1. Are you listed?
I don’t know about you, but if the company behind WordPress had a list of design firms, why would I chose outside of that list? Check out the list first… Inclusion in the list is by no means an endorsement, but you gotta admit that the list is a best foot forward in choosing a firm.
2. Is it custom or a pre-fab theme?
Again, no questions about the proficiency of some great WordPress development firms or some pretty neat premium themes out there. You just need to ask the right questions and know that there is a difference between a totally custom theme unique to your business from a pre-made theme with hundreds of downloads. How can you tell? Well, look at the firm’s portfolio, visit some of their sites, and then here’s a little trick – view the site’s source code. You will often find the name of the pre-fab theme there. Or, simply ask us and we’ll quickly let you know if what you’re looking at is a custom WordPress build or a downloadable theme.
3. How extensive is your portfolio?
A good number of us would like to showcase our best work, and often times there are many sites pending launch which the public cannot see. Another fact is that some firms are asked to perform WordPress design and development work for which they cannot publicly receive credit. Nonetheless, how extensive a firm’s portfolio is can tell you how diverse they are in their approach to delivering solid solutions for custom WordPress design and development.
4. Can I meet the team?
There is nothing wrong with a one man team. Just know that, well, that is just what you’ll be getting. Smaller firms can give you that one on one attention, however a one man operation can make you vulnerable to his skill set, time constraints, and ability to finish your project. So, take caution and clearly define your goals for timelines and costs.
5. You have a virtual office, really?
Last thing to look for is where [physically] is the firm located? It is not unheard of that some team members are remote from the main office. But honestly, where is the main office? If there is ever a need to sit down and discuss the project, do we really need to meet at Starbucks? Now, I am not saying that virtual firms are not productive or a viable option, however let us never forget that a grounded firm invests in its team members, and in its future.
Note that the opinions expressed herein are not meant to be comprehensive nor a substitute for due diligence when searching and selecting a wordpress website design firm. Consult with the BBB and always ask for at least one solid reference from a recent project. Also, search out the firm and see how many negative comments exist in open searches. Not that one comment or two will mean you may be dealing with a unprofessional firm, but multiple recurring complaints, specifically current ones, can be an indication of the state of the firm.
The best of luck on your WordPress firm search.