Choosing a Web Designer
When you choose a web designer, there are many things that you need to be aware of and that need to be taken into consideration before you make a decision.
To some extent, the ability to work successfully with your web designer is sometime as important as their actual skill in being able to deliver the project.
A web designer that is skilled in what they do but is a pain to deal with can make the whole process frustrating and not worth the money being spent, especially if you have an emotional attachment to the project (which you should have being the one supplying the money and motivation)
That relationship can be worth a large proportion of the contract.
However, there are some key things you need to consider.
Be careful in what you get for your money. Some possible pitfalls you may want to check on:
Obviously what do you get for your money
What is included? Design, Content, Search Engine Submission, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Graphic Design, Updates? You need to get these details so you can compare your quotes against each other. You also need to quantify some of these things in terms of quantity, hours, numbers search engines submitted to etc.
What are the ongoing costs?
All websites have ongoing costs. Web Hosting, Domain Names and updates are the main three. Make sure you know the total cost of your investment. Some companies offer lower up front costs to lock you into higher ongoing costs that end up costing you more. Some other things are SSL certificate costs, more bandwidth and web space.
How easy is it to incorporate your branding
Some template sites are hard to blend a logo or colours into them, be wary of template driven website companies, some of these people are skilled enough only to change the text on a template. Some designers design their sites from the ground up incorporating all of you design elements in their design. These companies offer the most flexibility.
How reliable is the services provided
With hosting and email, too much down time can make the whole experience unworkable. You don't want to have to change hosts after six months because your designer has provided you with a poor host. Some people rely heavily on email and these are the people that need to choose carefully so their business inst impacted.
What are the costs for making changes later on?
Updates and maintenance on your site is something that will eventually happen, even if you don't change the content frequently (see the Making Your Site Super Sticky Article for the benefits of this) you will eventually change some content and so you need to know what it will cost over a year.
Make sure common things (like search engine submissions) are either not included or are an extra cost. Some key things can be omitted to keep the price down. Make sure you don't get sold short. An important one...is the web designer doing the job part time Are your web designers doing this as a full time job? Some designers are working during the day and then web designing at night. A lot of designers started out this way, but it can cause issues when you need something done and they don't do the job from 9-5.
If all these things check out then you have found someone who you can work with and provide you with a service that will get you your desired result.
Remember; choose a designer with the right skills, but also one you believe you can work with on an ongoing basis. Build a working relationship that will benefit you both and your web project will benefit as well.