What should you look for when you buy Web site design services?
Why does your business need a Web site? What will the site do for your business? You need to answer these questions before you talk with a Web designer.
Does your business need a Web site? The answer is almost always a yes unless you purchase a franchise including a central Web site. What you might not need is a Web site as big and expensive as Web designers tend to sell.
Web designers are going to tell you all the
silver bullet stories used to sell computers before the Web was invented and used to sell cars before computers were invented. Most do not understand your business. Most will not ask the right questions.
A Web Architect will help you with the
What will the site do question and a Web Architect with the right experience in your type of business can help you with the question about why.
A Web Architect might suggest strategic things to do before launching or developing a Web site and may suggest strategies outside of the classic Web site. When a person only knows one silver bullet story, they have to sell it to everyone for everything. They forget a bullet fits only one weapon and troops go to war with more than one type of weapon.
A Web Architect is unlikely to inflict on you the full current range of fads called Web 2.0. Instead a good Web Architect will talk about the problems of maintaining the fads where they are not directly relevant and of choosing the right people to handle the relevant fads.
Look into the fine print
There are lots of things that should be in the fine print when you make a deal with a Web designer. If they are not in the fine print, put them in. When they are in the fine print, read and discuss.
Compare a Web site project to renovations on a house. Web sites are rarely equivalent to building a new house because your business is the house and the Web site is a kitchen extension or a new deck, something that adds to your business the way a renovation can add to a house.
When you are discussing a renovation, you ask the following questions plus dozens of others. All your questions have equivalents in Web design. A Web Architect can help you formulate the right questions. A Web Architect might also help you find the right Web designer but the questions should be formulated first no matter how you choose to find a Web designer.
- When can you start?
- How long will it take?
- Who will do the work?
- When do I pay?
- Are you insured?
- What is the guarantee?
The CEO perspective
CEO Online suggest the following list in Ten Dos And Don'ts Of Successful Web Design.
- DO read the terms of trade carefully before signing or paying a deposit.
- DO give weight to your designer's opinion.
- DO put time and effort into the brief.
- DO have everything ready beforehand.
- DO stick to the agreed schedule.
- DON'T expect your web designer to solve your business woes.
- DON'T expect your web designer to be accountable to anyone other than you.
- DON'T assume your web designer can start today or finish tomorrow.
- DON'T change your mind about the design once the site is in development.
- DON'T be afraid to be honest.