, or have a web project for your University department, or government institution, it's likely they will have a contract requirement, and one of the provisions will be an insurance requirement. For example, here is an actual insurance requirement from a project we completed successfully for a public University: "comprehensive general liability insurance with a broad form CGL endorsement or broad form commercial general liability insurance, covering bodily injury and property damage, with a minimum limit of $1,000,000 per occurrence with an aggregate amount of $2,000,000, which shall include personal and advertising injury liability and products". Need an insured web design company? We have that.
You really want to pick a company that's been in business for a long time. This is important. A web design company with a long history has gone through the trials and tribulations, they know the ins and outs, they've crossed that bridge before, and they'll choose the best solution for you that will save everyone time and money.