Friday, October 19, 2012

[3 of 3] How to Choose a Web Designer

So you're a published author. You've decided to take the plunge to ratcheting up your career. Whether you need a website designed from scratch or you already have one and want it completely revamped, you have decided to go with a professional web developer to design and manage your site. But how do you find one? Here are some ideas...

How to Choose a Web Designer || author websites | should writers create their own website | marketing for authors
  1. Look at the sites of the authors you love and find out who designed their sites.
  2. Get referrals from friends who have paid someone to do theirs.
  3. Google "web design for authors" and you'll get about 10 hits on the first page.
  4. Check out the listings in the SCBWI catalogues or other organizations you're a member of.
  5. Ask me in a year, and I'll be able to give you a personal quote (I've already got my site designed in my head and a company name picked out).
I personally have 22 sites saved in a folder in my favorites (for ideas, etc.). And yes, they all specialize in web design for authors. So how in the world do you choose? Price is not the most important thing. I know it matters to your bank account, but again, I repeat, price is NOT the most important thing. So what is? STYLE and FUNCTIONALITY!

  1. Visit ALL of the sites you found. Look at their portfolios. Get a feel for the company from their own website. 
    1. Do you like the style of the sites they've made? Did you visit several of the sites? Are they easy to navigate?
    2. Can you envision working with this company? Is their site easy to navigate? 
    3. Does their FAQ page answer most of your questions? (Do they even have an FAQ page?)
  2. Narrow your list down to your 3-5 favorites.
  3. Think about how you want to operate in the future.
    1. Do you want to be able to make your own edits? (Are you semi- tech savvy?)
      1. Ask if this is an option.
    2. Do you want to pay one company for site updates (if that's what you want) and hosting services, or do you want to pay "A" for hosting and "B" for updates.
      1. Ask if they offer web hosting too.
    3. Do you want to work with a small company or a large company?
    4. Write down any other pertinent questions you may have.
  4. Make up a pros/cons list for your 3-5 favorites based on feel, style, and professionalism. Try to put them in order from most favorite to least favorite. See if they give a guesstimate for how much they charge. Some sites will say, and some won't, but don't let that be the determining factor. 
  5. Get a quote! Get a feel for the person you'll be working with. 
    1. Do you feel like they'll understand what you want?
    2. Do you feel like you'll be able to work with this person for a long time?
    3. Ask how long they think it will take?
    4. Choose the ONE you feel best about. If in doubt, PRAY.
Lastly, get out your wallet and enjoy the ride!

Read the other posts in this 3-part series:

#1: What Makes a Good Author Website?
#2: The Cost of Having a Website
#3: How to Choose a Web Designer

Keep on keepin' on...

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great advice, Christie. I know eventually have to get a website. I guess I should start researching what appeals to me.

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  2. That's actually a GREAT place to start! Find 3-5 author websites you LOVE! It would be great if they have the same feel, tone, style you think you'd like to have, or if they write in the same genre. Then when you find a designer, you'll already have something to share and they'll be able to know just what you want.

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  3. You got that one absolutely right, Christie! Get a quote. You see, for some who want to hire a web designer, they mostly go with the first name they see in the directory or the internet. They skip the selection process. I, too, would recommend getting a quote from different web designers before making a final decision. The quote should be free, of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get a FREE quote today! (That'll my "catchy phrase"...) Hope to see you around, Sage. Thanks for stopping by!

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