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How to find a Website Designer

This week, we are going to start our search for a webmaster, aka "web designer." Unless you are an accomplished programmer, you are going to have to spend some money at this point.

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This is the fourth of eight articles about website design. Our discussion will deal with some of the issues which need to be considered when developing a new online presence. You may have already thought of some of these, but perhaps there are probably things which you haven’t even considered.
In the last article, we discussed domain name registration.

This week, we are going to start our search for a webmaster, aka "web designer." Unless you are an accomplished programmer, you are going to have to spend some money at this point.

For example, is the server you are thinking about Linux/Apache or Windows based? Will it support dynamic pages, or only static, and if they do support dynamic will they support both PHP as well as ASP? Or do they stick to one flavor of dynamic. If these terms mean nothing to you, you are going to need the services of a webmaster, and now is the time to bring one on board, either as a contractor, or as an employee.

Web designers tend to specialize, so don't feel like you need to get someone who is versed in every aspect of website design.

If you just want a basic HTML site then just about anyone with web design experience should be able to help, but please don't call cousin Sam who just took an intro course and the community college. You want someone who knows something about business as well as websites, for you are building a business website. If you are not going to take orders online, then a static site, primarily for image purposes, is a good way to start.

But if you need a dynamic database driven site, you will need someone who understands PHP and MySQL. One who does ASP and Microsoft SQL may not be able to help, or perhaps they can.

There are many choices you can make here, but if cost is a major factor, stick with PHP, MySQL and some form of Linux. You may not know what they are, but when I say that they are free to use, it may give you good reason to think that way. And, believe it or not, there are A LOT of folks supporting these products for the good of the world, without pay. In my opinion, MySQL rivals any database system in the world for almost any use, and it is totally free for you to use. This is one time, my friend, that you get a lot more than you pay for!

The Yellow Pages are a good place to look for a designer. The size of the ad may give you an idea of experience and cost. A shop with many programmers is going to be more expensive, but may save money in the long run. In any case, get several estimates.

A web designer should be able to build a mock ups, or rough demo, for you early on to give you an idea of what the site may look like. They can put together some basic pages, add images and some generic text to give you a feel for the site. Do not expect to see a final site before you fork over some cash.

There are generally two ways to pay for a project like this, either a flat fee or by the hour. If you know precisely what you want, then go for a flat fee. If you do that, however, do not expect to make a lot of changes or additions that you expect to be done at no cost. You do not want to make your webmaster unhappy.

For most of us, an hourly based time and materials contract is best. The designer can give you ball-park estimates and tell you what it will cost per hour for anything else. And there will be changes, trust me.
Next time, we will talk about hosting your new site.


How to Choose a Web Designer?

Hiring a web designer is the next big step upon entering a web design business or anything in relation to it. Moreover, we have to make a good choice because our business depends on it.

Web Development Services, E-commerce web development services, Web site development services, E-commerce website development services

To give you a clearcut idea on how you are going to choose your web designer, here are some of the things that you must consider:

1. Be aware to beware. First, you have to have the basic knowledge of web design techniques. It is a well-settled fact that before you enter a business, you yourself must have a good grasp of its totality. When you are knowledgeable, you know when a design is excellent or when mediocre. Another, you also know when to criticize or appreciate the work of your web designer.

If you are not aware of the surrounding circumstances of your business, chances are you will easily be deceived or your business will sooner or later go down the drain. You do not like that to happen, do you?

So, keep those thinking caps and explore your business world. Spend some time reading about web design and everything about websites. Go to your local bookstore and invest on books and other facilities.

2. Talk with basis. Get in contact with the experts in web designing. From them you can learn the ins and outs of web design services.

Another, talk to some of the designer’s former clients and ask them about the services of other designers. Learn from their mistakes as well as their achievements.

Don't just peruse a number of great sites, be sure to know the reason why they are best. From it you can glean the gist of what you should be focusing.

3. Bear in mind that graphic design is not the be-all and end-all. Graphic design is not the only basis in choosing a web designer. Though it is an important factor to consider, still that only forms part of what makes a feasible and lucrative website.

Other factor to consider is the designer's quest for equilibrium between form and function. If form is what matters the most for him, then that could be pretty dangerous. Next, is his organizational skill. Is he good in organizing the page layouts? Better be sure about it. Good navigation is also another factor. This is because viewers get bored easily. They can change their minds to your drawback with just a flick of a finger. Therefore, you must have a good navigation to keep them from getting bored. Good navigation must also be coupled with user-friendliness so as to be used easily and hassle-free by the visitors. The most important factor to consider is the 'call for action'.
The designer must be adept in the purpose of mounting a website. Is it to make the visitors buy a product or subscribe a business?

The website is there to serve a goal. Be sure the web designer caters to that goal!

4. The lowest bidder may not be that good. It is not just about getting the website done. It is about getting it done right! Quality may sometimes have a crucial link with price because of the maxim - You get what you pay. Moreover, web designers who have the lowest rate are usually inexperienced and hard to work with. Do not sacrifice the quality over a meager sum. It will surely spoil your business!


How To Choose A Web Designer That Won't Rip You Off

Choosing a web designer for your business is a minefield. The industry is unregulated, is fragmented, has a wide variety of pricing and is plagued by "cowboys". So how do you choose?

Prices vary tremendously, so first you need to shortlist companies that are clearly reliable and reputable. So how do you do this?

Check how long they have been established as Web designers as the industry is known for it’s “here today, gone tomorrow” operations.

A company that has been ...

web, design, site, internet, designer

Choosing a web designer for your business is a minefield. The industry is unregulated, is fragmented, has a wide variety of pricing and is plagued by "cowboys". So how do you choose?

Prices vary tremendously, so first you need to shortlist companies that are clearly reliable and reputable. So how do you do this?

Check how long they have been established as Web designers as the industry is known for it’s “here today, gone tomorrow” operations.

A company that has been around for a few years is much likely to be a safer bet than the one man start up that is offering discount prices. Who would you trust more - the car dealership there has been established 10 years or the new one that has just sprouted up last week?

While their website may tell you how long they have been established, this may not necessarily be the correct information. Of course, limited companies will file records at Companies House which you can check to see how long they had been established. However, a far easier and quicker option is to check how long their website domain name has been registered .

You can do this by going to and typing in their Web address into the Whois lookup search box. This gives you information on the registrant, their address and the date the domain was first registered. While this is not entirely foolproof, it does give a good an indication and you should be wary of any company where a domain name is only a year or two old.

Look at their track record. They should have a good portfolio of the sites they have built available to see via their website, as well as customer testimonials. Their portfolio is a good indication of their design skill -- if you like the websites in their portfolio, then they are likely to satisfy you on the design side.

Check the company works from an office. Web design is an industry with a multitude of different operators -- from freelance work at home designers to large new media agencies. If the company works from an office, it is more likely to be still here next year than the guy who just does it from home.

Does the company have online marketing expertise? Look for a company that it is experienced in marketing websites online as they can give you lot of free information to help market your website. Not all designers know about online marketing.

While the above tips are not exhaustive, I hope they go some way to helping you choose a good web designer.


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