We've all hired a website design firm and have regretted it. How do you select the right website design firm? They should have a clearly defined web development process. For instance, Semify has two parts to our process:

1) An online proposal tool that allows you to price your custom website within minutes.

2) Once the price is approved, you fill out the process requirements questionnaire (PRQ) through our online proposal tool, in your private label dashboard. With this you can define every requirement on every page for fast and accurate development.

Watch the video to learn more about what you need in a website design firm.


Hello, and welcome to our website design firm video. I'm Chad Hill. And I have Adam Stetzer here with me, as well.

Good afternoon, Chad. Well, we've all hired a website design firm and later regretted it. So I want to talk a little bit about that today.

When you're first selecting a firm to outsource website design or development, things all are pretty rosy, right? The problems tend to come later.

So what advice do we have for our viewers today about how to spot a good website design firm upfront before you've done any work with them, to know if they're going to be good for the long haul?

Right. Well, I think the first thing that I would want to know from website design firms is to understand their process, actually. I mean, to really say, what is the most important thing. It's like, what is the process that you use to work with your partners and get websites done?

And in Semify's case, we have two parts of our process that we're very proud of. One is that we've built an online tool that allows you to price websites down to, really, a feature level at a page level.

So you go in, and you tell us how many pages you want, what theme you want us to use, what template you want us to use, what color, what kinds of features and content you want on the website. And then we're able to give you a price, down to whether you write the content or you have us write the content, that you can then be very confident in delivering to your customer, adding your markup, and being able to give them a price at that time.

The other thing that we've done is we've actually taken the requirements process-- so once they approve the price, and now it's time to actually gather requirements so they can go into development-- we've taken that whole process and we've built that, again, through our online tool, in your private label dashboard.

You can then go in and define every requirement on every page. So when that project goes into development, it can be developed very quickly, and turned around, and put back to the customer as quickly as possible.

That's very interesting. Because I think when most people are shopping for a website design firm, the very first thing they're looking at is the output. How pretty are the websites? How beautiful are they? Do they meet my needs?

But what you put first, Chad, was interesting, which was the process-- which was this idea that if you're running at significant scale, the only way I can trust that you're going to meet deadlines, that you're going to do what you say you're going to do, and that you're going to make my customer happy with the end product-- is if you have a very airtight process that documents these things. And I do think that is probably the most important but probably not the thing that people focus on first.

Right, and I agree. And I think, because that's a point of differentiation, from looking at the point of parity, you are looking at the website design itself and whether it's an attractive website.

But I would say that that's something that everyone has to have. Because it's not acceptable anymore not to have a well-designed website. So anyone in the website design firm business really needs to be, obviously, delivering good-looking websites.

And we do that by using a nice, well-rounded set of templates that allow you and your customer to see what the website's going to look like, down to colors and different design ideas, so that you can be pretty comfortable upfront about what your website is going to look like when it's done.

And this is where the project management process and the technical aspects of how the website design firm delivers their products start to meet. Because as Chad said, if you have themes that are viewable from day one, you're already getting a visual preview of what the end product will look like.

That's a plus. But it also means you can rapidly customize them, if there's a tight process for gathering those requirements, so that we know what the customer needs and, again, you can deliver exactly what they want to see.

In the end, this stuff comes down to project management basics. Are you going to deliver on time, on budget, and in the scope, which is what's in the customer's head? If any of those three things is off, that's a firm you just don't want to work with.

Agreed. And I think the final thing which, again, is a point of parity-- but it's a very important component, and you need to make sure you ask questions about it-- is what does the development team look like?

And so in the case of Semify, we have a team of WordPress developers. That's our CMS of choice. We have website designers. And we're able to scale that team up and down, depending on the amount of work that's in our queue at any given time.

And so, again, what that allows us to do is to pull together resources from lots of different people sending us work, so that we can make sure that we're getting the work turned around quickly and to a schedule that's reasonable for you and your customer, instead of having you go out and have to hire and deal with overflow and staffing and paying full cost of a developer instead of the variable cost that you need for a project.

So that's something, again, that our program does, that's very convenient for many people looking for a website design firm.