When you hire a web designer to create or manage your website, be careful when searching the internet. Many small website companies go out of business, leaving their clients without the important information they need to manage their website for the long term.
Other web designers hold their clients hostage by not providing them ownership and access to their domain name and hosting service.
We’ve heard of some cases where clients were paying exhorbitant monthly subscription or hosting fees to keep their website live. In other cases, clients paid a company to design their website and the project was never completed.
Checklist for Hiring a Web Designer:
__ Has a professional website.
__ Is a business operating in your country.
__ Clearly explains to you what they will deliver and on specified timelines.
__ Provides you with written ‘terms of service’ so that you understand what you are buying.
__ Shows you sample ‘live’ websites (completed work).
__ You OWN your website – there are NO monthly ongoing fees to keep your site live, other than the small “hosting” fee that you will pay directly to your hosting service.
__ Your Internet hosting service is setup in YOUR NAME & OWNERSHIP, so that you own and control your website.
__ Low cost hosting services at less than $9/month, which includes email.
__ Reputable hosting service operating in the U.S. with 24/7 telephone support.
__ Will provide client references upon your request.
__ Can show you that they have satisfied clients, with active and professional ‘live’ websites.
__ Provides you with a written estimate on the project, and clarifies if there are any additional fees (should you request additional services not anticipated in the quote).
__ Requires only a deposit payment upfront with final payment upon completion.
__ Provides you complete ownership and access to your website hosting account.
__ Provides you with a website (on a content management system) that allows you the ability to manage and edit/grow your website, without the need to hire a web designer.
__ Builds your website on the most current technology available, and ‘open source’ software – so that your website is not on ‘proprietary’ software that the website company owns (holding you hostage to their services long term).
__ Includes good design and SEO (search engine optimization) practices when building your website, so that your website will be easily found for a search for your name, or business name without the need for you to hire ‘seo experts.’
__ Includes a BLOG on your website (optional), which allows you the ability to write articles or blog on your website.
__ Openly answers your questions and shares information with you about the web, taking the mystery out of the web.
__ Works in your best interests to provide you with great service and value for your investment.