Web Design for Small to Midsize business.  Ecommerce, Flash, Search Engine Optimization, PayPal, Graphic design





How to Choose a Web Designer

Before you commission someone to design your web site ask yourself these questions. It might even be helpful to write down the answers and bring them with you when you have your consultation with your web designer.

  1. What will be the primary purpose of my website? To market a business, service or product? To provide information to the general public?
  2. Is my service or product a localized commodity? OR...Am I looking to expand my market?
  3. Who is my target audience?
  4. Am I interested in selling my products and service online?
  5. How will I generate return customers/readers?
  6. What can I add to my site to make it stand out, and be useful to my readers/customers so they will return?
  7. How do I plan on marketing my site?
  8. Do I want to participate in affiliate programs, webrings, banner advertising?

After you determine what your needs are, you will need to ask some questions of your designer to determine if she or he will be able to meet your needs.

1. Beyond site design what services does the designer provide? Will you submit my site with the major search engines? Will my site be properly indexed? Will you pursue linking my sites to similar sites? What if any marketing is provided?

Most Designers do just that, design web sites. In addition most good designers make sure your site has appropriate titles, keywords, and descriptions built in so that the search engines properly index your site. A web designer also helps you find hosting for your web site, and uploads and manages the technical aspects of your site. That however is where the job of the web designer ends. Think of your website like a business card, do you expect your business card printer to distribute your cards for you? To learn more about marketing your site, click here.

2. Who will provide the written copy for my site? Am I going to provide the designer with the written copy, or do I expect the designer to write the copy?

If you are planning on writing your own copy, you will have to agree with the designer on the manner in which it is going to be delivered. Are you going to give your web designer electronic files, and if so what format, or are you going to give the designer printed materials, that will have to be input by hand or scanned?

If your designer is going to write the copy, then you have to agree on a guideline as to how changes will be handled, and when is the copy "final".

3. Who will provide the graphics for my site? Do I already have a logo, and other images I want used on my site or do I expect the web designer to provide the graphics?

Chances are even if you already have a logo and other images you want to use on your site, you will still want some graphic work done such as buttons, banner art, and backgrounds. You will have to make sure that the art your designer uses is free of any copyright infringements.

4. How will maintenance, upgrading, and changes to my site be handled?

All sites require some maintenance and updating. Site addresses should be submitted to search engines at least once a month, and to keep your site interesting you will want to change the content on a regular basis.

5. How will ecommerce on my site be managed?

If you are going to be taking orders online, then you will need to either learn how to handle the transactions yourself, or hire someone who can do it for you, possibly your web designer. This is something that needs to be agreed upon before your site goes live.


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