Let’s face it, there are a lot of web design companies out. Knowing which one to choose from can be a daunting task. In this three-part guide, we’ll give you the tools you need to pick the right one for you.

In this part (part one), we’ll be going over four ways to not get screwed over. Most web agencies out there are going to try and squeeze every cent from you. or give you offers too good to be true. So, let’s get into it. Here’s 10 tips and tricks to help you on your path to finding a web agency:

1. Owning your site

When you hire someone to design your site, make sure your contract includes a section like this:

All work performed as part of this contract is owned by the Client.

The ‘Client’ is you. If your contract doesn’t include a form of this, add it in. If your freelancer or agency won’t add it, find someone else.

2. Knowing where your site lives

Make sure your web designer/developer sends you this info:

    1. Where your site is hosted
    2. The Cpanel address, username and password for your site.
    3. Your FTP server name, address, username, and password.
    4. Login address, username, and password for your shopping cart, blog, content management system, or any other software.
    5. Analytics access information.

That way, if they flake, you won’t have to send some stranger your birth certificate and fingerprints just to access your own website.

3. Own your domain

I’ve heard it at least 8 times this year, you fired your last nerd and then he/she took your whole website down. At that point, it’s time to get a new domain (your website name). Short of a lawsuit or a WIPO claim, the client had no recourse.

If you do have someone else buy your domain for you, make sure you know the name of the registrar where it’s registered, and that you have your own account to access and change the settings.

4. Control of your content

Assuming you’re serious about your online presence, you can get a great site that you can edit without intervention by a web designer/developer. Don’t expect it to be cheap though. Get your site built on a simple CMS like WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal. Most important, tell your designer that:

  1. You want all text to be html text, not images.
  2. You want to be able to edit all of it.

Trust Your Gut

Trust your instincts, if your reading this you already have the smarts to know who to hire and who not to. Just remember, if you get a feeling that something is off then it probably is.

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