So you decided you need a website and you need to hire someone to make it. Well lookout! You need to be very careful. To stay with a reasonable budget and good service, please follow the following 6 steps to protect yourself.
1} Customer Service: This is the most important step. Make sure you can always talk to a real person. If you have to keep using a web support form and phone messages. Then move on. Web design needs real people to create it, and if you cannot talk anytime you want, then your doing business with the wrong company.
2} domain registration: Make sure the company you pick can buy and maintain your domain. Make sure they know how to set it up correctly for your new website and they make sure it gets renewed every year.
3} Web Hosting: Every website needs to be hosted. Does your design company have their own servers? Many do not. Its always nice to only call or contact one company to handle your web design needs and your hosting and Email needs.
4} Web Design: Websites do not need to cost you a second mortgage. Most of the time, a simple site is all you need. But many designers build sites as they see it. They normally do not think about how the site needs to perform for the search engines and clients with slow internet connections. A good designer will use basic technology and will be aware of the search engine needs.
5} Web Maintenance and Updates: This can be a killer. Make sure your design company includes updates and changes in their package, or you can be nickeled and dimed to death at 40 to 80 dollars an hour. Look out for gimmicks and games. Find a company that truly wants to be your full website provider, including changes.
6} Web Marketing: This is just as important as customer service. You can pay as much as you like for a website, but it is useless without traffic. Make sure your design company builds a good marketable website for you and provide you the services you need to get your site submitted to the search engines. They may also have programs to help with web pay advertising.
You need to ask every web design company about the 6 items above and how much they cost. A truly good web design company will have all 6 items to their package. If not, you will be facing a web design nightmare.
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