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  • Tips for Hiring a Design Pro + a Website Checklist

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    Do you find yourself dreading the thought of trying to hire a website or design pro? It can be confusing, for sure. Everyone uses similar words to describe the services they provide… but how do you know (REALLY know) whether or not you’ve hired the right person for the job?

    Here are a few tips, along with a website checklist that you can use as you’re thinking about the features & functionality you want for your website. The checklist is not exhaustive, but it’s intended to be a starting point for a conversation with your web pro when you are ready to undertake a site (re)design.

    Tips for Hiring a Web or Design Pro

    DO choose someone who:
    • Listens carefully and asks thoughtful questions
    • Who takes the time to see the “big picture” of your business and goals, rather than just the project at hand
    • Is highly recommended by others
    • Is experienced in the areas you need assistance in
    • Has a personality that meshes with your own
    • Shares advice and respectfully challenges you, but also is open to your advice
    • Has a clear process and workflow to keep your project organized
    • Takes the time to explain things to you
    • Is genuinely passionate about what they do

    DO NOT choose someone who:
    • Appears arrogant and “knows-it-all”
    • Seems to use the same look for every single project they complete
    • Does not pay attention to detail
    • Uses outdated design techniques
    • Makes grandiose promises that seem too good to be true
    • Charges substantially less than other bids you have received
    • Charges substantially more than other bids you have received
    • Is not willing to comply with your wishes with regard to domain ownership or hosting
    Remember… listen to your gut. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

    Your Website Checklist

    Help your web professional help you create an effective, functional and beautiful website!
    This checklist can help. Feel free to use it in your next conversation with your web pro.

    What is your budget?
    What is your time frame?
    Who is your target market?
    What are some websites or brands that really appeal to you?
    What is your competition doing on the web? How are their sites more or less effective?
    Do you have your brand established? Do you have your logo available in vector format? Do you have color or font preferences?
    Do you have all the text written for your website? If not, do you expect your web professional to do (or hire someone to do) the writing and/or editing? 
    Do you have high-resolution images available? 

    What are your ultimate goals for your website, both now and in the future?
    • Share information about my business
    • Allow clients/customers to set appointments online
    • Allow clients/customers to download forms
    • Allow clients/customers to complete forms online
    • Accept payments online
    • Offer ways to contact you
    • Share blog posts I’ve written
    • Share videos I’ve created
    • List upcoming events
    • Allow people to sign up for events
    • Sell my products or services online
    • Other: ___________________________________________________________________________
    This post was contributed by Michelle Coe, Owner and Creative Director of BlueSkyPhoenix. It originally appeared here. Visit her site to download free small business resources and learn more about how BlueSkyPhoenix can help you with brand strategy, web design & development, and marketing strategy.
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