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What to Look for in a Web Designer
By Ari Ozick

As the popularity of the web continues to grow, it appears to be more and more prudent for businesses, big and small, to get themselves a web presence.

Different companies take different routes to acheive this goal. Some, not realizing the enormous effort required, design it themselves, with little to no previous experience. Others hire the neighberhood wiz kid to do it for them. The option that most choose, however, is to hire a professional web designer.

Many people hire the first name they come across. Few realize that hiring a web designer is just like hiring for any other opening. You must investigate and make sure the applicant is qualified. With that in mind, here are some helpful hints that will help you find the web designer that's right for the job you need.

1)Decide what will be on your site.

Before you even start searching, you have to decide what will be on your site. Will it be an online store, a company brochure, or a informational site. This decision is crucial, because different designers have different skills which are suited for certain tasks, but not others.

2)How Much?

Before you start, you need to make a budget. Website Design should be treated no differently then any other expense. You need to see how important this project is for your company, and how much you're willing to spend. Once you do this, make sure to let each prospective web designer know how much you've budgeted. It will make things that much easier for you and your designer in the long run.

3)Make sure the Designer can Design.

This is the most crucial, but often overlooked, part of the job. You don't know how many times I've seen a web design company's web page that makes me cringe. If the web design company can't design nicely for itself, what makes you think they'll do a good job for you? Also make sure the designer knows how to design, not just write code. A practicle example: I personally know HTML, the language behind web pages. What I lack is an artistic sense, as well as style. I can't design web pages for the life of me, which is why I head the marketing department and not the production department!

4)Find out what you're paying for.

Since this may be a expensive outlay for your company, make sure you know exactly what you're paying for. Does the price include graphics design and copy? Who pays for the web hosting? Does the fee include periodic updates? The more you find out beforehand, the more trouble you save yourself before you begin.

5)Don't be afraid to ask questions.

If you're curious or inquisitive about something, ask! You have the right to know everything your designer does, even if it takes them a while to explain it to you. After all, you're paying for the service. If at ever the design company seems to be holding something back, be very wary. Anybody who is not upfront with you is bad news.

In the end, the most important thing I can emphasize is this: Choosing a Web Designer is a lot like choosing an accountant, a lawyer or a doctor. You investigate and find out more about them, and then ultimately you go with whoever you feel the most comfortable with. Just because it's more technical, does not mean it should be any different then the offline world.

Source: "Ariel Ozick is Chief Marketing Officer for Six Knots Design, Inc., a web production and marketing firm based in New York. Six Knots makes sure to return something to the community, it gives 10% of each design and production order to charity. This and other articles can be found at"

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