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20 Helpful Tips when getting a Website Designed

  1. Decide what you are looking for and what you want to achieve through your web site.
  2. Work out a rough budget.
  3. Do some Web searches to see what other companies have put on their Web sites and get some ideas of what to ask for when you get your website designed.
  4. If you are planning a large site then there may be some advantage in finding a designer near by and have long term contract.
  5. As you home in on a short list of designers, give each a call to see how helpful they seem to be. Make sure they speak your language so you fully understand what they are going to do for you.
  6. Find a designer through referral, search engines, yellow pages or business support agencies.
  7. Ask the designers for a portfolio so that you can compare. It may be worth asking for references.
  8. Tell your potential designer what your site is all about and what you hope to achieve by putting it on the Internet.
  9. Always ask for ideas from the designer and what else they may be able to offer.
  10. Navigation on Web sites is extremely important. Check that the designer employs good simple navigation techniques. Try and navigate some of their sites.
  11. Ensure that your Web designer is not prone to over elaborate with graphics. Graphics take a relatively long time for the pages to load and if used excessively you may lose visitors.
  12. Shop around. Web Site Designers will generally provide you with a ball-park figure provided you can tell them some details of the Web site you would want them to build. Cheapest isn’t best.
  13. Determine in advance additional service that you may require. This might include a Logo design or advice and execution for optimizing your Web site for high ranking on search engines. A designer that offers all the services means only one phone call if something goes wrong.
  14. Once your Web site is up and running you will need to update it as time goes by. You could either do this yourself through a Content Management System (CMS) or have an agreement with the designer for them to do this for you.
  15. Find out the time frame that the Web designer believes can be achieved to develop your Web site.
  16. Do not expect your Web site to reach the top in a short period. It will take time whether you leave it all to the designer or take on some of the work on yourself. It is important to understand that your Web Designer is going to do a lot more than simply put an image on a page and add some colour. A quality website doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process than can take weeks or months depending on the website’s size.
  17. Make sure the web site is browser and resolution compatible so everyone can see it properly.
  18. Legal issues are very important. Privacy and Disclaimer notices. Terms and Conditions. Accessibility is another key factor your developer should advise you on.
  19. What support is offered afterwards and what are the yearly running costs of the site?
  20. People find it easier to work with people like themselves, so try and choose a designer that you get on with. This helps the business/web site partnership work fluidly.

By Angus Findlay

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