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How To Choose a Web Designer
FIRST AND FOREMOST
Decide if you even NEED a custom web design. The typical website
can start at just a few hundred dollars, but has no limit on expense.
For a few hundred dollars, you can not expect to get much in the
way of bells and whistles. In fact, unless you have found a "charity
webmaster," you won't get much in the way of basics either
-such as graphics, logos, attractive layout, functionality, etc.
If you do not need a custom design, you can look
at using a template. There are many sources of templates, and
sometimes web hosting companies will provide templates for use
as part of their hosting plan. Typically, the cost ranges from
FREE to $200 up-front (and/or sometimes a monthly fee). Often
times, these templates are attractive, functional, and will work
well for a basic site!
WHAT TO LOOK AND ASK FOR
If you do need custom graphics, logo work, advanced layout, detailed
functionality, or some other bell or whistle; then you have a
lot of which to be aware.
- ALWAYS ask for references and check up on them!
- Review their Portfolio - verify that THEY did the work.
Either look on that page for a "service mark" or
"design by:" tag OR call the web site owner and
- Write up "likes" and "dislikes" on
some of their examples. Can your "dislikes" be corrected?
- Look for creativity - if all their sites look too similar,
chances are your site will look similar to previous ones.
In that case, you'd be better off using a template for less
money! Do THIER sites look good?
- Make sure that their sites are designed with speed in mind.
They should load fast and completely. Images should not be
distorted and should be good quality
- If you get this far, MAKE SURE THEY LISTEN! Too many webmasters
know how to design, but don't know how to "listen and
learn" about your company. This means you'll get frustrated
going back and forth with them --and sometimes they'll want
more money for the extra time
- Make sure that they will make a site that can be easily
maintained by in-house staff, if desired. Do not rely 100%
on expensive consultants that could be here today and gone
- Negotiate for turn over of ALL original graphics, pages,
- Try to get an idea of their response and make sure they
COMPLETE their projects
- Always have a contract, specify deliverables, deadlines,
etc. If you don't understand part of the contract, ASK! Also,
make certain that payment terms are agreed upon. Most webmasters
typically will ask for pay -bi-weekly- on large, hourly projects
because progress can be determined. Otherwise, they will probably
ask for half payment up-front and the remainder on delivery
of a site that their client is 100% satisfied with. This needs
to be in writing
- Typical rates usually range from around $30 to $100 per
hour. The best deals come from good webmasters that want the
experience. But, be careful, and try to find someone as a
referral from someone you trust. Expect to pay $250-$750 for
basic or template-based sites (plus the cost of the template)
or around $3,000-$8,000 for a professional corporate site.
Of course, large sites or e-commerce sites will be priced
Article By: Brandon Elliott
Brandon Elliott has a wide range of design experience
using Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Bryce, 3d Studio
Max, and other software to create aestetically pleasing
Visit Brandon's Design Portfolio at: http://www.imagion.com/web_design.htm