Website Tips, Tricks... and more.
10 Questions To Ask Your Prospective Web Designer
I found this article and thought it was a great set of questions to ask your potential web designer. I understand the importance of getting multiple bids for projects - but be aware that website pricing is extremely subjective. While you can get quotes from $250 to $20,000 - you need to know the right questions to ask to realize what you are getting for your money.
Article from www.ezinearticles.com
It can be a daunting task setting up your on-line presence for most. The whole prospect of talking about "domain-name registration", "hosting services", "arranging content", "payment gateways" and "merchant accounts" etc... can seem a totally alien experience for even those initiated with plenty of on-line experience.
So, to help those that are seriously thinking about getting their business hosted on the Internet here are some Top Ten Tips you should be asking a Web Company before you consider taking on their service.
1) "How long have you been in business?"
While there is nothing wrong with going to a one man start up company (we all started somewhere) you may feel safer going with an established company where you can gather testimonials and feel more secure that the company has a history with hosting etc. You don't want to lose your hard-earned website if the developer decides to close down.
2) "Do you have a portfolio?"
First and foremost you have to see samples of work, without seeing this how do you know the Web Developer can do what you're asking? Also, make sure these are live sites and that they actually work!
"Do you have any testimonials?"
All good should be able to provide you with testimonials from previous satisfied clients. An established web design company will be happy to provide you with a list of testimonials if requested.
4) "Who works for you and can I meet them?"
You need to know that the company you are hiring can deliver what they claim, ask questions such as "What are your designers histories?" and "How many years of experience do they have in this field?". While all companies out-source at one point or another you need to be safe in the knowledge that your prospective company has staff on hand to deal with urgent queries etc and do not constantly have to rely on a freelancer. Finally, any company worth their salt will willingly let you go into their office and meet with the designers, beware of companies who refuse...what are they hiding?
5) "What is the process in developing a site?"
You and the web design company have to be clear right from the word go what part each of you have to play in developing the site. At certain points your designer will require content and feedback from yourselves and you have to be aware when this will be required.
6) "What happens if I need changes?"
All websites will need updated at one point or another, find out whether this is included in the price or an additional cost.
7) "What can you do to make my site visible?"
If your web design company also offers Search Engine Optimization and you are considering this service, ask if it's possible to have a short meeting with the SEO specialist. You'll know quickly if they are up to scratch and they should also be able to supply you with previous Search Engine reports and show signs of successful SEO results.
8) "Do I own my site at the end?"
You don't want to go through the process of developing a website only to lose the rights to it if you decide to get hosting from another company after a few months. Ask if its possible to obtain a full copy of your website on completion.
9) "What software/languages do you use?"
You probably don't really care about the answer to this but it is good for you to know your site will be created using industry standard software etc to allow the files to be worked on at a later date with a different company if needs be. Look for software names such as Adobe Macromedia and try to get developers with more than just basic HTML knowledge such as ASP, PHP - should you wish to upgrade your site to a dynamic site it will comfort you to know that your designer will be able to oblige without you having to go elsewhere.
10) "Do you provide hosting?"
All good web design agencies should be able to set you up with hosting and emails and you shouldn't feel that you are paying over-the-top for this service. If they say they can't and you feel the costs are high then be extremely suspicious!
Lynne Foster is a director of PoLR Limited - a web design, SEO and online marketing company in Glasgow Scotland.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lynne_Foster
Search Engine Optimization
The number one question I get asked is "How do I get my site to be #1 in Google". Good question. The only sure fire way to get your site up in the top listings of Google is to pay for a listing. You can go to www.adwords.com to find out more about Google Adwords.
Ok, so you don't have it in your budget right now to pay for Adwords... here are some tricks that I use and that you can do to boost you website in search engine rankings.
- When I code your website, I use hidden tags called "meta tags". Included in these are a title, description, and keyword tag.
- The Title simply is the title of your website... for example "Pilot Designs - Website Designs". This appears in the very top of your website browser.
- The Description tag is a short one sentence line describing what your website is about. Example: "Pilot Designs offers website design and website development to small businesses."
- Keywords are important when used properly. This should be a set of no more than 250 characters or around 20-30 keywords that your website is about. These will be words that you will re-use throughout your website as well as words that people will type in trying to find your website. Example: "pilot designs, website design, Newnan website design,..."
Now, what should you NOT do??? Do NOT sit on your computer day after day and "submit" your website to Google and other search engines. This can actually cause your website to be banned from search engines. They have created programs whose only job is to automatically submit site after site to these search engines day after day. The search engines (especially Google) do not like this because they can't verify the integrity of the site and Google is working hard to only provide the most relevant websites in their search results.
Follow and understand these tips and you will have a successful website in no time!! Good luck, and I'll see you on Google!
What do you want in a website?
Some of my clients know exactly what they want for their website design... others have no idea. So what do you want for YOUR website? If you have no idea where to begin when thinking about your new website, keep these things in mind:
- Who is your target audience? If your target audience is a group other than what you fall under, consider finding a small group that IS in your target group and ask their opinions for your website.
- Does your business have a color scheme that you would like to stick to? If not, what colors appeal to you? What colors would appeal to your target audience?
- How many pages will your website have? If you have more than 7 or 8 you may want to consider listing your menu on the left side of your website. If you have fewer than 7 menu items, placing them at the top will give you more room for content
- What are some other websites that appeal to you? What about the websites appeal to you? Do you like the color scheme, layout, photos used, content...
- What do you want to be the first area your clients notice on your website? The header/logo, a photograph, or the menu are all great focal points depending on what your end goal is.
- Remember that this is YOUR website... but you want it to appeal to a crowd. Crazy fonts, multiple colors, spinning graphics may all be "fun"... but will not appeal to everyone. Keeping layouts simple and clean will ensure that the point of your website will get across to your target audience.
- Be daring. Try something that is different that will attract attention to your website. If yours looks like the rest of the internet's websites ... it won't set you apart from the rest.