Web design companies offer advice all the time but more and more of them are going out of business as this recession deepens.  So how do you know if you can trust the advice you’re getting from your web design company?  I like to use a few online tools to determine if a web design company knows what they’re talking about.  First, look at their portfolio.  Have they worked with reputable companies or are they all no-name companies.  That can be an immediate red-flag.

More importantly, do the sites that they have designed get any traffic.  There are several sites that can give you an indication of whether or not your web design company’s clients’ are getting any traffic to their sites.  While not perfect, Alexa.com offers a free tool that will tell you how popular a site is in relation to other sites.  If you see that the website you’re looking at has an Alexa ranking of 52,432, that means that they are one of the top 50,000 sites on the web.  On the other hand, if the sites that you’re checking out have numbers like 18,234,632, then they’re in the top 18 million sites and are likely getting zero traffic. OF course you could also look at your web site company’s own website and see what their own Alexa rank is.  Obviously, if they don’t have a good ranking, and they’re unable to get traffic to their own site, how are they going to be able to do it for you?

Another way to determine if your web design company is offering valuable advice is to just pick up the phone a call their clients.  Find out if they were able to increase traffic, improve sales and were they easy to work with.   Even if a web design company is excellent at their craft, but they can not communicate with their clients, the design process can prove to be a nightmare.  Be sure to find out how they communicate.   Do they have a project manager who will serve as your point person or will you be tracking down designers, programmers and writers to get you questions answered.

If you’d ever like to put our feet to the fire as you’re interviewing web design companies, please feel free to give us a ring.  The local number is 970-674-0079.

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