How do you know if a website design agency is a credible and legitimate business?

By Jules Mackley 26th March 2022
Person confirming things off a list
When you are looking for a web agency to work with, of course you do your due diligence to check them out, right?

You’d be amazed how many people will hand over thousands of pounds and not even check the basic facts about the company they are working with! Half an hour on Google can save you and your business a considerable amount of money and heartache.

Google them!

A great place to start is by Googling the company name.

Firstly, do they have a Google Business Profile? This is where a business can provide details and photos of their business including their location, products and services. This information will be visible in Google search, Google maps and Google Shopping.

A Google search will also provide you with links to their website, social media profiles and even news articles that the company has appeared in. It's worth spending some time checking these out to gather as much information as possible, especially before handing over any money.

SimpleClick Google My Business Profile on a mobile phone

Check their website

There are several telltale signs on a company's website that will give away whether they are legitimate or not.

  • Do they have a business address and landline contact number? Google Maps offers a street view so you can actually see if it's an office or the address of the local takeaway! Ensure the landline number is real by calling it to see who answers it. If there is no way to contact a company offline then this should be a big red flag.
  • Check for professionalism. Poor spelling and grammar on a website could be an indicator that the company is not quite what it seems.
  • Meet the team or about us page. This is always a good indication of the size and quality of a company, it'll allow you to get a feel for the people involved and the wider team. When you meet them, ideally at their office, there will be no surprises.

Companies house

If you are dealing with a Limited company you can get a vast amount of information on Companies House for free. Including a companies’ registered address, company status and company type. The date of incorporation and any previous company names.

Current and resigned officers, previous company names, insolvency information is also available here.

You can view individual Director profiles, how many companies they are currently connected to, or have been connected to in the past. It's important to remember that although this data is correct people can have more than one profile on Companies House depending on how they typed their name in when completing the business profile.

Social media profiles

Most businesses have some form of presence on social media. Whilst anyone can create as many social media profiles as they like across many platforms there are a few tell-tale signs that might make you want to ask some more questions.

Once you have found their social channels check that their details match those on their Google Business Profile and the company website? Are there regular updates and what is the engagement like? 

Use your social media to ask your connections for a recommendation about a business, everyone loves to shout about someone who has done an amazing job, likewise if they have been let down.

Previous clients

It's always good to check the authenticity of the work a company is claiming to have done. Reaching out to previous clients to ask about their experiences should be encouraged. If a project or company features on their websites portfolio or proposal they should be more than happy for you to speak to them directly.

Don't be fooled by a logo of a top brand on their website, ask about the nature of the work they have done for that company. Did they build Nike's website, or simply create a Nike poster for the local shoe shop? Context is really important.


Google, Trustpilot, Clutch and Facebook are all popular places for customers/clients to leave a review. Don't just judge a company by its rating, make sure you read through the reviews posted. What do they highlight? 

Negative reviews don't always mean a company is not trustworthy. It gives you a great insight into how they deal with customer service, have they engaged with the negative reviewer? Look at the response and how they've handled it, this can tell you an awful lot about the culture within a business and their client relationship management.

Finally, remember to see who is leaving those reviews. Are they genuine customers, or are they employees, or Directors of the business? 

Talk to us today

Call us on 01473 655669 or email [email protected].