Choosing someone to build your site for you is an important decision, as this is often an expensive and long term investment – you want to make sure you’ve chosen the right people! The first thing you need to do is take a look at other websites and make a list of the features or design ideas you really like. Next, search for local web design agencies in your area. You don’t want to have to travel too far to get to meetings with your designer for example! You should take a look at the company websites for the agencies – this gives you a good indication as to the standard of their work. Do all the menus work properly, can you click on links and are the pages attractive?
Once you have narrowed your list down to a few local agencies, see if you can have a look at their portfolios. Web designers should be able to at least provide you with some other companies they haev done work for, or websites they have designed. This gives you another chance to check out their work.
Arrange a meeting or Skype call with the design team to discuss your requirements. Most designers will be able to give you a rough estimate based on the information you are giving them, so you can have a ballpark figure in mind. Once you have decided on the agency you wish to hire, you can give them more information.