The #1 Thing to Look for When Hiring a Website Design Company

Okay Google:

How many graphic designers are there?

According to The United States Department of Labor, there were 266,300 graphic designers in 2016.

Okay Google:

How many web developers are there?

According to The United States Department of Labor, there were 162,900 web developers in 2016.

Okay Google:

What should I look for when hiring a website design company?

(Longer than usual awkward silence)

Here are some results from the web…


More of the same old BS.

Seemingly endless boilerplate lists of varying sizes—essentially callous interview scripts for you to copy and paste. Flaming hot garbage for you to blast out in a blind-copied email to a compiled spreadsheet labeled “best web design firms near me”.

I get why people try to complicate and automate the process of screening and ultimately hiring a website design company. Trust me, I get it.

Designing a website can be a big deal. Not all the time, but sometimes.

Maybe you had a bad experience in the past with Freelancer Fran. Maybe there are impatient investors breathing down your neck that need a website up yesterday. Maybe you’re new to the world of entrepreneurship and you’re a little lost and hesitant to pull the trigger.

Whatever your reason may be, I want you to put that behind you. Because there’s only one thing that you should be looking for. And it isn’t in the design or development portfolio. It isn’t in the proposal or scope of work either.

It’s going to require you to pick up the phone and speak to someone.

But in 15-30 minutes, you’ll know if they’re good, or no good.

So, without further ado…

Look for a company that has good character.

Yes, it’s that easy.

The #1 thing to look for when hiring a website design company is good character.



Mental makeup.

Whatever you want to call it.

This may or may not come as a surprise, but there are a lot of people out there that frankly don’t give a crap about you or your business. What they do care about is making a sale. And they’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

That includes showing you examples of beautiful web sites from your competitors, writing case studies that show meaningless results from past web designs, giving you all of the answers that you want to hear instead of what you need to hear.


Let’s re-emphasize that last point.

Look for a website design company that won’t simply give you the answers that you WANT to hear. Find, hire and hold onto a website design company that will give you the answers that you NEED to hear. That’s a rare and valuable asset.

Before, during, and after the website design process you need a constant dose of reality. Yes, you need someone that will hold your hand, but you also need someone that isn’t going to just stroke your ego, bake you a tray of chocolate-chip cookies, and serve as your creative “Yes Man”.

How can you tell they’re genuinely good?

I have no doubt that you’ll see thousands of really awesome web designs. I have no doubt you’ll dive into countless different design processes, strategies, and pricing models. And many of those companies are 100% good at what they do: designing and developing websites.

But that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily good for you.

When you start looking for a website design company, everything outside of character is clutter. Services provided, corporate policies, and final delivered product are all important aspects that do deserve consideration down the line—but they are not the #1 thing to initially look for.

Here’s the problem: as you add more things to your “perfect agency ” requirement checklist, the less perfect any one website design company will be. This is a fact. We’re not all perfect. You’ll drive yourself nuts looking for someone that is (this goes for anyone in any industry).

One company might have a great published portfolio, while another might have content that resonates with your vision. A third company might have really simple pricing that seems like a steal. The options — and your stress — will keep compounding until you go crazy or broke trying to find your business’ silver bullet.

So don’t.

First focus on finding out if the people behind the scenes are genuinely good. Do they sincerely care? Do they provide a team of people you could see yourself actually working with to produce something great?

I’m not going to sit here and ramble off ways to be a better judge of character. But there are some things specific to this process that I will suggest you keep in the back of your mind. Ask yourself:

  1. Is this company willing to make calculated sacrifices for me?
  2. Will they put all opinions (except for my market) aside?
  3. Do they have the guts to tell me no?
  4. Can I relate to them on more than one level?

Is this company willing to make calculated sacrifices for me?

When it comes to sacrifices, we’re not talking about a ceremonial beheading of a cow to summon the Gods for a smooth build, successful launch, and sales out the wazoo. Sacrifices can be as small as meeting halfway for an introductory meeting, to as big as providing a reduced hourly rate built around equity options.

Your website design company is supposed to be a strategic partner that you can rely on. As with all partnerships, there will be times where faith and commitment will undergo trials and tribulations. So, prior to making a decision, you should know where your prospective vendor’s priorities truly lie.

If your ship starts sinking, are they going to be the first people grabbing for life-jackets and a seat on the inflatable raft? Or are they grabbing the rusty pail and bailing out the water?

While it should be implied, it’s still worth noting: sacrificial gestures go both ways and should be evenly displaced. Don’t mistake kindness for weakness. And don’t take advantage of someone else’s commitment. They have the right to cut you off with any scissors you hand them.

Will they put all opinions (except for my market) aside?

Here’s a shocker: your opinion doesn’t matter.

Not when it comes to your logo, or your web design, or your content, or your marketing strategy.

I repeat: your opinion doesn’t matter.

And neither does the opinion of your web designer or web developer. The only opinion that matters is the opinion of your target audience.

