a Website Designer
that you have decided that it is time to create a website for your
business there are many questions you must answer. One of the most
important questions is "Who should create my website?"
like to use the analogy of playing music; in as little as a few
hours, some people can strum a few chords on the guitar and play
a song. But to really play the instrument and make your instrument
sing requires experience and understanding. Likewise, although there
are tools which are readily available to assist in the process,
effective website design requires experience and understanding of
many diverse areas including: 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.
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 designer.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 successful websites.
Lillo is the President of PlanetLink, a website design and consulting
firm that specializes in creating websites that get results. They
also provide their Web Doctor Service for increasing the effectiveness
of existing websites. PlanetLink can be reached at http://www.planetlink.com
or by telephone at 415-884-2022.