- Look at the sites of the authors you love and find out who designed their sites.
- Get referrals from friends who have paid someone to do theirs.
- Google "web design for authors" and you'll get about 10 hits on the first page.
- Check out the listings in the SCBWI catalogues or other organizations you're a member of.
- 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).
- Visit ALL of the sites you found. Look at their portfolios. Get a feel for the company from their own website.
- Do you like the style of the sites they've made? Did you visit several of the sites? Are they easy to navigate?
- Can you envision working with this company? Is their site easy to navigate?
- Does their FAQ page answer most of your questions? (Do they even have an FAQ page?)
- Narrow your list down to your 3-5 favorites.
- Think about how you want to operate in the future.
- Do you want to be able to make your own edits? (Are you semi- tech savvy?)
- Ask if this is an option.
- 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.
- Ask if they offer web hosting too.
- Do you want to work with a small company or a large company?
- Write down any other pertinent questions you may have.
- 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.
- Get a quote! Get a feel for the person you'll be working with.
- Do you feel like they'll understand what you want?
- Do you feel like you'll be able to work with this person for a long time?
- Ask how long they think it will take?
- 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...