These days, if you don't have a website - and a nice website at that - you might as well be invisible.

Or partially invisible, at least. Depending on what your target audience is, your potential customers might be relying on the internet to find out about businesses like yours.

If they don't see you anywhere online, or if all they find is a hard-to-read website that hasn't been updated in months or years, those potential customers might just move on to the next thing. Having a pleasing, friendly website is important for building trust with the people you're serving. And this brings us to the importance of an excellent web design service.

Hiring a web design company to make a website for you is a great choice for busy business owners who want to focus on their main work while making sure they're still getting a beautiful result. If this sounds like you, here's what to look for in a web designer:

1. Web Design Service vs. Web Development

If you want to build a website from scratch, you'll need more than web design. The web designer will decide how the website will look and work, but the people who actually build the website are web developers.

You might luck out and find a company that does both, but you'll have to know what you need. For example, because Optuno is a full-service web design company, you can fill out a questionnaire to clue us in as to your needs.

2. Mobile-Friendly and Mobile-First

Are you expecting people to view your website on their phones or on a desktop? Chances are people will view your website on a phone more often than you expect. Especially if they're coming to your site from a social media page, a mobile-friendly website is a must.

If you really want to focus on the mobile web design experience, you can even go with mobile-first design. Either way, make sure to ask potential web design companies about their mobile-friendly and mobile-first experience.

You'll want to make sure they're in the know about current trends.

3. Similar Clients

If you're trying to guess whether you'll be happy with the design you'll get, you can look at the web design service's portfolio of previous work.

It's not always the case that a company that has mostly worked in a style different from yours will be a bad fit. But if they have worked with similar clients before, this could be a good sign.

For example, if you're a small business trying to get your start, you can see if the web design service you're considering has worked with lots of small businesses before.

4. The Aesthetics

One question you might want to ask yourself at this point is: what kind of visuals do you need? Do you need cool animations or some special website flow?

If you need a particular aesthetic style, it might be worth checking out whether your web design service has the right skills and experience to give you what you're looking for. A company might be excellent at designing text-based websites but not that great at image-based visuals.

Know what you need and be up-front about it.

5. Rapport

An important element in your collaboration with the web design service is how well you get along. This goes beyond personality.

Does the design company's workflow align with yours? Are they responsive and communicative to a level you're comfortable with? Do you like their previous work?

Web design is often a long back-and-forth process to make sure you're getting the result you want. In order to make your experience a good one, you should choose a web design service that you enjoy talking to.

6. Design Theory

For really excellent web design, you should look for a web design service that's excited about the field of web design. Ask them what kind of design theory they're interested in or what they like to use in their practice.

In this age of modern technology, user experience and user interface design are changing all the time. Styles that worked a few years ago are on their way to getting outdated. It's a good sign if your web design service is up-to-date on the latest trends.

7. Budget

Web design can get expensive, especially if you're asking for a lot of hours of explorative work. Make sure you can afford the rates of the web design company you're considering. If not, it'll save you a lot of stress to figure out a more affordable option early on.

Unlike some other services, a web design project isn't something that you can easily switch from one company to another. If for whatever reason, you do need to switch the company you're working with, the new company will likely prefer to start over if the previous service hasn't left much of a finished product.

But don't let this scare you off from going with a high-quality web design service! Just make sure everyone on the team is transparent about costs and expected work, and you should be good to go.

And when you're comparing designer fees, make sure the quality lines up with the fees. Sometimes a web design company will offer cheap work, but their quality is still much lower than you might hope for. Even if you're going with a more affordable option, you can still find plenty of good talent at a low price point.

Now Go Dream Up Something Big!

The joy of working with a web design company is that you can implement lots of designs and ideas that previously seemed out of your reach. As long as you make sure to stay within budget, understand your target audience, and develop a good relationship with the web design service you're working with, you'll be well on your way to creating something incredible.

So, go ahead and make your website dreams happen! You can schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us to get started.