Your local business website represents your company online and, as a result, should have a look and feel similar to your business: professional and welcoming. When it comes time to choose a Website Designer, you’ll want to make sure you’ve chosen an individual or group who not only understands your needs but has the technical know-how to turn your vision into a reality.
Begin by narrowing the field down to 2 or 3 strong candidates. Then interview each one, paying special attention to the answers they give you. Their responses will tell you quite a bit about their abilities to design and optimize a website.
Can I See Examples of your Work?
This should be your first request. Here you are looking to verify this person can deliver the actual results you expect. The second thing you’re looking for is your potential designer’s ability to create aesthetically pleasing work. Don’t be satisfied with static screenshots, actually navigate around the websites to make use they are using friendly.
What browsers will my website support?
Believe it or not, websites show up differently in browsers. A site may look really great in Internet Explorer but may not look quite right in FireFox, Safari or Opera.. The designer you choose to work with should understand how to optimize your site so that it works in all of the major browsers, regardless of whether you’re on a Mac or a PC.
Will I Own My Own Website Domain?
Some web designers take ownership of their work, from setting up the domain and hosting accounts and creating the site itself. You are paying for the website, so you should have access to all of the hosting accounts and you should have a backup copy of the website on file. You’ll want to make sure you have the information necessary to move to another designer if you should choose to do so in the future.
How will I make changes to the site?
Building a website is one thing. Updating the site at a later date, is another. Make sure you know if you will be able to make simple text updates yourself or if you will have to ask him every time new material needs to be added. If you can do it on your own, will you have to learn a complex editing program or will you be operating on a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) type of platform. Make sure you’re getting a modern built-in editing program, similar to WordPress if possible.
What is the time-frame for delivery and how much will the site cost?
After giving the developer an idea of what you are looking for, he should have no problem giving you a time estimate and a price quote. Make sure you are very clear if the price is on a ‘Project’ basis or on an hourly rate, if the latter, verify how many hours he expects the work will take.
Ask the Web Designer if he has any Questions for you.
Ask the developer if he has any questions for you. For example, he should certainly be asking you exactly what kind of web design you prefer and specifically what you expect in the way of results for your new site. The more questions he asks in this way, the more you will both understand the end results to be achieved. There is no need to feel that you need to hire the first designer you think might be suitable. Take the time to interview a few and make sure you’re getting the services you want from someone you feel comfortable with. The final result will very much depend on whether that person clearly understands your requirements.
Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO or SEM) Included?
The truth is, most web designers are not qualified to optimize your new site for the search engines. All too often, clients’ assume that their new site will be found and indexed by the search engines after going live but this is a dangerous assumption.As this is crucial to your business, it’s important that you discuss the topic of SEO to see if they will perform basic SEO strategies to your new website or if they can refer you to a qualified SEO Consultant.
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