What You Need to Know About Web Design

If you’ve decided to hire a professional Web designer, you’ve just made a smart move. Here are a few things you should know about the Web design process:

MentorBy Resource Nation

If you’ve decided to hire a professional Web designer, you’ve just made a smart move. Here are a few things you should know about the Web design process:

Provide Samples
Be sure to show your designer several sites as examples. Find sites you like and sites you don’t and pinpoint exactly which qualities you’d like your own site to have. Do you like a particular layout or color scheme? Do you want to stay away from quick-moving graphics? This information is valuable to your Web designer.

Use Analytics
Web analytics provide valuable information about how your site is used, so that you or your designer can make changes to the site as needed. Make sure you can track visitors, conversions and any other data you find valuable.

Plan Ahead
Having your Web site designed is just the first step of maintaining an online presence. You should always prepare for future changes to the site in advance. For example, a content management system will allow you to make changes to site content such as product offerings, promotion dates and other information without the help of a Web designer. Make sure you know the long-term plan for maintaining your site and keeping it up-to-date.

Use Third Party Hosting
You can purchase hosting services from a third party provider for very little cost. Your Web designer will probably be able to recommend a trusted hosting service–make sure you choose one with over 99% guaranteed uptime to maximize the amount of time your site is accessible to potential customers.

Design within your Budget
The total cost of a site design or overhaul depends on the complexity of the site and the length of time it takes to design. Simple Web sites, such as those created from a template (usually with 4-6 pages of content) usually cost less than $1,000. Make sure you have access to site content to make your own changes later, as late changes can add to the total cost. Highly customized sites, such as those that enable you to sell products using different ecommerce tools, can run into the thousands or more, depending on the complexity of the site.

Make sure you know whether your designer bills hourly or plans to charge a set amount for the entire project. With complex or database driven sites, costs can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars or more, easily exceeding projected budgets. Get an estimated project cost if the designer bills hourly.

Hire a Copywriter
Most Web design companies do not write site copy or text. You can choose to create site content yourself or hire a copywriter. Hiring a professional is a good idea–not only can professional copywriters use search optimization techniques in order to make your site more searchable, they’re also experienced in writing for internet users. Hiring a copywriter ensures that your site will be easy to understand.

Resource Nation provides online and offline resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses. From how to information about online marketing to Web design, Resource Nation also helps businesses select and choose vendors in over 100 categories from ecommerce hosting to Web designers.

Have a question about web design? Connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community today!