Carefully consider whether you have the capabilities and resources available to you - to present a professional looking web site. You want your site to instill quality and trust. The dollar amount you invest in a web site designer, will be earned back ten fold with your site's success.
Things To Know & Things To Ask . . .
Do It Yourself?
There is always the "challenge factor" - just to see if you can do it. You may want to get your site live immediately - and you can accomplish this by doing a simple site yourself - then work with a designer for your 'real' site - the one you want on the web for years to come.
If you're inexperienced in design - calculate your learning curve in your timeline for debuting your web site.
Consider also - that once your site is live - there will still be content updates and general site maintenance to be done on a regular basis. Will you have the time to do this - plus operate your business?
If you have the time to learn HTML & the design thing - be sure to use html editor software to make the setup as painless as possible.
There are lots of reasons why you may decide to build a web site yourself, but most often you'll find it is much easier to hire an experienced designer that will work with you every step of the way.
Hire a Designer?
Make sure you own all the designs and work that a designer does for you. Generally, within the designer contract, once your project is paid in full, the work ownership transfers to you - the client.
Find out what happens to your shopping cart/graphics/mailing lists/etc - if you change to a different designer or host.
Make sure the graphics they use can go with you also. What about that custom layout they designed for you - will it stay with them if you make a move?
If you provide all the text and graphics - will you own the html? Find out!
Make sure to obtain a written agreement detailing everything. It's better to have it all worked out and in an agreement from the start - so you can avoid costly expenses in the future.