Guide to Hiring A REAL Web Designer

HINT: You’re Brother-In-Law is not one.

That’s right…you’re Brother-In-Law is not a real web designer, unless of course I’m your Brother-In-Law. If that’s the case, call me David. For real, I hear that all the time; my brother-in-law, son, cousin, friend of a friend is working on my website. Are they web designers or do they know how to use a web design software program? Big Difference.

I learned DreamWeaver in high school

DreamWeaver and FrontPage are fine programs…to learn on. Nothing beats hand coding though.

Years ago I went to Italy with some friends.  None of us spoke a lick of Italian.  Somehow I got voted to be the translator.  I studied Italian for 3 months and learned enough to get by.  I could speak a fair amount and read a bit.  There was no way I could write any of it however.  I wouldn’t be your go to guy if you wanted to translate a book from English to Italian.  If I wanted a book translated, I’d want someone fluid in both languages, reading, writing and speaking.  (x)HTML, the language of web design, I view as the same.  If I needed a website built, I’d want someone fluent in the language.  A person who uses software to build a website is like me in Italy.  I could put on a good show, but once the conversations got more in depth, I was lost.  All show and very little go. If you want a website about your cat, Tinkerbell, software is fine.  If you want a serious business website, get serious about who you use.   Learn the language: http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp

Hello…Is anybody there?

Dealing with abandonment.

I get a great deal of work from folks that have been left high and dry by their web designer.  I see it all the time, projects half completed or sites that have been launched, something is not working correctly and the web designer has gone out of business.  How do you avoid this problem?  Check the company or person out just like you’d do if you were hiring an employee.  Some good questions are: How long have you been in business?  Do you have references?  How many sites do you build in a year?  Some other things that may help would be going by their office to check out their operation.  Do you want a 15 year old kid working out of his bedroom or a reputable company that’s been around for 10 years and is obviously not closing their doors anytime soon?  It’s also a good idea to ask how future problems with your site will be dealt with a.k.a. Support.  Great info: http://www.webdevelopersjournal.com/articles/hire_best_web_people.html

Price is always the last question

My Dad has always said “The cheapest price isn’t usually the BEST price”.

Everybody wants to get the best for less.  So do I.  You get what you pay for is still good advice.  Hey, not everyone can afford to drive a Cadillac…that’s why GM makes Chevys too.  I realize when I quote a job that there will always be someone to do it cheaper.  I also realize that what they offer will almost always be less than what I can offer.  When I lose a quote to someone else, I’ll sometimes visit the site after it’s completed.  What I usually find is the client got what they paid for.  Comparing apples to apples can be difficult, that’s why you should do as much research as possible and build your self a checklist.  It’s your business..your online identity of your business.  Do you want to look smaller or less qualified than you actually are?  I’m thinking not.  Remember, for many prospective clients, your website is their first impression of your company.

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