There are a lot of web design companies that market their services based on their own inflated estimation of themselves and under the assumption that they, and they alone, know what’s best for their clients.

Macho Man Randy Savage is not your web designer.

You can appreciate a company with confidence, but unless they prove themselves to be your central demographic and primary acquisition, make sure you take it with a grain of salt.

And don’t toot your own horn too much.

You may consider yourself an expert in your industry, and you very likely are, but are you selling to a mass of your own personal clones?

Doubt it.

The market will yield what the market should yield.

Everything else is irrelevant.

Do they have the guts to tell me no?

The customer is always right, except when they’re wrong.

Your search for a website design company began with an idea. It’s important to know that there are no bad ideas, but there are bad decisions.

Even the most well-established, successful businesses make mistakes. Competition is overlooked. Opportunity is mistaken for threat. Focus is fixated on waste. This happens every day to even the most brilliant of business minds.

A website is first and foremost an investment. Let’s not get it twisted people.

Is developing your website money well spent?

The answer could very well be yes. But it could also be no depending on a wide array of circumstances.

A good website design company will evaluate your business plan, your explanation for why you think you need a website, and poke holes in any questionable areas. “What makes you different than Company XYZ down the road? Have you given thought to your post-launch marketing strategy? How do you expect to scale your online footprint to generate leads and sales? Where will you do it? How?”

If you are not prepared, or well-equipped to succeed in your endeavors, it’s only ethical for a web design company to turn you down. Think of it this way: you want to buy a beautiful house on a cliff overlooking the sea. The realtor sends out an engineer to inspect the property. They find that the structure supporting the home is eroding. Would you expect them to still sell you the home?

As a client, understand that you can get shut down, and it’s definitely not taboo when it’s in both parties best interest.

Can I relate to them on more than one level?

Beyond a company having something that you want (web design services) is there any other reason why you’d choose them?

This is an important question to ponder prior to making a decision because there are going to be a lot of companies that can fulfill your work order request. Design styles today are rarely unique or unmistakable. It’s really all about trends. And trends can be easily mimicked.

In a Huffington Post article, Solomon Thimothy writes about the The Benefits of Connecting With Like-Minded Entrepreneurs. He writes that, “Surrounding yourself with other like-minded entrepreneurs can have a major impact on your own success and that of your business. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs often fail to seek out others for a variety of reasons, including fear, feeling inadequate or a lack of time.”

Thimothy goes on to discuss some of the benefits that result from connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs, which includes drawing inspiration from their passion. This is hugely important.

And connecting with like-minded individuals isn’t just for entrepreneurs. A study published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior suggests that how people feel about their co-workers positively impacts their work and life.

While the website design company you contract isn’t technically your “co-worker”, it’s crucial that they feel like one, especially since you’ll be working so closely together. Finding common ground—even with small things like music taste and sports affiliations—are what separates a good working relationship from a great one.

You are awesome, so why would you settle for anything less than equal to you? Put the extra time into getting to know the guys and gals behind the code.

Start Your Search

My goal in writing this post was to hopefully simplify the initial process of searching for a website design company. After some research, I noticed that there are a ton of generic things other blogs and websites suggest. Unfortunately, generic questions provide generic responses.

At Orpical Group, we pride ourselves on being a little unorthodox. We like real conversations with real people. We don’t take on every web design or development project that comes our way, but we do take every first conversation. Whether it’s a phone call, an in-person meeting, or video conference call on Skype, we’re anxious to hear about you and your vision for your website.

To schedule a free 15-30 minute consultation, please complete the form below. Following our discussion, we’ll have a good idea if we are a good fit to work on your project. And if we believe that we are a good fit, we’ll provide a detailed proposal and scope of work.

Get a Free Web Design Quote

Contact us for a free consultation and a web design quote.


Revamp Time? Reasons to Redesign Your Website

Companies no longer have the freedom to do business with a merely ‘functioning’ website.

As often the first or second impression that your company makes on a prospective customer, it’s critical to make a positive impression and express in an instant that you are legitimate, reliable, and modern.

If any of these telltale signs apply to your business’ website, it’s time to redesign your website.

Reasons to Redesign Your Website

It Looks Terrible On Mobile

According to an early 2017 study by the media analytics company ComScore, mobile browsing accounts for 71 percent of all time spent online in the United States. With this kind of market, your website should be designed with equal focus on desktop and mobile appearance, and ideally with mobile as the priority.

Far too many companies create websites that are focused on interactions through a computer, leaving the mobile experience to stay stuck at “good enough.” The worst thing that a website can be on a mobile browser is “adequate.”

It’s Not Secure

If you’re not well-versed in search engine skills, it’s easy to overlook the importance of your website’s URL. However the difference between an “http” and an “https” website could be damaging to your brand, your business, and even your customers.

HTTPS confirms that all activity done on and through the website is encrypted, securing vital data like login information and credit card numbers. This also means that the website and activity cannot be visible to someone who is trying to sniff through network traffic. Without a secure domain, your users’ information is at a greater risk of being accessed by outside parties.

