Does their approach fit your approach? Are they corporate or more free form? Are they as detail oriented as you? Can they describe their approach to projects?
I always say, its great when I say I am good, it is nice when other propel agree. Listen to what they say about themselves and talk to the client’s to see if they agree. Make sure you find a company with integrity.
Check out the portfolio, do you see the kind of web site you want? You may not see a twin of your vision (which is great! If you did, your site would not be unique). But, can you see the style, quality, and overall impression you want to make?
Can you communicate with your developer? With Leads, sometimes we hit it off right away and sometimes it is like sludging through mud to find the same page. Make sure you find someone that understands you and that you can understand. It should not be hard to talk to your developer, if it is, you may not be in the right place.
Like buying a car, websites have many price points. There are a lot of moving pieces from design approach, project management, coding quality, testing, architecture, images, movement, and team. Know where you want to be and find a company that fits. If your project is lot of money to you, but a little to your developer you may not get the attention and service you expect. Likewise, if your project is a ton of money to your developer and a pittance to you, it can be hard to get on the same page for billing, meetings and attention. The best relationships are when both parties see the project in the same light.
In general, you need to find a developer that you connect with and trust. Ideally, this relationship will be long-term