Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Do your research. Look at web sites the developer has created or worked on. If the site does not work for you, does not open properly, is not usable, etc., then the developer did not do a good job. If you want to be really thorough, you can open a browser window to validator.w3.org and put the web site address into the field provided. The results of the test can give you a better idea - if it has over 5 errors, then it's shoddy work and not worth your time.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. If you want a website, it helps to know what message you want to deliver to users. Just saying "Oh, I want a web site." is a waste of time. You can use journalism's questions to help you along:
Who are you or your business?
What message do you want to convey, what do you offer?
Where is your business located?
When did you go into business?
Why are you in your business?
How can your business help me?
Sometimes not all the questions are relevant, but users do want to know how your business can benefit them, what sets you apart from everyone else.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. I had a client that decided to hire a nephew to do a redo a website for free. The web site I had designed was easily accessible, professional, and third result in Google. The new web site had lots of flash, a black background, tiny gray text, and sound! It dropped off the search results completely.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I've been at this a long, long time. When Al Gore was running for President, I viewed source on his web site, and I was intrigued. Then I learned HTML, lurked in developer groups, and started a free graphics site that got a lot of hits (it's gone now). People saw that site, and offered my money to make something like my site for them! Wow! What a concept!