A good web design company keeps a balance between cost and quality. You never know when you will run into one that will cut costs at the expense of quality. A good web design company follows the principles of reusable components and can keep costs at a minimum because of not having to reinvent the wheel each time. Pricing is set based on what it is you want to do. A simple 5-page brochure style website with few graphics and no database might be all you need and these are very inexpensive nowadays. But when you start adding Flash graphics, shopping carts, user forums, and databases, the cost will rise reflecting the added work involved. If the company has standards that allow the reuse of software and design modules then costs can be kept to a minimum meaning you get a better price.
A good web design company should have a portfolio with strong design work. Companies have successfully completed a variety of projects and have a portfolio to show it. It’s best if they have a web site you can visit so that you can browse through the different websites they have delivered. Their portfolio web site should not only show snapshots of prior projects but explain what exactly was done for the client. Their portfolio web site should also be organised so that you can quickly find out if the design company has the experience to deliver what you need.
A good web design company offers plenty of support after delivery. It should also provide training and documentation so that you can maintain your website. There is no perfect design company and mistakes happen but a good one should be willing to correct their mistakes at no extra charge to you. And finally, a strong web design company should have manage your hosting and domain name or at least guide you through the process of setting them up.