Selecting a Web Designer in Kitchener Waterloo…

If you’re a Kitchener-Waterloo business owner in need of a website, be assured that this region has a large selection of extremely competent web design firms.  But this abundance of talent can also pose a problem…  “Which one do I choose?” 

As a business owner, finding that one firm that best suits your website and internet marketing needs can be a confusing task. Here are a few simple tips to remember when undertaking your search.

  • Don’t let price be the sole deciding factor. Choose a firm with a proven track record and an established clientele that has been in business for at least 3 years. We get numerous calls from frantic business owners whose web designer has suddenly “dropped off the radar” and they are left with a website they can’t maintain or may not even have access to.

 

  • Carefully review the web developer’s portfolio to ensure their design style is consistent with the “look and feel” you would like to see on your own website.

 

  • Be sure and ask about a mobile website. More web pages are now viewed on mobile devices than on desktop computers. It is imperative that your new website provides a user friendly and easy-to-navigate experience for your mobile viewers.

 

  • Host your website with a reputable 3rd party provider rather than with your web design firm. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If your host provider and website designer are one in the same company, you run the risk of losing it all should the company go out of business.

 

  • Don’t let your web designer (or even an employee) register your domain name. As the business owner, insist on registering the domain in your name, with your email address as the admin contact and keep control of the user-id and password. Remember, your domain and hosting are under 2 separate accounts so insist on having accessibility to both.

 

  • Ask the web designer if they intend to build your website with a 3rd party template or WordPress theme. If so, insist that all images are licensed and there is no copyright infringement. Keep in mind that you, the website owner, are on the hook for any copyright violation that may arise after the site goes “live”.

 

  • Before reaching a decision, meet face to face with the web design firm to ensure a good personal connection exists keeping in mind that the working relationship with your website designer will likely span at least 5 years.

 

  • Be prepared to invest a substantial amount of time in preparing content, supplying images and working closely with your web designer to ensure the final product is exactly what you want with no unpleasant surprises. Insist on a schedule of check points where the designer will deliver agreed upon phases of the site for your review.

 

  • Ask about the Content Management System or CMS and ask to see a demo on how it works.  Will you have to learn how to crop and scale images or will the CMS do it automatically for you? Can you add video content, add a blog, insert new pages and modify existing ones?

 

  • Ask if the web designer is well experienced with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to ensure your new website is designed to elevate your ranking on the search engines.

 

  • And finally, it’s always a good idea to ask for and check references.

 

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