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10 Tips When Choosing a Web Designer

Aug 17, 2007
With the importance of the internet now long beyond debate, it has become imperative to have a strong web presence. One of the best ways of achieving this is through a well branded, professional and user friendly website that will help you to connect with and relate to your present and prospective customers.

Once you have realised your need for a website, the next step is to hire a professional web designer or web developer who possesses the expertise to translate your requirements into an information rich website, leaving you to concentrate on what you do best!

Hiring the right web designer can be a daunting task for those of us who lack the essential insights on what to look for in a good web designer.

Here are some tips that will help you in choosing the right Web Designer / Design Company:

1. Ensure That Your Site Has Quantifiable Goals

It is good practice to spend some time in planning and defining your website's goals. Having clear and quantifiable goals for your website will help you in highlighting what you want your website to do and what is needed to get it done.

2. Purchase Your Own Domain Name

One of the smartest things you can do is to purchase your website domain name yourself as opposed to getting it done through the web designer. By purchasing your own domain name, you can make sure that you have complete control over your website. Web designers may come and go but the domain control will be yours.

3. Ask For Customer References

While you are in the process of choosing a Web Design Company, ask them for customer references, preferably with numbers you can call. Talking to past customers will help in knowing more about the designers, their expertise, style of working and respect for deadlines.

4. Establish Their Track Record

Building a good website is not a one time affair. To get real value from your website, it must be updated regularly. Hence, it pays to make sure that you can trust your web designer and make sure that they will still be in business years from now.

5. Check Their Designs

A good way to judge a web designer is by looking at websites they have designed recently and seeing if they are in a style you like. Pay attention to factors such as usability, navigation, layout and their potential to be found on the internet.

6. Meet Them At Their Offices

Before making a final decision on the web designer you choose to hire, meet them at their place of work. This will help you to know more about their setup, professionalism and style of doing business.

7. Pay For An Original Design

Never pay a web designer for a template. Not only will search engines penalise you for having non original content but you will have lost the chance to have a unique site developed that truly fits your requirements.

8. Check To See If The Designer Develops SEO Friendly Code & Uses CSS

Simply creating a pretty website is not enough in the midst of so much competition. Good designers understand that for a website to do well, it must be Search Engine Friendly (SEO) and should be designed using CSS instead of tables.

9. Site Should Confirm to Current Legislation

Make sure your website conforms to the current legislation. In the UK this includes the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Data Protection Act, the EU Freedom of Information Initiative and the Companies Act 2007.

10. Develop a Marketing Plan

Your web presence is incomplete without a comprehensive SEO and online marketing plan. Remember, your site won't sell itself!
About the Author
Jon Boon, is the Marketing Director of Forward Slash Media . Find out how Forward Slash Media can help you design and develop your website next to your business goals.
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