Monday, August 18, 2008

How to choose the right website design company

Choosing the right designer for your small business can be hard if you do not know what you should look for. Here is a simple guide that you can use to make sure you ask the right questions and make an educated decision every time.

Website Design

Any company can say they have great designs but we believe a company’s portfolio should speak for itself. To adequately judge a website you must look at:

  • Quality of Design
  • Ease of Use
  • Initial Impressions
  • How sites compare to others in the same industry
  • Consistent look throughout each the entire website
  • Navigation is located at the top or left side of the website

Technical Expertise

This aspect is much harder to judge unless you are familiar with web technologies. However, this can be just as important as a good design. A few things to look for and ask when looking for a web design company are:

  • Do their sites load quickly?
  • Does the company put an emphasis on Search Engine Optimization?
  • Does the company use templates?
  • Does the company test on Mac and PC?
  • Does the company have a testing environment and backups?
  • Does the company host their own sites or use an outside company?

Attention to Details

Sometimes the smallest things can make the difference. Look for:

  • Page titles – each page should be unique and descriptive
  • Terms of Use page – make sure it is present
  • Copyright statement on every page
  • Use of contact forms rather than published email addresses
Of course there are many other things you will want to find out, but the important thing is to go with your instincts. If you visit a web site design website and it isn't one that you would like having, then why hire them to make your website. Hopefully this guide will help save you money and hire the right website designer the first time.

This article was written and provided by Josh Collins, a multimedia designer in the Kansas City area. He has designed user interfaces and websites ranging from small business sites to large social network websites. His recent work includes: an easy to use web based contact manager