marketing, Internet graphics options and
limitations, effectively creating a site from the perspective of search
engines, the differences and limitations of different browsers and
computer platforms as well as knowledge of the software and coding
required to move beyond simple static html pages.
It is also vitally important that your
designer understand you and your business and know how to most
effectively communicate you and your uniqueness to your Internet
audience. To answer our question, we’ll look at some important pieces of
information that you’ll need to find out before you choose your website
What do you want in a website? What are
your needs and intentions for having a website? Does the prospective
designer listen to and understand your needs and intentions? Have you
checked other similar businesses to see what they are doing on the
Internet? Can a prospective designer offer any suggestions for improving
upon what others have already accomplished? The more clarity you have
about your intended results for having a website, the more accurately
you can communicate your needs to your designer and the more likely it
is that you will achieve these results.
Is the designer experienced in website
design? How long has the designer been creating websites? What is their
background? How long have they been using the Internet? Three years is a
long time in Internet terms. More than four or five years is a seasoned
veteran. Ideally, your site designer has a variety of experience.
What are the designer's strengths and
weaknesses? The range of skills required for creating any type of
website is more diverse than you can imagine. If a designer tells you
they have done or can do any project, I’d suggest you take that
statement with a grain of salt.
Is the designer easy to work with and
talk to? Is she/he able to communicate technical information so that you
can understand it? The process of creating a website can often be an
overwhelming process for some people. Consider hiring a designer with
whom you have a good rapport and find communicating with easy.
Look at some of their previous clients
sites. Do they all look the same? Do they load quickly? Are they easy to
navigate through? Do you like their previous work? Do they accurately
reflect their clients’ business? Does the designer custom create each
site or would they have you select from a list of prepackaged sites?
What is your budget and what is the
typical cost for the designer’s projects? As a generalization, the
larger the company, the more they charge for their services (and often
the more elaborate the sites they create.) Companies which create sites
from a prepackaged template often cost less but don’t provide you with
custom solutions which may more closely meet your needs. Site designers
who are getting started will often create your site for a lower fee,
essentially using your project to develop their skills.
Your decision should be based on many
of these important questions. Also use any other questions you find
useful when hiring any other service business for a project. Comparing
website designers is sometimes like comparing bananas to bicycles
instead of apples to apples. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You might
consider writing pros and cons for each designer on a sheet of paper to
develop a more objective point of view.
The selection of your website designer
is an important step in the creation of a successful website. With time
and patience, you too can join the thousands of businesses with