Web design firms are not hard to come by in regions like Charlotte, North Carolina, where there is a bustling tech industry. For people in those regions who want to establish new partnerships with web design firms, it can be a sort of embarrassment of riches. It’s easy to find a list of companies that are active, but that only makes it all the more difficult to discern which of them are well suited to a particular client’s vision for their website.

This isn’t just a matter of quality; it’s also a matter of compatibility. Charlotte web design firms should generally boast high marks in terms of relevant training and expertise, but some of them are sure to apply that expertise in much different ways than others. Over time, many will show a particular penchant for a certain niche of web design project. Others may prove themselves to be adaptable in a way that makes them especially well-suited for clients that aren’t sure what they want for their brand identity, or are wary of committing to a specific target audience.

In either case, the particular strengths, weaknesses, and areas of uncertainty for various web design firms should be reflected in their portfolios. You should expect Charlotte web design firms to have those portfolios of past work readily available online. If they do not, you would be justified in viewing it as a red flag. However, if information on the company’s about page or in online reviews leads you to believe that they’re particularly worthwhile, you can always reach out to them directly and ask for screenshots and links to their prior work.

However a site owner acquires those examples, they must be willing to commit a good deal of time and energy to reviewing and comparing them if they’re interested in making the very best selection for a potential long-term partnership. And make no mistake, web design firms are indeed a long-term partnership in many cases. While it’s tempting to think that their work ends permanently when a new site goes life, the reality is that if that launch is successful, it will put the site on course to survive for many years to come. And if it does so, then the site will inevitably have to adopt to different styles, technologies, user preferences, and so on.

Evidence of long-term adaptation is one thing to look for when reviewing the portfolios of web design firms that have been in the industry for a number of years. However, this is not to say that newer companies should be written off. Examine their portfolios for signs of variety and openness to new ideas, and you will most likely find the seeds of adaptation to new trends as they emerge.

Above all else, though, a review of web design portfolios should reveal a strong but subjective impression about which firms are capable of handling the sorts of content and evoking the sorts of feelings that you want to associate with your brand. Although there are various objective skills that an informed and discriminating site owners should test, the essence of any partnership comes down to a shared professional outlook and the ability to communicate effectively. And that is not something that can be taught.