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You've thought about it and you're ready to go. You're ready to give your business an online presence. You want your own website. That's great but unless you are doing it yourself, you would be shopping for a website designer. Some people would design their own websites but most people prefer to save themselves the time and money and hand the job over to the professionals.
But how do you choose a great website designer from the countless website designers in this world? How do you determine who is good and who is passable?
The below may help you decide.
View the web designer's website.
Ask to see the designer's own website. Yes, one would expect a designer to first and foremost design a great website for himself but you would be surprised that some 'web designers' may not even have his/her own website!Once you get to their website, how do you like their website? Is it designed in the kind of style you want? Overall, a web designer's website should give you a good indication of what you are getting, in terms of style and design.
Check out their previous work.
Next up is their web design portfolio. By this I mean work that is done for a client and is live on the web. Get the website designer to show you his or her portfolio. Great designers will often prove it with a good work portfolio which in many cases are online for you to view anyway.
Look at their experience.
It is practical and makes sense because the longer they have been in the business, the more they understand the Internet and its character and the better they can design for it. In the web design business (as with any technology-related business), things move really fast. A good web designer should be able to show you that he has been around long enough to understand how the web works and how he or she should design for this medium.
Ask about website usability.
It is possible to design a gorgeous website without any idea of making it usable or even user-friendly. Designing a website for usability means the designer is able to focus on users' needs, making it easy for users to navigate around the website and achieve what they came to do. It's not about satisfying the website owner or the web designer's ego. An effective web designer combines both form and function when designing a website so it sets out to do what it is supposed to do. After all, your purpose for having a website is to gain attention for your business, sell your products and services and give your competitor a run for their money, right?
Ask about future support for your website.
Ask if your web designer is willing to support your web needs in the future. It is myth that once you get a website done, it is finished. With web technology growing by leaps and bounds, getting a website is just the beginning of the story. You need to plan for future growth and your web designer should be able to design with the future in mind. What happens if you want to add a forum to your website? Or a membership-only site? Can it be done? What about having a content management system? How about extra programming, e-commerce capability and other add-on? Granted, not every web designer can support programming but he or she should let you know that if you need it, they can get it done for you or else find someone who can do it for you.
Nic Sim is the owner and founder of http://www.RedboxStudio.com - a web design firm dedicated to helping solo professionals and small businesses go online affordably and successfully with its easy to use, no-fuss Redbox DIY Website.
Visit http://www.RedboxStudio.com for more details.
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