Finding the Right Web Designer for Your Business
If you have decided to hire a web designer to create your small business website, you will be quickly overwhelmed by the sheer number of professionals available for this service. How do you know which one will produce a high-quality website for you at a reasonable price? Not knowing how to make the right choice could put you at risk for spending a lot of money only to get a site that does not convey your business message or negatively affects your image. Here are a few considerations that can help you make the right choice which will have tremendous benefits for your business image.
Before you do any shopping, consider learning a little about web technology. At a minimum, you should have some general knowledge about hosting accounts, domain names, shopping carts, image formats, databases, Flash graphics, HTML, PHP and XML. You don’t need to know exactly how they all work but you should understand the purpose of each component. You’ll need to purchase a hosting account if you don’t have your own server for storage of web pages. You will also need to choose a domain name if you don’t already have one. Do you need to store dynamic information in a database? Do you really want your website in what they call Flash graphics? It will perform slower and might not be suitable for those with mobile devices if it does. Anything you can quickly learn about web technology will help you in the long run.
Next, know what you need in a website. Ask yourself if you need only a brochure-style site or if you need one with interactivity. Web designers sometimes make reference to static and dynamic websites. Static is where the content does not change. But no matter what type of website it will be, there will come a time to do maintenance like fixing broken links or updating product and contact information. So, at this stage, determine if you will need a web designer over a long period of time or if you have the skills in-house to make changes after site implementation. If the latter is true, you will only need to choose a web designer for the initial site roll out which could be easy on your budget.
Once you determine what you want, begin looking for a designer. This task can appear overwhelming because there are many UK based web designers offering different services and pricing schemes. Many small businesses don’t know what to look for in a web design firm so they look at something they understand: price. Unfortunately, they look for the lowest priced design firm without understanding the real cost of their decision in the future. Prices that are set too low can indicate many things. It could be that the web design firm is just starting out therefore it may not have the experience you are looking for. It might also be that the web design firm set its prices low because it picked up a bad reputation from previous clients. Prices set to low for an extended period of time oftentimes results in the design firm going out of business which could leave you hanging if support is needed in the future.