Looking for a can be something of a nightmare. The simple fact is that there are thousands of them out there - a lot of them in India, although that is not necessarily a criticism - and some of them are very good, some are mediocre, and some are just awful. The problem is: how do you find one that is very good? They are all out there blowing their trumpets - naturally - but how do you find one that will produce the results that you need?
Make no mistake, a good website is not just one that looks pretty to the untrained eye. A good website produces results. When you have a visitor to your website you want him (or her) to take a certain action. This may be to add his name to your list, send a donation to your charity, click on a link that takes him to somewhere else, get out his credit card and spend money on the spot, or one of many other actions. A good website persuades your visitor to do whatever it is that you want him to do. Anything less is a complete waste of your time and money. If your visitor clicks away - for whatever reason - you have lost him, because it is very unlikely that he will ever come back.
Indeed, a good website could look very basic and simple, yet if it gets the result that you want it is a good website. Conversely, your website might be full of bells and whistles, and all singing and dancing, but if the visitor clicks away then it is not a good website.
When choosing a you should look for one that has been in business for several years because it will then have developed skill sets that cover everything you are going to need. It should also have a team of developers. There are many website design companies out there that are a one-man operation and it is unlikely that one man will have all the skills that you need. At the very least you will need a programmer, a graphic designer, and someone skilled in search engine optimization.
This is much the same as building a house. You need a team of people including bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, tilers, landscape gardeners, and more, to build a house. One man is not going to possess the skills to do all of it, and the same applies to building your website.
One of the most important things when having your website built is to ensure that it has the best possible chance of getting on to page one of Google. You will find a great number of people who will tell you that they can guarantee you the first page of Google, and you should run a mile from those people. Nobody can guarantee you a page one position for the simple reason that nobody except Google themselves knows exactly what it is that Google uses to decide where a website appears. Certainly, a good website design company will keep up to date with Google's latest algorithms, but the final decision on where a website appears is down to nobody other than Google themselves. Believe it or not, you will find people guaranteeing you the first page on Google whose own website is ranked somewhere down on page seven! If they can't get their website on page one, what chance has yours got?
Your best bet is to look at the portfolio of the design company you are considering and see what they have done in the past. In particular, check out how many of their clients do have page one rankings, as this will give you a good idea of their capabilities.
Finally, don't let cost worry you too much. Yes, you may have a budget, but if you spend 1,000 and don't get results then you have just wasted 1,000. Far better to spend five times that on a website that gets your visitors taking the action that you want them to take which results in money in the bank, which is what most businesses - other than not for profit - want to achieve. The has a team of skilled website designers and developers.