So as many people know the Design and Tech industry is Cape Town is alive and well. There are thousands of tech, web design and graphic design agencies in Cape Town. So what should you look for, when choosing the correct one. There are a few web design companies that have given the industry a bad name, and a few fly by night web design companies, but we are not all the same.
I have put together a check list, to assist you with choosing the correct agency or company.
Web Design Checklist
- Get the Physical Address of the Company or Agency - A number of Tech, Graphic Design and Web Design agencies or companies work from home and not at a business park or office. This does not necessarily mean that you will get below park work done, or that the company or individual cannot be trusted. It makes financial sense, if the company is a one man operation to keep their costs low and work from home, as alot of small business in South Africa operate from home. By getting the address of the office or residence will set you more at ease to deal with that company. Ask the company where their office or residence are. They should also have that sort of information displayed on their website or business card.
- Make sure the web design company or agency has a website - This might seem a stupid question or thing to look for, but I see this quite a bit with people advertising themselves as web designers on Classified ads, but there is no website address, a lot of the time they are doing web design part time. All Web Design Companies should have a website. If this is their mainline of business, then they should have one.
- Check if they are involved in social media - Most Web Design Companies join social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or Google +. View there Facebook page, Twitter Mentions and Google + (Google Places) to see if there is any remarks left by clients on the service they received from the business. It also gives you a good idea how the rest of the tech community react with the business. Linkedin is an important one to look at, as you will see if clients or working colleagues have recommended them for their services.
- Written Quote - When you are shopping around for the best price, be sure to ask for a written quote. Also check to see when the quote expires, and if you receive a written quote, and it doesn't have an expiry date, ask the agency to put that in writing on the quote. Make sure the quote is detailed and lists the steps or procedures in the website they will design, so there are no surprises at the end.
- Draw up a contract - A Lot of web design companies will provide you with a website contract. Make sure that you read the contract through and understand the terminology. Make adjustments to the contract before signing it. Remember the contract protects you the client, as well as the agency. If they don't offer up a contract, draw one up yourself, but it is important that you get something in writing.
- Deposit - Most agencies in Cape Town, will ask for a deposit, before they start designing your website. It ranges anything from 25% to 60% upfront and the balance on completion of the site.
- Don't pay the final invoice until you are satisfied with the website. Make sure you have checked everything on the website before paying the final amount.
Hopefully these few pointers will assist you when deciding on a web design company or agency. Remember not all web design companies are bad apples, it only takes a few to spoil the basket. Following some of the pointers above will help avoid some of them bad apples.