Before hiring a web design and development company you must identify your needs. Each company has its own unique set of requirements. You should identify your main needs which may include the following:
Color scheme for your website
Key areas and pages of your website
Photographs for the site
Server and hosting space
After determining your needs you should ask the web design and development company to answer the following questions:
Do they create logos?
Can they do the copy writing work for you?
Can they register your domain name?
Is hosting provided?
What do they charge for their services?
Once you get answers to these questions you must then decide how you want your website to work. Do you want your website to act as a brochure for your business and do you have a goal for your website? Do you intend to sell products online and do you want to include a forum or live chat facilities in your website? Once you have found answers to these questions the next step is that of evaluating websites that are already live. You should check these websites and check them according to their design, functional elements and content as well as purpose.
The next stage involves asking questions of the potential web design and development company. You need to know what kind of services they offer and how many years of experience they have in providing these services. You must also ask the web design and development company about what kind of SEO (search engine optimization) techniques they use and do they use specialists who handle their SEO work for them. You should also ask the web design and development company to give you an estimate of their costs and they should also tell you about who is going to own the design and source code.
Finally, before hiring a web design and development company ask them about the technologies that they plan on using and whether they have previously developed projects using these or other technologies. Do they employ certified developers and what kind of support base will they use for your website? Also ask them about the amount of disk space they are offering and whether they offer a control panel. If a control panel is offered then what functions are included? Last but not least, ask them whether they will allow you to upgrade to a different package at some time in the future.