Web Design Resources

Web Design Resources

Choosing a Website Designer

It is said that first impressions are lasting. This is never more relevant in today's fast faced, highly competitive world. With every other company having a net presence, it is ever so important to design a website that will create a lasting impression. There is a strong likelihood that most of your potential clients have not met you personally, and will certainly use your website as a barometer to gauge your business personality. While a good website may not necessarily translate into additional business, a badly designed website will certainly drive them away! Hence, it makes sense to do a little bit of groundwork while choosing your website designer.

There is a wide choice of designers available today - from your friend's uncle's son who has developed his own website using readymade templates (that has rotating logos and cute smileys), to high end web design studios who design websites using web 2.0 standards. There is a sea difference between their charges, and in today's recession prone world, it is indeed very tempting to give the development work to someone who is inexpensive. Unfortunately, this can prove to be a costly mistake - in terms of the end result. Your website is a visual representation of your business and a poorly designed site can irritate visitors and even lose sales.

 Not all freelancers are bad, nor are all web design companies good. To help you choose the correct web designer, here are a few guidelines that you can follow:

1. Check their Portfolio
One of the best aspects of website development is the transparency it offers. Since most of the websites that are developed are deployed over the internet (unless they are hosted on the company's intranet), check the existing portfolio of the web development company / freelancer. Proceed further only if you are happy about their work.

2 Check their Experience
When someone starts a business, they are really earnest to establish and prove themselves. However, over a period of time, they may lose their zest or their good designers may leave. Check their experience. Web development companies that have been in the business for a long period and have a reputation for developing good websites should always be the preferred choice.

3 Check the Staff Strength and their Qualifications
Freelancers and very small companies have people who do multi tasking. For example, in most of the small companies, the HTML coder doubles as the web designer and the programmer as the tester. This results in blindly copied templates and bad code. Before you award work to a web designer, talk to the owner and make sure that the web design company has adequate and qualified resources. While there are no standard certifications for HTML, commercial artists and programmers can be officially certified. Also, ask the designer if they follow any coding standards - both for HTML and program code.

4 Scalability
Most of the times, you want to stick to a single web development company. While you may start with a static website, chances are that as you grow, you would like to convert your static website into a dynamic one. Or design an appealing UI with the help of expert usability experts. While choosing your website developer, make sure that they are geared to handle your future needs as well, so that you do not have to jump around for added services.

5 Additional Services
Most medium scale companies look at website development companies that also provide other services like logo, stationery and other marketing collateral design.  Further, companies also need a good copy for their website. This is never so true if you want to optimize your website. A good copy can make or break your SEO campaign. While engaging a website company, make sure that the company is in a position to offer all these services.

6 Read the Fine Print
In a bid to grab business, many web designers charge less upfront, and then charge exorbitantly for updates. Choose a company that charges you no or minimally for minor edits and updates. Also, be aware of freelancers / web designers who ask for 100 % advance.