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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What to Expect from a Web Designer

Many business owners are choosing a redesign of their current (out of date) websites - if you are thinking of a redesign you may (or may not) recall what the process entails. Whether looking for a new design team or staying with your current provider this short list will serve as a reminder of that to expect.
  1. Throughout the whole process you should expect excellent customer service. This should begin with the first contact all the way through the process. Emails should be answered within 24 hours and phone calls should be answered or returned within normal business hours.
    (With our company, we are available on the weekend and after hours when the need arises)

  2. The design company should ask questions about your business and goals for the website. They should be able to clearly state their understanding of the project. Together you will discuss who the website targets, what the points of conversion (lead gen/sales) will be and how the results will be measured.

  3. Be prepared to answer specific questions about your company. You may even be asked to provide the word for word copy for the pages of the website.
    (I actually do the copy writing for my clients to save time & make the project go faster)

  4. When the company (or individual) has a clear understanding of the type of design / project standards you'll need they will start to build the site.

    Here is where things get muddy for many business owners because many designers forget - if you (the client) don't see it, it's not happening! In other words, there are many elements to the first draft design that do not represent the end result so showing you would not give you any clear indication of where the project is going. For example, showing you the style sheet that holds the layout elements of the web page will mean nothing to you - but in the end that's an important part of the project.

    If your designer uses a project management system you can access to see points of progress you'll feel better about the project overall.
    (Here, we have a project system so you can see the different tasks as they are marked off and supply your feedback / comments)
  5. The overall project will take time to complete based on a number of factors: the size of the website, the level of graphic design involved, and the information provided by you. Small sites should usually be completed within 10 - 14 days provided the designer has all the information they need up front. Expect the project to slow down if the designer is waiting on information from you.

  6. You should also expect flexibility from your designer in all areas of the project. Your needs may become clearer as the site comes together and you may want to make changes to the content, purpose etc. of the site as the project comes to fruition.

  7. Don't expect that your design company can handle all aspects of your online presence. Hosting is needed so your website will have a place to be displayed online. Domain registration is necessary for your "dot com" address. If you need search optimization, social media or email marketing, you may also have to go to another company for those services.
    (We're a one stop shop so all of these services are available with our company)

  8. Common courtesy - as with any personal contact, courtesy goes a long way. If your designer sees a deadline may be missed, for example, letting you know ahead of time and why is just a matter of courtesy.
I hope you find this information useful. It's certainly easier to navigate the web when you know what to expect.
Feel free to call me for advice, insight and information! I'm happy to help, and I would enjoy working with your project.
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