A good website design and development company should have a list of references and contact numbers that you can call. This will provide you with an opportunity to get a feel for what it will be like when you deal with a particular website design company. It is fine to call them but unless you know the kinds of questions you should be asking them it may simply be a waste of time. Here are a few things that you may want to ask when you are deciding whether or not to use a particular website design company.

Were deadlines met?
You want to make sure that a company is able to meet the deadlines it sets. You may want to ask about milestones as well as final deadlines. Did a company find it difficult to meet minor deadlines but were still able to deliver a product on time? It is important to get a feel for how efficient a company is and whether or not they were able to meet deadlines can be a good indicator of this. If you are finding that clients are happy with the site they received but that they were delivered well past established deadlines you may want to look elsewhere and deal with another company.

How easy was it to communicate with the company?
You want to make sure that you will be able to communicate freely with the company that will be building your site. You need to make sure that the company is able and willing to discuss your project and its progress with you. A company that does not communicate well may have a much harder time delivering the kind of website you had been looking for. It can be frustrating to deal with a company that never returns messages and this can be a sign that you may want to look elsewhere for a different service provider.

Were they able to accommodate any special requests or needs that you had?
Some companies will have specific needs that their website needs to be able to deliver. This could be something as simple as a password protected area for members only or something much more complex such as a site that is able to interface with accounting or inventory software. A website development company that is able to accommodate this can be a good one to deal with. You want to make sure that you are dealing with a company that can give you a website that can meet all of your needs, so if a company cannot work with specific programs and technologies you need to know about it before you commit to working with them.

How did the site function?
Finding out how the site functions is also very important. Did the company find that there were problems that needed to be corrected? If so, this can delay the launch date and may mean that you lose out on potential income. If you find that a site works well now but had issues in the past you may want to consider working with another company that has a much smoother development process.