Finding a Website Designer

Finding a Website Designer

So you've decided to create a website, and you've thought about what you'd like to put on it.  Fantastic!  Now, it's time to start the design process.

Who Should I Ask To Create My Website?

Your Brother-in-Law:  

Seriously!  If you have a techy relative, that's great!  If you just have a simple site that doesn't need to change much over time, this might be a perfectly viable option.  Bake him some cookies, bring him a 6 pack, and you are golden.  But...  there are some significant downsides to this plan.

  • Lack of priority:  If he's techy, he is probably in demand for his skills.  Even if he isn't terribly busy right now, he probably will be soon.  The minute he gets an actual paying gig, or ANYTHING in his life starts keeping him busy, his focus on your little site is going to go out the window.
  • Is he creative?  Techy folks may have the computer skills to put up a site, but will he build you an attractive site that will clearly and beautifully relay the information you want to put forth about your business?
  • Is he available long term?  I have taken over many sites that were created by relatives and friends.  They start off strong, but in a year or so these friendly volunteers aren't available (aka don't want) to continue supporting your site.  You may wind up with an outdated site that you can't change. 

It makes Thanksgiving awkward.  If he promised you he'd help, and you put your trust in him, and he didn't follow though, it gets hard to ignore this at social occasions. 

A Volunteer:  

If you are working with a non-profit, and have a volunteer board, it might seem like a great idea to ask a volunteer to create your site.  However, please see points 1-4 above (substituting "Thanksgiving" with "seeing them on the golf course"!)

A Computer Programmer:  

Programmers are amazing for high end, customized websites that require special coding ability.  Many times their skills are WAY more than is needed for a simple website.  And they can rightfully charge an arm and a leg for their coding skills.  Also, many techy folks like to "speak geek".  They may seem overwhelming when they are trying to explain what needs to be done on your site. 

A Graphic/Web Designer:  

Graphic and Web designers are fantastic, and very creative.  They can and do create beautiful websites using a variety of programs.  Some can be expensive, and you'll want to make sure you hire someone who is going to be around long term.  I've taken over websites that were created by professional, well meaning graphic/web designers.  However, when they got busy, or focused on other things, they became increasingly unavailable for website maintenance.  This is absolutely not the case with all designers!  (Heck, my daughter is graphic designer!)  However, please look for someone with a strong track record of reliability who is planning on staying around.

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