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How Do I Choose a Web Designer for My Business?

With the proliferation of the world wide web and independent businesses, it is literally a 'jungle' out there when it comes to locating affordable website design services. If you don't know the difference between a web host and a website, how are you supposed to figure out which web design company will be capable and worth the outlay from your fixed budget. Let's face it, start-ups, independent entrepreneurs and small businesses do not have the large budgets of corporations and every dollar counts. Making informed decisions when it comes to your business' marketing expenditures can be the difference between business success and failure.

Having an online component for your company is an established low cost tool to build your company brand, keep in touch with your customers and reach out to new ones. Nielsen/NetRatings found that the overall at-home global active Internet universe for 12 selected countries swelled by more than 2.8 million users from June 2004 to July 2004 bringing the total to 291,986,237 users. Having a website is necessary to reach these users.

Since I self-designed my first company website, my time was spent trying to figure out who should host my site, but the method of search is comparable with looking for a website designer: asking around, looking in search engines, pouring through over 30 sites comparing services, prices and added value (if there was any). I didn't really know what I was looking for even though I had some technical background, but in general I knew I wanted a host who was affordable and had good customer service. So, considering those of you who are starting from the beginning and need someone to help you Plan your site, Design it and Put it up for the world to see, there are specific concerns that you will need to address.

Here are seven real-world questions any new business owner should ask a prospective web designer. Based on their answers you can compare each company on a more equal basis, decreasing your search time and increasing the time you need to spend building your business.

Do they offer domain name registration & web hosting with their packages?

Do they promote your website once it's built?

Do their package prices include maintenance fees?

Can you make alterations/updates to the website on your own?

Do they handle product sales transactions? (Ecommerce sites)

How long is your contract?

Can you see previous work that has been done?

Getting the answers to these questions will get you on the way to choosing a web designer who can handle your web and total business needs.

About the Author

Dannielle Brantley, founder of Mocha Works, Marketing - Web Design, Online & Direct Marketing for Start-ups, Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs www.mochaworks.com .
A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated - send to: mochaworks@aadriamusic.com.

Dannielle Brantley