The most important decision you can make when creating a new website for your business is who will design that site for you. That one choice will set in motion every other decision moving forward, potentially for years.
It’s an unfortunate fact that not all web designers are created equal, nor do all web designers truly have your best interest at heart.
Ethical behaviour in business, and in life, differs person to person, but when it comes to web design, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you will not have reason to regret the team you choose to help bring your vision to life.
Your web designer must have experience not only in the industry, but also using the platform that you prefer. Most web designers will specialise in one or a few platforms and not every platform will be beneficial for every business owner. You will want to ask for examples from their portfolio of the platform you would like to work with, or the one they recommend.
A domain name is the address you plug into Google when you go to a website. This is the first piece of the puzzle. You must make sure that you own the domain, not the designer, and that you have access to the registrar (where you purchase the domain). This will ensure that if you need to access the domain name servers (the settings that tell the internet where to point a specific domain to view your website) should you no longer be working with your current web designer. Things can become complicated fast if you do not have access to and knowledge of your domain registrar.
You can do this by purchasing the domain yourself, rather than having that be included in the design cost. There are many registrars you can choose from, but a popular, low cost option is Namecheap.
“We Build It For You” Hosts
I would like to take a break here and give a note about choosing a host company (such as VistaPrint or GoDaddy) who can build your website for you. Be very careful and look closely at the fine print. Often with those types of companies, they hold all the cards when they build the site and then host it – including potentially owning your domain – which means that you may run into expensive trouble if you ever want to move your site.
Access & Ownership
One of the areas that clients often don’t even realise they need is access to the back end of their website and ownership of it. When choosing a web designer, always ask about their process for giving ownership and access to you. Often control of the website will be transferred after final payment is made. If your website will continue to be hosted through your web designer as a reseller, it is imperative that you have ownership and access to the backend of your site. Without this, changing to another web designer or another host company in the future may become difficult.
Your designer should be transparent and openly answer any questions you have about the process. If you find that your questions are not being answered honestly and without qualifications, this may be a red flag to their ethical practices.
At the end of the day, your intuition is the best guide in choosing a designer that you are comfortable with and who you feel is the best fit with you. Do your research, check their reviews and choose a designer that you feel will work with your best interest first and foremost.
If you want a designer who knows horses and dogs, who will be a support in your business success and will work toward your best interest, contact Full Stride Solutions – you will love your website!