These days creating a website is cheap and fast. The learning curve has also been sharply reduced. But most of these advancements are due to software that takes the technicality out of the true form. What I’ve highlighted below are some flags or concerns that you should be aware of before setting up a website for yourself or business.
Hiring a Web Designer and/or Web Developer
This is crucial because either way it is going to cost you some money and you want to make sure you get a good return on your investment. Obviously you’re going to get what you pay for, and that’s the good part – knowing the difference between a web designer and a web developer? A web designer will typically design the layout, colors, form, and graphics of your site. A web developer will take those plans and actually build your site, code it, test it, and launch it. These days the two professions are sometimes combined in one person or firm. Also be sure to check references or at least their portfolio of work.
Using a Free Service or Web Platform
Websites like WordPress.org or Homestead.com are some of the more popular names for online website creation. There are many more that range from free to premium. What you want to be careful with is that you get what you pay for. Free sites are great for starter sites, but lack the freedom for creativity. When I say freedom I mean, freedom to choose where to place your logo, having a different layout on each page as apposed to the same flow on you home page, about page, and services page. Or the freedom to choose any color you want for your background, font, or columns.
Provider and Client Communication
If you do hire a professional, be sure to keep in regular communication with them. One of the main complaints most designers have is a client that does not keep in touch. Enthusiasm is always high at the start of any project, and ideas are fluent. But after a few weeks, communication (on both sides) starts to decrease. Even worse is when the project is not delivered on schedule or it does not resemble the original blueprint. All of these problems can be dealt with and avoided with proper communication between the client and company.Ask lots of questions. Don’t be shy or reluctant to ask something that you’re not clear about. After all, you did hire this firm to do a specific job for you and you are paying them to do it!
Advice From All The Wrong Places
Sure getting an opinion from your mother in Florida is nice from time to time, but she’s no designer. Nor is your best friend that works in construction. The mechanics, design, and functionality of a website are best reviewed by a qualified field related professional. Be sure to get the right advice from the right people e.g. friends who have used a similar platform, or who have hired the designer that you’re planning to use. Also, ask your web designer to show you as many samples as needed to make you feel comfortable about your project.
Getting What You Paid For
This is a lesson learned in just about any field of business. If you’re on a shoestring budget, you should consider a minimalist website. A good firm should be able to build one to suit your current budget. However a better one will create a site for you that can grow as your budget grows. And the adverse of this is paying too little and expecting too much. As the saying goes “the proof is in the pudding.”
So if you’re in the market for a new website, consider the potential problem areas that might cause difficulty down the road, and be sure to do your homework before you sign the contract. You can never be too prepared!
What are some other issues you have encountered in creating or designing your website?