1. How Clean and Focused is the Website of the Vendor
Google has its page very clean with just a simple rectangle at the middle, and they are very successful! So, the ideal site should NOT have unwanted links, displays, ads, flash, junk etc. and, it should have enough empty spaces to avoid distractions for maintaining focus and attention of the prospective customers.
2. Background of the Vendor Company
Unless it involves hundreds of thousands of dollars, a small firm, a start up firm, couple of experienced consultants, or even a single consultant with very good experience and confidence can do the job. And, it can be much more economical, and will have direct communication, in addition to sincere and dedicated support services.
3. The Vendor’s Site should have Good Ranking and comply with W3C Guidelines
The vendor should have key pages ranked at least 3/10 by Google. And, Alexa ranking of less than 400,000. Please verify that web pages (NOT just home page alone) validates W3C compliances for XHTML and CSS . Ideally, the vendor site should have ALL the pages pass the tests excpet Blog page which might be a third party software. However, please note that usage of third-party browser prefixes, like moz, webkit etc, will NOT validate CSS as of now, because these are yet to be incorporated to W3C standards.
4. Management Profile of the Vendor is very Critical
May be the old saying, “1000 sheep lead by a lion is better than 1000 lions lead by a sheep” hold good in any business. So, a relaible firm will be the one that carry the profile and photos of the Management Team on its site. And, the management team should have good track record of experience, positions held, eduction etc.
5. Ideal to have Local Presence for the vendor Firm
It is always good to have a presence for the vendor in US, Europe etc. so that you feel more confident that you are not dealing with some one or a group of unemployed or not employable guys, sitting in some remote part of the world. You need to have full confidence and guaranteed return for the money, time, energy, and opportunity you invest in. Here, you need to be very careful.
6. Blog page of the vendor is very important
It is a must that you go through the blog page and see how clean, elegant, focused, content-rich, lively, and particiative it is. If the vendor lack these qualities for its blog page, then it is a problem.
7. Your Unique Requirement and Gut-feel
It is NOT always true to go by the statement, ‘You get what you pay for’. Some times, you can get the best results from a tiny firm, or a software diversification firm, or an individual.
Make sure that you communicate thoroughly with the vendor about your expectations regarding aesthetics, performance, objectives, size, reliability, timeline, budget, support etc.