How to Tell If a Website is Credible - Big Easy SEO

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How to Tell If a Website is Credible

The internet has always been full of half-truths, fly-by-night shills and web designers that promise the world only to under-deliver (or not deliver at all) what you had expected.

Your Guide to Finding the Right Web Design Agency

This couldn’t be truer in 2018 and beyond. And as such it’s more important than ever to “vet” any websites you do business with for credibility and trustworthiness.

Taking the time to do your due diligence can save you from undue stress, resentment and buyer’s remorse, while also protecting your hard earned money from scoundrels who would take it and run.

This guide will help provide simple steps you can take to vet out that next web development agency or web designer before signing on the bottom line.

How to know if you can Trust your Web Designer?

Web design and web development is a critical component of any businesses’ online presence. After all, someone has you design, build and maintain your website.

And with over 80% of all purchase decisions starting with a search engine query, your website needs to be your #1 employee, top sales rep, and customer service professional.

But how can you tell if your web designer is legitimate, credible and trustworthy?

1. Years in Business & and Proven Track Record

Around 50% of all small to medium sized businesses fail after five years. And while a new business isn’t a surefire indicator that you’ll have a bad experience, going with a well-established business with a proven track record spanning years might be the smarter play.

Web design in New Orleans, and around the world, is a hyper-competitive niche and those businesses that offer shoddy service, poorly designed sites and bad communication don’t tend to last very long. For this reason, going with a well-established company like Big Easy SEO that has been around for over a decade with hundreds of satisfied customers is advisable.

2. Web Design Reviews – but not just any reviews

Not all reviews are “real”. By now most consumers know this, but if you don’t, here’s your fair warning. While there is no guaranteed way to spot “fake reviews”, we suggest the following to help you get a better picture of the web development service you are considering.

Tips regarding reviews:

  • Check the number of reviews (more is generally better)
  • Check out the type of reviews being left (are they related to the services you need)
  • See if the reviews span a long period of time, or if they all were submitted say within a few months (possibly indicating they may have been purchased)
  • Check the overall ratings. 100% five stars may be a bad sign. After all, no one can please everyone. Look for 4-4.5 star averages.
  • Look for reviews posted on MULTIPLE sites and mediums, not just one. A few options are Facebook, Google, Trustpilot, Yelp and others.

Interested in bolstering your own reputation and visibility? Consider our online reputation management services.

3. Web Development References

Any legitimate web design agency in New Orleans LA (or anywhere for that matter) should be able to provide you with a list of references that you can contact to learn more about the experience and results they had with the company. If they can’t, or won’t, run don’t walk.

And while the code may be proprietary, remember that websites are public (with the exception of an intranet site), so don’t take the “we sign NDAs” as an excuse.

Looking for a web development agency you can trust? Check out our high-quality web design services that are sure to impress without breaking the bank.

4. Portfolio

Do they have a portfolio? If one is not presented publicly, ask for one. Ideally these samples should be representative of the types of sites you need designed or developed. Any credible agency should be able to provide you with these.

5. Communication

Communication is an extremely important, yet lesser discussed aspect of vetting the credibility of a web designer.

Consider the following:

  • What are their hours of availability?
  • Are they open to a phone call?
  • What modes of communication do they offer if you need to explain things?
  • How do they come across in discussions? Friendly, brash, conversational, professional?

6. Their Own Site

Nothing says “credible” more than a well built and designed website of their own. A web designer or company that leads by example is usually a good bet.

Things to look for:

  • Visually appealing design
  • Easy to navigate
  • Everything functions as it should (no bugs, broken pages, etc)
  • They clearly and accurately provide information on their services
  • They have a blog, guides, or knowledgebase to help educate their visitors
  • The site makes it easy to contact or connect with them via email, phone, chat, helpdesk, or social media
  • They have a well-written privacy policy and terms of use page, including information regarding their business’s legal/entity name and location where they are licensed.

7. Community, Industry or Association Involvement

You know what they say, “you are the company you keep”. A web development company that is actively involved in giving back to their community and/or is part of or participates in industry organizations can be a strong indicator that they are a brand that cares about their reputation.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re looking for a web designer or web development service but are unsure of who you can trust, give our team at Big Easy SEO a call. We have over a decade of experience and a track record spanning hundreds of satisfied customers.

We have helped countless businesses with their website design and digital marketing needs, and would love to learn more about how we can do the same for you.

And if you’re not yet convinced, Google us. We hold a 4.5+ star rating with hundreds of reviews across Google, Facebook and other platforms, and our founder Brian Hong, has been featured as a thought leader in the industry in publications such as Forbes, Search Engine Land and more.

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