You've made up your mind. You want to have a website to represent your business. The next decision to be made . . . who should you hire to develop your site?
There are many people capable of building their own personal sites. They can put cute little comments and pictures of their pets or kids up for you to enjoy. But, when it comes to having a website that will be a form of marketing for your business, you want someone with experience. Someone who has an understanding of the Internet and what is the best way to boost the exposure of a website.
They must have a clear knowledge of a variety of contributing factors to your sites' success. Such factors include how best to market your site, the options and limitations of graphics, how to create a site that is effective within search engines, knowledge of the drawbacks of different browsers, and the understanding of the coding required for your site.
It is crucial that your designer understands you, your company and what you want to accomplish with your website. To determine this, you need to answer a few questions first.
What do you want on your website? What is the desired outcome of your site? Is your designer open to your ideas and provides input and suggestions for improvement? Have you checked out your competition or other websites to get ideas of what is the 'norm' for a successful site? The more information you have prior to starting a website, the more accurately you can communicate with your designer and get the desired outcome that produces the best results.
Creating a website can be an overwhelming experience. You need to ensure that your designer is easy to talk to and keeps you updated on your sites' progress. If you have questions . . . ask! After all this is your site and you have a right to know how it is coming along and in terms that you can understand.
You also need to check out websites that your designer has made in the past. Check to see that the graphics load quickly, that it is easy to navigate between the pages, and that overall you like their style.
Finally, the cost! This is a very important factor for small business owners when deciding on a website designer. Larger companies will charge more and can probably make your site very elaborate. If you need a site filled with all the bells and whistles, you will be paying for it. If you simply need a site that is a background of your company and the products or services that you provide, the cost will be considerably lower and you can use a smaller company or independent designer.
Your website is going to be a 24-hour advertisement for your company. Skimping on any of the above listed factors will have an effect on the final result of your website and the outcome that you want from it. Do your research and you can join other successful businesses who are using the Internet to boost their exposure and their revenue.
Janice Byer is the founder of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services (http://www.docutype.net), a professional Virtual Assistance and Website Design company, specializing in helping small business owners get ahead. She is a certified Canadian Virtual Assistant and Master Virtual Assistant and winner of the Most Successful Start Up 2000 and Home Based Business of the Year 2000 Awards