Hiring a Website Designer for Your Small Business Website

1. You should determine what type of website meets your needs.

It will most likely fall into one of these categories or a variation of them.
Personal Site
• Yours Alone
• Family and Friends
• Blog
Business Site
• Online Brochure
• Online Catalog/Sales
• Informational

2. You should determine if you want a designer you can meet with personally.

Or you may be comfortable working with a designer through email and the phone. Which one you choose will guide you on how you should go about locating possibilities.
Find a Designer to Meet with Personally
• Your Local Yellow Pages.
• Recommendations by family, friends, and associates.
• Do a local web search to find designers in your area.
   (For instance: website designer houston tx)
Find a Designer from Anywhere
• Do a web search for designers of the type of website you want.
   (For instance: ecommerce website designer)
• Do a web search for sites in your catagory. Look for a "designed by" link
   at the bottom of the home page of the ones you like.
• Recommendations by family, friends, and associates.

3. Review the website of each of the designers on your list.

And review their clients' sites, to determine if they may be a candidate to design your website. Remember technical people are better at the "mechanics" of a website, whereas design oriented people are better at creating a good looking site. Eliminate those that you are not comfortable with or do not appear to have the ability to create what you will want.

4. Contact at least three of the designers you have on you list by email or phone.

It is this step that will help you the most. Your conversations with prospective designers will give you an idea of how well you communicate with each other. Also you will be getting great feedback on what the possibilities for your website are. Make and keep notes on each designer you contact.
  • Explain to them the type of website you want.
  • Share with them and discuss some websites you like or don't like.
  • Ask them for their recommendations and ideas.
  • Ask them if they have done any similar sites.
  • Ask them if they are better technically, or artistically, or both.
  • Ask them to show you how well their sites rank in the search engines. (SEO)
  • Ask for their fee structure and a ballpark figure of what your site might cost.
  • Ask them for the names of 3 or 4 of their clients whom you can contact to get references.

5. Contact the references each designer gave you.

This will give you important knowledge on how well those designers have performed for their clients.

6. Review the notes you have taken on each designer and make you choice.

7. Ask the designer that you chose to send you a proposal for the website.

It should include:
  • Does the cost include Web hosting, domain registration, and/or website updating and maintenance?
  • Ask whether you will be able to maintain the site yourself, if you so wish.
  • What materials the designer expects from you and when.
  • What each step in the creation will be and how fees are tied to them.
  • A time line schedule from start to the "go live" date.
When you get the proposal, review it and clarify any questions you have with the designer. If all is in order, go ahead with this designer. If not, go to the second choice and ask for a proposal. When you are satisfied with a proposal, go ahead with that designer.

Another good resource on Choosing a Website Designer can be found at www.passionforbusiness.com/.

Happy Clients

P.S. I received another compliment on the web site today. I receive compliments from customers almost daily. Great job!
Best Regards, Cindy Rhoades
Vacation Homes of Key West

Thanks a million! Your the BEST! The customers love it.
Thanks again, Joanne