10 Steps to Choosing a Good Website Designer
- Time in Business - How long have they been in business.
- Depth on the bench - If you are using this person/company to design and develop your new website, have they surrounded themselves with reliable support staff. It's very difficult to find one person that has the skills of a graphic designer, skilled Html and CSS expert, website developer, content writer, Search Engine Optimization Specialist and has good client communication skills.
- Time to develop - It's a fact that the longer it takes your selected company to make your website, the more dissatisfied you will be with your choice. The average small to medium size business website should take about 3-5 weeks to develop. If someone quotes you several months, you should continue your search.
- Fixed Bid Pricing - Don't get stuck having your website cost you twice what you were quoted. Make sure to sign a "Fixed-bid Agreement" with your website developer.
- Good Content Management System "CMS" - Make sure your new website comes with a good Content Management System, which will allow you to edit your own content at no cost. Do not develop a static Html website, or a Flash movie website. These websites will increase your cost of maintaining the site, and dramatically reduce your optimization of content in the Google Search Engine.
- Search Engine Optimization "SEO" - Your new website should be able to easily allow you to optimize content for the Google Search Engine. Even the best CMS can only automate about 50% of the optimization of your content. The other 50% comes from the guidance of your website developer. Make sure the person you hire is adding your content to the site with the intention of getting maximum exposure in the Search Engines.
SEO is typically a paid service that is separate from the building of your website, so it is not difficult for your website developer to complete the SEO of the content as they are adding it to the site.
The worst experience you can have is to spend your dear dollars on a beautiful website that no one can find. You might want to ask your new Website developer if they can show you clients that have good ranking in the Google Search Engine.
- Design for Visitor Conversion - It's one thing to get visitors to the site, it's another to convert them into clients or customers. For this you need to have "Call to Action" opportunities on multiple pages of your site. Make sure your website designer/developer talks to you about how they are going to convert your visitors into clients.
- Reliable Hosting - All websites require a monthly fee for hosting. There are hosting services that cost as little as $5/month, but be aware that you may be getting what you pay for. You will probably need to rely on your website developer to recommend hosting, just make sure it is a reliable service, with live support, just in case you need to call them for support.
- Reliable Email Service - Email service is usually provided by the company hosting your website. We usually recommend a 3rd party service, like Google Email. Google offers FREE Email service for up to 10 Email accounts + 10 List Group Accounts. For the average small business, this is enough.
- Customer Support - After your website is complete, does this person have a support system to answer you questions and issues you run into, or are they only developing new websites and moving on?