My cousin/nephew/brother/neighbour’s dog is a web designer – why do I need you?
Although it plays a big part, effective web design isn’t just about the aesthetics – it’s also about the code behind the website. Your website may look professional, but how does it perform within search engine results?
Whereas well written, standards-compliant code will boost your search engine rankings, badly written code can have the opposite effect, causing information to be technically unavailable to search engines, despite being visible to most of your visitors.
Additionally, your code may have left serious security loop holes, or cause your website to display incorrectly in some web browsers. Remember, not everyone uses Internet Explorer and not everyone uses a PC!
Although there are many people that dabble in it, we recommend that you consider the following issues before entrusting your professional image to someone who isn’t well-versed in creating and delivering professional, high-quality web solutions.
- Is the person you are going to hire knowledgeable about search engine optimisation or other methods of driving traffic to your site?
- Do they understand browser compatibility issues and how the site will appear to various visitors?
- Can they advise on hosting services, registering or transferring a domain name, legal issues and accessibility?
- Can they balance usability with an efficient, aesthetically pleasing design?
- Obtain, create and manipulate high-quality graphics and images?
- Create a site that is easily updatable by you?
- Understand new access technologies such as mobile phones, PDAs and RSS?
- Create a website that communicates your branding and sets you apart from your competition?