There are probably about a million or more individuals in North America alone that offer web design services. Given this huge number, how on Earth does one go about finding a reputable provider?
We can help by dividing the web design service industry into several categories:
- Hobbyists. These individuals are self-taught when it comes to web site design. They can be very passionate about the subject but tend to have no formal training or experience. They will approach a project from any number of points (due to a lack of experience and education) and the completed website will probably fall far short of the mark of a professional design web site.
When to choose this category: Never. You may get a web site built for free, but you’ll get what you pay for.
- Employees and contractors. These are individuals with formal training in one or more areas concerning web site design. They typically do not have the skills or experience to manage an entire web site design project from start to finish, but that is not their goal. Their fit is as a member of a larger team in an organization.
When to choose this category: If your business is large enough to warrant a team of individuals to build, manage or maintain your web site.
- Consultants. These individuals tend to have great knowledge and experience when it comes to managing a web site design project. They may lack the requisite skills to make the project happen, but their skills tend to be fairly split between managing people and managing web site design projects.
When to choose this category: If you are running an internal web site design project but the project gets derailed frequently or is perpetually unfinished.
- Sole proprietors. These are individuals who have a wide variety of web site design skills. They tend to be a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none individual. They can be effective at creating very small web sites for low budgets.
When to choose this category: If you are a small business with a very, very small budget and are willing to work with the next category within the next 12 months or so.
- Professional web site design companies. These are organizations that are totally focused on providing web site design services. They employ individuals from several of the aforementioned categories and are typically the best choice for any business that is serious about getting a professional web site built.
When to choose this category: If your business requires an online presence and you lack the internal staff to provide web site design services professionally.
Choosing an individual or business to provide web site design services to you is really a matter of your needs. Most small businesses need a professional web site design company or, at the very least, a sole proprietor. If you’re after professional web site design services then we recommend you stick to the professional web site design companies. It’s just that simple.