One thing about a global marketplace is you may never or rarely see your customers. A huge amount of business is done virtually these days, meaning that your website is the only thing about your company potential customers may see. So, it must convey the best image possible.
That’s one of the reasons many companies will hire someone to do business web design for their company instead of tackling it themselves. But just because someone will be designing a website for you does not mean that you can remove yourself from the process altogether; quite the contrary. Make sure you can get along with the person you hire. Creative differences might otherwise get in the way.
How Involved Must You Be?
The first thing you need to decide is what look you want your company to have. What one person may think looks great, may be appalling to another. Since it is your business, you decide what the face of your company should look like. If you currently have a site but are reworking it, let the designer know what things you like and don’t like about your existing site. You may want to keep certain elements of the site, while dumping others.
You also need to develop a list of the kinds of information you want on the site. Small business web design people may be good writers, but they can’t simply make up information about your firm. Maybe you want to look at competitors’ sites to see the type of information they include. And certainly, if there are things about your company that make you unique, that certainly needs to be mentioned on your site.
While doing this if there are certain fonts that you like on other’s sites, be sure to show them to your web designer. Similarly, if there are certain pictures or other design elements you want included, provide that information to your designer.
You will need to be involved at nearly every phase of the design process to one degree or another, even though someone else is doing the design work. It may also be important for them to develop the site so once all the hard work is done on it, you can make periodic updates on your own. That will save some money over time, but make sure they show you how to make those updates, if you’re not sure.
Questions to Ask of Any Designer
Ask to see samples of their work and/or to give you references. If they’ve done work in your specific industry, that’s great, but it’s not a deal-breaker.
Find out about how long the design process will take. Do they charge by the project or by the hour? Do they have a contract you need to sign? If so, make sure it outlines everything to your satisfaction.
Make sure they understand to design the site so it displays perfectly whether someone’s on their computer or using a tablet or mobile device of some kind.
You may want to have a secure site whether you exchange money at all. But if you do require payment via the website, it for certain needs to be secure. There are different ways to do this and your designer can go over them with you.
One Final Thing
Before your site goes “live,” make sure you and other staffers, as well as the business web design expert, test each page to make sure they work right. Nothing is more frustrating or embarrassing than to spend good money on a site, be excited about its launch, but then not have it work right. Work out the bugs first before unveiling it to the world.