How to Save $10,000 on Your Web Design

How to Save $10,000 on Your Web Design
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    How to Save $10,000 on Your Web Design      How to Save $10,000 Per Year on Your Web Design |  © 201 3 Media, Inc. | 888.713.3221 1   So your business has finally progressed to the point where you need to create a web site for it. But unless you're  being backed by a billionaire, chances are you probably need to take a frugal approach. The good news is that there are plenty of people and companies who will happily design your web site for you. This guide reveals exactly what a web designer does and gives you tips on how to choose the one that's right for you. Most importantly, you'll learn how to save money -- up to $10,000-- when it finally comes time to start  building your web site. What Does a Web Designer Actually Do? Think of a web designer as a general contractor for your web site. If you're building a home, your general contractor might be able to work from a blueprint to construct your home from the ground up. Some contractors may have to hire a subcontractor to handle the plumbing and the electrical wiring. Others are large enough to handle all aspects of building your home, and a few will even work with you to design your home from the  planning stages all the way through interior décor selections. Web designers are very similar to contractors in that some of them are able to do more for you than others. A few only specialize in the aesthetics of your site, while others concentrate mostly on your site's content and layout or focus mainly on the coding. However, there are a handful of designers who offer turnkey operations and can plan, build, and maintain your web site with a minimum of input from you. Areas of Web Design Before you begin the process of choosing a web designer, you should familiarize yourself with the basic components of the art of web design.    Concept development.  This is usually the very first step in the process. What will you use your site for? What types of information do you want displayed?    Structure and navigation.  This involves figuring out how many pages your website will have, what the  purpose of each page will be, and how users will move from one page to another.    How to Save $10,000 Per Year on Your Web Design |  © 201 3 Media, Inc. | 888.713.3221 2      Visual layout.  Simply put, this is how your website will appear on a computer screen. While it encompasses colors, borders, and other aesthetic properties, it also sets the foundation around which every page is built.    Text and fonts.  If your web site will be displaying information, that copy will need to be written for every page of your site. Fonts, text sizes, and headings will also need to be chosen.     Photos, images, and videos.  Will your site be imagery-intensive? That means looking for (or creating) digital photos, embedded videos, and/or clip art or animated images.     Interactive components.  These may include anything from a contact us form to a shopping cart to other tools, like cost calculators and color comparison software.    Search engine optimization.  Last but not least, you want your site to be seen by as many people as  possible. A good web designer knows all of the measures to take to maximize your site's exposure on search engines like Google and Bing. How to Choose a Web Designer  Now that you have a better idea about what needs to be done, the next step is to figure out what a given web designer is capable of doing for you. Remember: web designers are like general contractors in that they can handle certain jobs while farming out other tasks. So the first step when interviewing a potential web designer is determining what aspects of the process the individual or company can complete.    How to Save $10,000 Per Year on Your Web Design |  © 201 3 Media, Inc. | 888.713.3221 3   Again, some design firms can take care of all aspects of building your website from start to finish. In these cases, the site will sometimes be produced by a few people working as a team, while other firms may have departments which perform every necessary function while a liaison or project manager communicates with you directly. Don't hesitate to ask whether a part of the process (like coding, copywriting, layout design, etc.) will be subcontracted to a different designer. You have a right to know who is working on your web site at any given time. If a web designer won't reveal this information to you, just walk away. Once you’ve learned how each component of your site is being handled, here are some questions to ask:      Are your subcontractors located in the same city? The same state? The same country?    Will you be able to contact the subcontractor or other project team members directly, or will all communication and feedback have to go through a single point person?    What aspects of the site must be completed before others can be undertaken? (For example, does the text have to be written and edited before the visual layout is designed?) Examine the Portfolio When you apply for a job, you usually have to put together a resume which lists all of your skills, accomplishments, and previous employers. For web designers, their resume is called a portfolio. It can be  presented in varying formats (hard-copy photos, online presentations, PowerPoint slides, etc.), but they all  basically do the same thing: try to give potential clients an idea of their abilities and past clients. It's worth taking some time to peruse through a web designer's portfolio. Try to find past clients that have sites which may be similar to the one you wish to create. If a web designer's portfolio is filled mostly with e-commerce or photography/video sites and your site needs to rely heavily on informing and educating viewers, then choosing this designer might be like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.
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