By Rich Lewis, Burlington Press
There are all types of web designers, developers in this world and you need to sort through them to get the right one that is going to do the best job for you. We always recommend working with a company that offers a complete range of expertise so you get the benefit of their knowledge and experience. You will also be working with an organization that can support you as your site grows and evolves. There are a lot of options out there so here are a few recommendations of who to avoid if you are serious about building a successful and effective website.
The Kid – You have to hand it to kids today. They are growing up in a time of amazing technological advancements and are embracing them with fervor. Do you want them to build your business website which is your 24/7 billboard to the world? Does the kid you know have a true understanding of how the web works? Kids also grow up get busy with other things. There are many websites out there that were built by someone’s kids, their neighbor’s kids, nieces or nephews. They then found out that The Kid was too busy or not around when it was time to update it. Sure, kids work cheap but what is the actual cost to you by having a substandard and out of date website?
The Geek – This is not to put down those technically savvy individuals who make our electronic world work. We can’t live without them. But should the folks sitting in the back room who are masters of the behind the scenes technology be the ones who put the front end of your website together? Do they understand how to craft a message and present it? Here is another example. You might really like your auto mechanic but is her or she capable of designing and engineering a car?
The Moonlighter – This one is almost like The Kid except The Moonlighter is a professional that is taking on your website as a sideline. Either they have a full time job and are looking to make a little extra cash or they are between jobs and need an income. You may end up with a good product, but what happens when they get busy, too busy to update your site. A website is never finished. It needs to grow and evolve like your business or organization needs to grow and evolve.
The Outsourced – There are several countries that seem to breed technological experts. India is one of those nations. If you know what you are doing and have the time to outsource your website overseas, this can be a very wise economical move because this skill set can be purchased at a much lower price than in the US. But if you don’t, there is the language barrier, cultural barrier and even the fact that they are on the other side of the world that might end up being a problem when things don’t go according to plan.
The Designer – This individual is highly trained to make something look good and that is what they do. But there is a lot more to a website than looks. In fact study after study states that functionality and ease of use is much more important to a website user than how the site looks. Yes, design is important, but it has its place and that place isn’t to overwhelm the user with elements that hinder a website’s use.
The Expert – This is someone who claims to have a long resume or history with the internet. They may have ideas, blogs, and all sorts of theories. But, are they for real? There is no certification for experts in this business so ask for proof of this expertise. Have them show examples of what they have done that are similar to what you need. Have them explain their process for getting these results. Great websites are a team effort between the programmers, designers, marketers and the client’s expertise. A true expert knows how to develop and blend this team to create a result that is more beneficial to the client then it is to his or her resume.
A website is a delicate balance between the development and the design in order to effectively deliver a message. No website is ever finished. It needs to evolve and grow just like your business or organization. Make sure that the company that builds your website is a company you feel comfortable working with on a long term basis and that they will to be around and available for you as your online needs grow and evolve.