Tips to choosing the right Website designer:

Location – Can you set up an appointment to see the designer at his/her office, or do they insist on coming to you? Is the company hiding where they are located? Look through their website. A reputable website designer will prominently display their address under their "Contact Information". If they do not, it is likely that they do not have an office, but rather work out of whatever space they have available in their home. There is nothing wrong with headquartering your firm out of your house, (Virtualtech’s office is in our home) but hiding that fact should be a "red flag". If the firm cannot be honest about a matter like this, it calls into question what their business morals when dealing with you as a client.

Ease of contact – Are the phones answered promptly? Are your calls returned? Do you receive prompt replies to your e-mails? The answers to these questions reflect on their business values, which in turn will reflect on the quality of work they will deliver to you.
History – How long has the company been in business? Have they moved several times? Do they have a list of satisfied customers?

Portfolio – A reputable website design firm will have the Web addresses of the sites that they have designed available on their website. Take a look at those sites, but don’t stop there. Contact their past clients and find out what their experiences were like.

Their Website – Is it easy to understand and navigate? Does it look attractive? Do the pages download quickly, or are they cluttered with clunky, slow special effects? Remember, you are hiring the same designer. You will learn a great deal about how your site will look by looking at their site.

Pricing Openness – Do they have clearly defined pricing on their site? A reputable website design firm has no qualms about being "up front" with their pricing.

Above all, remember this when choosing a website designer… do your homework before you commit, because as in all other transactions, you get what you pay for.

December 1, 2000

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