- What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Look for a company that has been in the web design business for a while, preferably at the same location. Companies come and go, make sure they will be there when you need them. Look for a web designer with whom you feel comfortable. You are going to be working pretty closely with this person for a while, make sure you like their design style, and that their vision is much the same as yours. Ask for references and check them out--you want someone reliable, who will be there not just while your site is being developed, but afterwards when you have questions or need help. Check to be sure that their sites load quickly, even on a slow connection. Database sites do load more slowly, but if you have to wait for a while for their sites to load, imagine how this will affect your own site's users. Make sure your choice is a professional web design company. Before you 'hire' a family member, friend, or other amateur to care for your website, find out if they are capable of delivering the kind of site that won't embarrass you or your business. Make sure the designer knows how to hand code a site. While using a program like Dreamweaver isn't a problem, a designer who can't put together a site without it is not going to be able to handle the problems that sometimes arise. They should also be using CSS (cascading style sheets) for layout in your site. Make sure your designer is aware of security for your website. There are simple things that every site should have that are still overlooked, even by professional firms. Making sure, for example, that every folder on the site has an index.html page in it is important. These are just a few considerations that should be taken into account.