If you are currently looking for good web design companies look no further than Utah. Utah? Yes Utah.
While searching for web design firms myself I noticed that a lot of good quality companies were based in Utah or at least had offices there. From Red Interactive Agency to iNineDesign, there are quite a few agencies to choose from from this area. But, what should you look for in a web design firm?
First, they must use web standards. What are web standards? They are a set of guidelines used by thousands of designers to help web sites work across multiple platforms such as cell phones, PDA’s, and other internet enabled devices, not just desktop computers. Web standards also help keep the cost of the initial building of the site low and helps keep ongoing maintenance fees lows as well. Not to mention the "upgrade ability" factor web standards based sites have over other types of sites. They are easier, and cheaper, to expand upon or completely redesign from a web design workers point of view.
Second look at their portfolio. Is there just one type of site they build? Do they all look similar? Are they all in one industry? You want your web design firm to have extensive experience in many areas, not just one. Web sites provide solutions and the more solutions the web design firm has provided the better chance they have of providing one that works for you.
Third, look for reviews of their service. Don't just look at the comments they post on their web site, look their company up on the various freelancer boards like Elance.com or Dice.com. Chances are they have taken on some work from these sites and those customers have posted their experiences with that company. Since these sites are third party sites they post the comment that is probably more in line with the experience you will have as opposed to the reviews the firm has posted on their own site.
Lastly, ask them to explain to you exactly what they can do for you. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a Content Management System (CMS), and a marketing plan for your site should all be included if the web design firm really wants your web site to succeed. Don't be afraid of the big words or acronyms, ask them what those big words and acronyms mean! They should be able to explain themselves in layman's terms in a way that makes you feel comfortable. If not, move on. If a bigger issue does come along during the web design process you won't be on the same page and they will not be able to get you through it.
While not all web design firms are equal, the fact that Utah seems to have so many quality companies located within it's borders increases your chance of finding a quality company that can fulfill your needs. Starting your search for a web design firm in Utah, therefore, would make your search a lot faster, less complicated, and probably much more successful overall than searching anywhere else.