Choosing the Right Web Designer
Creating your web site can be a tricky process. Choosing the best web design company
for your site is extremely important. Unless you run a web-based business, you
probably do not have web design experience within your company. Building your web
site will take time and a little homework!
To create a web site for your business, follow these 4 simple steps:
1. Establish your goals
2. Determine your budget
3. Pick a web design company
4. Pick a web hosting company
Establish Your Goals
Before you begin looking for company to help you design and build your web site,
take the time to understand the goals of your web site. This will be extremely
important to help set expectations with the web design company you choose.
In order to set your web site goals, ask yourself the following questions:
Why do you want a web site?
Are you selling something?
Do you have a catalog of products that changes on a regular basis?
Who is your target market?
Do you already have a brand?
What is your industry?
Who are your competitors?
Do they already have web sites? If so, what do they look like?
If you're selling something, will you accept credit cards over the internet?
How soon do you want your web site?
What happens if you never create a web site for your business?
Take the time to answer each of the above questions and if you have time, write the
answers down on a sheet of paper. These are the same questions most web design
companies will ask you before they begin to create your site. If you have these
questions answered up front, you will have some criteria for choosing the right web
design company. For example, if you are a real estate agent, and want to publish
listings on your web site, you should seek a web design company that knows about the
real estate business and has created web pages for other real estate agents.
Determine Your Budget
How much do you want to spend on your web site. Web sites can cost you anywhere from
$100 to $100,000 depending upon what you want it to do. Know your spending
constraints before you begin negotiating with design companies. Whatever you do, do
not tell a web design company what your budget is!! Always get pricing based on your
needs, not you budget.
Pick a Web Design Company
Your choice of a web design company is a very important step. Take your time to
investigate all of your options. Here are some important items to consider.
Design vs. Build
Depending upon the scope of your web site, you may need to choose two different
companies. Building a web site is a highly technical process. Designing a web site
is a highly creative process. Many advertising firms specialize in web site design
which does not necessarily require any web development skills whatsoever. The
process of creating a web site is similar to the process of building a new home.
Before you ask a construction company to start building, you first seek out an
architect who creates a blueprint of your house taking into account what you want
(number of stories, square footage, etc.).
Creating a detailed blueprint before construction begins can help you accurately
estimate the final price. Without the blueprint, you may end up paying a lot of
money for a house that does not fit your needs. Creating a web site is exactly the
same except most web site "builders" also claim to be "designers". The good news is
that you can look at other sites a web design company has created (like looking at
other homes that a home builder has made). Make sure you ask the web design company
what their process is for designing a web site vs. building a web site. They should
understand the difference between these two concepts. If they don't, they're
probably builder that think they can also architect.