A search for web design firms yields so many results for a user. Yet you will still see so many poorly made websites. When looking for a suitable website, you need to ensure it meet certain standards.
You first, need to see their portfolio. They must show you websites that are in use which they designed. You need to observe the kind of style they use, to see if it fits with your theme. Make a point of visiting their existing websites, to see how user-friendly and intuitive they are. You need to know more about this portfolio, since their experience or education is useless to you if it is a poor one. More experience hardly assures you of more ideas and creativity.
Look also at their customer service provision. All the good things they can do will pale in comparison if they do not have people always available to listen to your calls or respond to your emails when you need them to. If your site is not operational at that time, you may lose too much revenue along with some clients.
Do not go just for any type of skillset when you need a specific website made. You need to choose the experts accordingly. Only work with those who can handle such work.
There has to be an agreement on the expected time of completion of this project. Do not fall for those who promise you the shortest time possible, those tend to disappoint you in the end. Go for those who can deliver on a realistic timeline.
Go to an agency that does more of the things your site will need. The things that must be there in your site include SEO, e-commerce, branding, mobile compatibility, social media marketing, and such services. They may lack in a few areas, but they will arrange to have those services delivered.
You need to observe their communication style. This will be a great way for you to tell how good the website shall communicate with your targeted audience. You need to see excellent communication skills before you trust them to do the same for your site.
Look also for one that integrates marketing and SEO in your website properly. You need a properly designed website for your clients to use. They need to see it appear in search results, for them to access all the good things it has to offer, something that may not be possible otherwise.
You need to find out from other clients how well they responded to their demands. You need to know how it is like working with them. You need to see also how well they are good at sticking to a budget.