a Web Designer
Before choosing someone
to design your Web Site, there are a lot
of factors to consider. The first and foremost
is what is it that you want to accomplish
with your site. Are you selling something,
is it a high end product, are you looking
to sell quantity, are you looking to share
information, Once you have answered these
questions then you need to look at the realistic
figures that your willing to work with.
If you're a small business and want to sell
your product on the internet then this could
be an issue.
Keep in mind the types of Web Sites that
you will be competing with. In order to
get the typical web surfer to take your
site seriously you need to make an impression.
A lot of your competition may be larger
than you, they can afford a large e-commerce
site. This is not only costly to design
but also costly to maintain. If you can
afford it this is the route you should go.
How ever if you can not, than DO NOT try
to pass your business off for what it is
not. Most surfers can see right through
this, then they figure your trying to hide
something and they won't deal with you at
all. Instead, present you business professionally
and honestly. Give the background of your
business, when you started. Its no crime
if your business is new, but make sure you
put emphasis on that fact. Make sure that
you include a picture and bio of yourself
on your site, This gives the surfer the
feeling that he/she is dealing with a real
person and business. If you have a retail
establishment then include pictures of that
as well. Let them know where you are. Give
as much contact information as you possibly
can (phone, fax, toll free line, voice mail,
e-mail etc.), this makes a client much more
comfortable about doing business over the
internet it gives them the feeling that
you are not out of reach for their needs.
If your business is small and you can't
afford the big expensive e-commerce site,
it doesn't mean you can't present your products
over the internet. You can create a catalogue
for your customers to see your product line.
If you do not have a secure line than Do
Not include a place on the order form for
credit card orders. Instead, let your customers
know that you will contact them or give
them a toll free number to call once they
have filled out the order form. This way,
you can make the transaction as a typical
phone order and follow the same procedures,
and you still received an order that you
otherwise would have not.
Now that you have established what type
of site you can afford you need to find
someone that will create the site for you.
I'm a firm believer in keeping business
in my local area since in the long run we
benefit from this. The first place you should
look is the internet. In your keyword search
you should include your town or city, if
this comes back without any results than
expand your search to areas just outside
your town or city. Once you have a list
of designers at hand then check out their
site thoroughly, especially their clients
list. You need not be put off if his/her
client list is not a mile long and they
are new in the business, as this is where
you may get your best buy. Go to their clients
sites and see if you can find one that would
best represent your business and then make
some inquires with these clients as to the
type of service they received. Make sure
you ask, if the price that they were quoted
was the price they paid or were there enticements
that were made to increase the cost of the
Now that you have a list of Web Designers,
create a check list of questions for each
Designer on your list and call them one
by one. Ask your questions, take notes,
then do your comparisons. Price should not
be the only determining factor in your choice.
If it is you may end up with a site that
is not worth the space it's using on the
Here are a list of questions you may consider
asking clients of a web designer.
Ask about pricing (of course).
- Was the pricing
reasonable compared to the results?
- Where there "hidden"
- Did the developers
offer itemized invoices?
Ask about the
service before, during and after the project.
- Did the developer
have your business interests in mind?
- Was the web developer,
skilled, organized, and helpful?
- Did the developer
clearly have a strong knowledge of the web
development process as it relates to business
Ask about the
quality of the development.
- Was the graphic
design of good quality?
- Was there custom
programming (i.e. - java script, database,
- Where there complaints
by people visiting the site?
- Was the Client satisfied?
Finding a good designer
is like going fishing, make sure you don't
throw the wrong one back just because of
their size. And don't let the right one
get away just because of their pricing,
they may give you the best site for your