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Whether you're hiring a designer who has created 10 sites or 1000 sites for other businesses, there are 10 things every website should do for you.
1. Be wary of companies who charge by the hour and don't put on a cap! There isn't a regulated industry standard in fees. So websites can easily end up costing you a small fortune. Ask for a flat fee if possible-you'll know exactly what you're paying up front. It's common to pay for 50% down, and in certain cases, when working with businesses online; you may need to pay the whole flat fee down. This is perfectly acceptable. You wouldn't order books from Amazon and wait to pay for them when they got there!
2. Try to get a turnaround time in writing. It is up to you to bring as much information as possible to your designer. This will make the design process go much faster. You can't just go and say "make a website for me" and expect your designer to know what to put on your website! The more you bring to the table, the faster your designer can work. And the faster you respond to proofs, the faster your site will be active and live! Depending on your designer's workload, it could take anywhere from 1 week to 3 weeks to finish the design of your site.
3. Original custom designs are always best for branding your image. If your designer works exclusively from pre-designed templates, with no customization at all, you will not have as professional a site as if you received 100% customized work. Make sure you understand how your website designer creates websites.
4. How much flexibility will you have in the future? The best aspect of websites is that they are dynamic-or should be. Print advertising is static. But you can constantly update your website as your company grows. How fast and easy can your designer make changes to your site? Is she building in function to make these future changes possible?
5. Does your designer optimize your pages and submit them to search engines? If they don't then you will end up having to pay for this service, or figure out how to do it yourself. A web designer may not have 100% of the SEO tools out there, but at the very least, your website designer should create your meta tags, make sure your keywords are sprinkled throughout your content and at least submit your site to the basic directories and engines.
6. Is your web designer just designing your pages and leaving the domain name and hosting up to you? Beware of this. Sometimes their quotes only include the design itself. If you don't understand domain names and hosting, you need to make sure your webmaster purchases your domain for you and sets up your hosting-and then manages this year after year. Websites with top level domain names (.com, .net, .org) are taken more seriously. So it wouldn't make much sense to have a professionally designed site hosted on a free site like Geocities.
7. Does your webmaster offer a guarantee? If you can't get your designer to create a look that you like, will you be able to get your money back? Find out if this is in your contract before you fork over your cash.
About the Author: Flat fee, custom, fast, flexible, submitted, domain & hosting included, refund available. The http://24hourwebsitewizard.com has it all! Mitoné Griffith has designed websites since 1999. Her streamlined 24 Hour Website Wizard assists you in creating your website in less time than it takes to get a book on HTML to ship from Amazon. Complete and custom websites overnight. Visit http://24hourwebsitewizard.com to learn more, or email to [email protected].
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