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Old 5th March 2007, 10:03 PM   #11
web4you
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Hello,
I am new here so i just wanted to say hi.
I have notices this post and would like to make a small comment.
If you have someone work on your site, they are most likely to do design and programming. I prefer to do ASP.
Also, the best way for you is if company shows you several designs(templates) at least 3 to make customer happy. I would suggest to have RFP handy.

Cheers,

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Old 20th June 2007, 08:53 PM   #12
Troy Howard
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I think the most important points are being missed here. Anyone can design a pretty website, but a brochure website is not going to convert visitors to customers. Here are the questions I would ask:

1. Does the website call the visitor to action?
a. Most people spend about 10 seconds on a website. If they are not motivated to do something in the first few seconds, they are going to leave.
2. Does the website collect customer information?
3. Does the website have opt-in forms with instantaneous delivery of free products or information for signing up?
a. The quickest way to capture visitor information is to offer a free newsletter or e-zine for filling in a form.
4. Does the website have built-in marketing features such as email blasting, search engine optimization, banner exchanges, opti-in forms, and customer databases?
5. Can I make changes to the website or do I have to pay the developer to make my changes?
a. A powerful website solution will allow the owner to make changes to their own website. The search engines look for dynamic content. This is why blogs do so well. The content is always changing. If your website is static and you have to send in a request, wait for the designer to have time to make the change and then pay for the change you are going to come in last place in the race for customers.


If all you care about is a pretty website, that is exactly what you are going to get. A pretty website that does not market your business for you.

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Old 19th July 2007, 12:26 PM   #13
Dee-Zigns
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Default Great points- questions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Howard View Post
I think the most important points are being missed here. Anyone can design a pretty website, but a brochure website is not going to convert visitors to customers. Here are the questions I would ask:

1. Does the website call the visitor to action?
a. Most people spend about 10 seconds on a website. If they are not motivated to do something in the first few seconds, they are going to leave.
2. Does the website collect customer information?
3. Does the website have opt-in forms with instantaneous delivery of free products or information for signing up?
a. The quickest way to capture visitor information is to offer a free newsletter or e-zine for filling in a form.
4. Does the website have built-in marketing features such as email blasting, search engine optimization, banner exchanges, opti-in forms, and customer databases?
5. Can I make changes to the website or do I have to pay the developer to make my changes?
a. A powerful website solution will allow the owner to make changes to their own website. The search engines look for dynamic content. This is why blogs do so well. The content is always changing. If your website is static and you have to send in a request, wait for the designer to have time to make the change and then pay for the change you are going to come in last place in the race for customers.


If all you care about is a pretty website, that is exactly what you are going to get. A pretty website that does not market your business for you.
Get right to the point! I like that! Point #5. I can make changes to my site on most things, but some areas i must go thru my web designer. After 1 year, I think I deserve access to those areas (am I unreasonable?) . I emailed my web designer and asked for access, and i have yet to get a response back. 3 days ago?

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Old 9th August 2007, 01:00 PM   #14
theevans716
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBBMike View Post
Since your knowledge is limited in this area, ask them to explain what they will be doing.
I like this quote because it is VERY true. I find that my clients have been much more at ease when they understand what I am doing for them. In fact I have a client right now who really knew nothing of web design and all they wanted to know was "How do I beat my competition online."

Well, I asked them to show me their competition. When I asked them to right click their site and show me the code source a look of puzzlement came on their face. They said "This is Greek to me". So I explained to them what I could see and let them know their competition is no competition at all. They decided to have me build a site for them.

Why did I say all of this? Simple, if your webmaster can not explain to you what they are doing, how do you expect them to help your site visitors know what they should be doing?

This is just a webmasters view.

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Old 9th August 2007, 01:59 PM   #15
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@Dee-Zigns
Quote:
After 1 year, I think I deserve access to those areas
While you undoubtedly deserve access, it is very likely that there is some wacky stuff in those areas that someone who is used to using a CMS (Content Management System) to make small changes to a site would not be familiar with. As a result, most web developers will restrict access to sensitive areas. I mean sensitive in the sense of "disturbingly complex code" sensitive. Kind of like it's okay for you to put gas in the car, change the oil and check the tire pressure, but you should rely on your skilled mechanic to deal with the onboard computer.

Re: Web designer choices

My best suggestion for anyone starting out is to find a designer who really understands what you hope to accomplish, and one who doesn't "talk down" to you about the technology. They should be on the exact same page as you regarding your goals and your taste, and they should be able to satisfy your technical questions simply and clearly. Watch out for too much technobabble (i.e. "Well, your URL will be enhanced with PHP and some torrent feeds while we will maximize the SMTP install to juice your customers.") If you can't understand what they are saying, and they can't simplify, there's a good chance that they will be hard to deal with when problems crop up, and it may even be a sign that they are not confident in expressing the basic concepts you really need to understand. You don't need to know what programming languages will be used, unless you enjoy that sort of thing, but you should have a good grasp of how their (potential) work will be competitive and accomplish your business goals.

Also, keep in mind that you are hiring a professional who probably has learned some lessons over the years that you have not had a chance to learn. They will probably have some ideas that you hadn't thought of, and maybe even some design suggestions that you wouldn't have asked for. If they are truly a professional, they will try to do everything in their power to accomodate your design suggestions, however, frequently the customer does not have the experience to know what really works online, and so you should give them the benefit of the doubt ... at least until it is perfectly clear that their tactics are not successful. In other words, don't get too upset if they can't work that cute picture of your goddaughter into the home page ... it might not be the best thing for your business, even if you love it. Give 'em a chance to do the best job for you.

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Old 9th August 2007, 06:23 PM   #16
Crimson Fox
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I'd just like to address something that Troy Howard said:

Quote:
Anyone can design a pretty website, but a brochure website is not going to convert visitors to customers.
A print brochure much like a brochure website should be trying to do all the things you then mentioned below. Especially calling the reader to action. If it is not, then it is not doing it's job.

Many people tend to see the print design world as simply making 'pretty pictures' when in reality a good designer will be using their medium to be doing everything that you mentioned to convert a reader into a customer.

If you ever great a brochure or any print, web or video material which is not doing everything it can to convert visitors/viewers/readers into customers then you are wasting your time and money.

As for making changes to your own site. It will cost you more in the initial stages to have a Content management system built in. But if that is what you want definitely ask for it. But, if you don't want to be the one who will be constantly changing site content, you may want to have a web developer on call to do it for you.

You'll spend a little more across the life of the site, but you won't pay more up front and you won't need to spend your time managing it.

You could include your design team on a share of profits as their income for managing the site. They will definitely endeavor to make you money if they are doing so themselves and a web developer 'should' be more of an expert in the market than yourself. It would be interesting to test this model. But I suppose it's the same as the real estate one. Which seems to work well.

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