More info: Why Secure Your Website With HTTPS

Lack of Aesthetic Unity

The most common issue that arises from having a lackluster website is a drop in trust and legitimacy in the eyes of the customer. The website is where the customer typically interacts with your business first, and if the website is riddled with typos, blurry .jpeg images, and faulty hyperlinks, the customer isn’t going to believe the rest of the business is run competently.

Are all your fonts consistent across pages? Is the color scheme, content layout, and imagery appropriate for the product you’re selling? If you aren’t sure, then neither is the customer, and that will certainly result in your website sending the wrong impression.

You Haven’t Updated It In The Past 6 Months

Not all businesses need to have state-of-the-art websites, but they do need to be responsive, easy to navigate, and pleasing to look at. Trends in the digital design industry are constantly evolving, and if you haven’t touched your website in nearly a year, chances are your layout, user interface or content could be updated to current standards.

You might not need a total re-do, but even seemingly minor improvements — a better functioning toolbar, or crisper tab navigation — can lead to a better customer experience. Plus, going over your finer points can lead to realizing anything from pricing errors to outdated discounts still up on the website.

Updating frequently allows for another opportunity to engage with your customer. They’re your best source for finding out what to fix, and how fast it needs fixing. And if the customer knows that news, deals and promotions are constantly being put up on the website, then they’re more likely to return.

Get a Free Website Revamp Proposal

Contact us for a free consultation and a website revamp proposal.

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service online marketing agency and business consulting firm. With locations in New Jersey and Philadelphia, we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay per click management.

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.


5 Pitfalls of Entrepreneurship and How To Avoid Them

It doesn’t matter if you’re the owner of a small, family-owned architectural firm with a modest staff of 12, or if you have built a Fortune 500 company from the ground up.

When it comes to big business, size doesn’t matter. Most entrepreneurs dream big. They are all in, even if that means working longer hours and forgetting to take time off. They dedicate their life to helping their company succeed above all.

You believe in your business. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have taken the leap to make your dream of becoming a business owner a reality.

Yet it is challenging, particularly as you are faced on a daily basis with choices that can make or break everything you’ve worked for.

That’s why it pays sometimes to get back to basics. Successful entrepreneurs are, by definition, driven, focused and dedicated. They know there is a difference between working your business and being your business.

So how do you stay on track and avoid the common pitfalls of entrepreneurship?

Pitfall #1: Thinking it will be easy

Solution: Be prepared to work hard

Nothing comes without hard work. While it may be true that doing what you love means you won’t work a day in your life, most entrepreneurs put in some pretty long hours.

A study by The Alternative Board found that 19 percent of small business owners work more than 60 hours a week, and only one in five small business owners work less than the standard 40-hour work week.

A whopping 97 percent of small business owners report working on the weekends as well.

Building a small business requires an investment of time and energy. It’s not uncommon to take your home with you too. Being an entrepreneur means few things out of sight are actually out of mind.

Pitfall #2: Forgetting your “why”

Solution: Prioritize work-life balance

It may sound contradictory, particularly when you’ve got your eye on the prize. You’re prepared to work hard, but burning out is a real thing that happens all too often.

That is why making time for family, reflecting on why you started your business, and doing something fun every now and then is so important. It doesn’t have to be a significant amount of time. Make sure to take time off with no laptops or phones.  Do something to help you re-focus.  An investment in yourself is a worthwhile investment in the future of your business.

Pitfall #3: Running out of money

Solution: Be financially prepared

Managing a budget and staying on track with finances can be one of the most challenging parts of starting a business.

A good first step is to make sure you’re prepared for anything that can happen. Have a healthy savings account you can draw from as you take time to figure out cash flow. While it may be trying, make a personal budget and do your best to stick to it each month.

And, perhaps most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Unless your degree is in accounting, it is invaluable to have the insight of a professional to draw on in times of financial confusion.

Pitfall #4: Giving up too soon

Solution: Build yourself a thick skin

Hearing no and encountering failure along the way is part of the game. It’s normal to learn as you go, and often that means learning from mistakes.

Don’t let a mistake break you. Instead, find ways to learn from what happened and use that knowledge to make your business stronger.

Pitfall #5: Trying to be a one-man show

Solution: Have a support system

One of the biggest and most common mistakes that new entrepreneurs make is trying to take on the world of small business alone.  There is truth to the concept that no man is an island and no business person should be either.

Having a mentor or qualified business coach from the start can be a game changer. Beyond that, drawing from family and friends, as well as your personal and professional network of resources, is a great place to find support for everything you’re trying to accomplish.

Avoid forgetting yourself. Your time as a business owner is incredibly valuable. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or reflecting on the success and growth of your business.

It all starts with you.

You believe in your business. You are living your dream. Don’t let anything, or anyone, get in the way of that.

Request Business Coaching Consultation

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service online marketing agency and business consulting firm. Based in New Jersey (NJ), we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.