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Attention Small Business Owners: 10 Things You Must Know about Web Design….that your Web Developer won’t tell you!

How do you know you are getting a good deal when you hire a web developer? The only advise that can be given is “Caveat emptor…buyer beware!” Like buying a new car or a used computer everyone is not as honest as they should be and before you begin shelling out money for a website there are a few things you need to know.

1. Make sure your web developer runs a usability test. The test will evaluate the ease with which customers navigate through your website.

2. Tell your web developer that you would like your website accessible for those with disabilities or handicaps.

3. Insist that your website is compatible with all browser types. Your web developer should design your web site to be compatible with Internet Explorer 4.0 and above, Netscape Navigator 4.0 and above, Mozilla, and Macintosh Browsers.

4. The web developer you select should use web safe colors, so the color you select is the same as the color that appears on your site.

5. Meta Tags are vital. Every web developer should use Meta Tags, the codes behind the website page that give pertinent information, (website description, keywords, instructions, etc.) to search engine robots.

6. Your web developer should design the website to display properly on all screen sizes. (800 by 600 pixels and 1024 by 768 pixels are the most common screen size, while 1280 by 768 pixels, 1280 by 1024 pixels are the least common)

7. Insist your web developer go over in detail their contract as well as the exact details of your needs, before they begin working on your site.

8. Insist on your web developer keeping you abreast of every milestone accomplished, decisions made and unforeseen changes.

9. Hosting does not have to be expensive, and a reasonable hosting fee should start at approximately $6 per month.

10. Insist that your web developer offer a website maintenance package. If they design it, they should be willing to maintain it.

It is very important that before you sign on the dotted line, don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are no stupid questions, ever. A hasty decision can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Designing a website is like a KISS, Keep It Simple…Seriously!

About the Author

Jessica M. Davis is a creative dedicated web developer who has worked in the industry for over seven years. Formerly a Web Technology Analyst, Ms. Davis is a freelance web developer who seeks to give customers relevant web design information.
Jessica M. Davis may be reached at 313.204.0325, (313.259.7424 Fax), at www.jdavisassociates.com or by mail at J. Davis & Associates Publishing, P. O. Box 44782, Detroit, MI 48244-0782.

Jessica M. Davis