I have several successful sites that have done well but I'm seeing the need to invest further to upgrade at least 2 sites. They are at the stage where the design needs exceeds my IT skill level.
My problem is that I cannot seem to find one company that can manage to upgrade all the elements of the sites. For example, there are designers for the specific forum software I use and designers for the blog software but no one company that appears to be able to do both in house. Am I destined to hire two,maybe three different design companies to work on one site and then coordinate them like a building contractor would?
How does one determine whether a web site design company is competent? I've been holding off upgrading the sites because of the companies/designers I have researched, I'm not seeing a specific match to my own needs in their portfolios of previous clients.
Have you talked to the companies or are you just basing your conclusion on looking at their portfolios? I'm sure that a lot of companies don't publish their entire portfolio, so they may actually have experience with both.
Also, a lot of companies work with freelancers, so while they don't have anyone with experience in-house, they may work with one (or several) who do have the needed experience.
Unless you want to spend the time/energy to act as a general contractor, I feel it's better to go with a company you like and let them handle the outsourcing/management of a freelancer with the specific skills for the project.