Selecting a web designer is a very important decision, not only will they be creating your main marketing tool but will probably be the ones responsible for its ongoing development and updating.
- Are they interested in your business?
Do they take the time to understand what you do and what makes your business unique?
- Do they explain the importance of content; do they offer a content writer or content editor?
Poor content is dangerous to the health of your website ranking; remember writing for the web is not like writing for other media forms.
- What do their current clients or recent ones say about them?
References are always helpful, where possible request to speak to the owner of a featured site rather than be led.
- What are the payment terms? Is it stage payments that are goal based? Are they confident they can deliver on budget and on time?
- Does the site have an administration capability so you can maintain it yourself if you wish to?
- Do they offer a maintenance program?
Websites are normally not a once off, but an evolving tool.
- What search engines do they submit it to for you?
This should be the big 4 at least.
- Does the Web designer’s site have previous work on display for you to view?
- Do they all look the same or reflect each company’s individuality?
- Do they seem to over promise?
Do they promise your site will be ranked first in Google for your top keywords within a week of its launch? Be weary of designers who over promise and underachieve.
- Can you understand them?
A good designer will ensure they speak to you in such a manner that you understand, not bamboozle you with jargon.
- Are they professional?
Are they prompt in replying to your calls or e-mails, do they build the site online so you review progress, is there a clear development path.
- Do they test your site on several platforms and browsers?
It is essential your site works on Internet Explorer, Safari, FireFox to name but a few. All browsers are not the same.
- Do they recognize the importance of search engine optimization?
A site is only good if it can found! Ask them what techniques they undertake for SEO, if they reply there is no such thing move on quickly.
- Are they in love with fancy technology?
Over complicated websites mean unsearchable and high maintenance, technology should be used when it gets the best result not because it looks cool.
- Is the price fair?
Keep in mind that a high-quality site is an investment that will pay for itself many times over in sales, while a poorly crafted site will drive away potential customers. A cheap site may seem like a bargain at first but in the long run will cause more damage than it’s worth.
- Do they care?
A good designer will go beyond your expectations to make sure you’re completely satisfied with your Website. If you get the sense that the designer you’re considering churns out Web sites like sausages, move on to the next one.
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