- Affordability. Yes, you can get a website cheaply or even do it yourself, but most of these websites are so poor you end up having to replace the website at some point and wasting your money. The trick is to get a well built website for a reasonable price. Ask around, word of mouth works wonders for a decent web designer.
- Keep it simple. Keep the site clean and simple. If I can't get a good idea of what a company does within 10 seconds of looking at their home page, it's not a good website. Navigation around the site should be easy and intuitive.
- Calls to Action. Encourage the website visitor to contact you. Your phone number and email link should be prominent on every page. In the industry these are called calls to action. Also have a simple contact form which has an auto responder, This will email an acknowledgement to the person who fills in the form.
- Will Google like it? Google likes a webpage to be structured in a certain way. I've lost count of the number of Graphic Designer built websites I've seen that look good but don't have the basic elements that Google likes to see like defined headings, optimised content and meta data.
- Can you edit it? A good website will come with a Content Management System which will enable you to update the website yourself. If it doesn't you could find your web developer charging you an arm and a leg for every little change you want making to the website.
- Do you own the site? It's a sneaky trick, but a lot of designers retain ownership of the site and even your domain name if they register it for you. You may well find that they will hold you to ransom if you ever want to change your website company.
- Can you add regular, fresh content? Google likes to see regular fresh content added to the website. An ideal way is to have an onsite blog. Once or twice a month talk about some of your more interesting jobs or answer some the the most frequently asked questions. A lot of website companies will charge you extra for a blog. Hassle Free Websites consider a blog such an essential part of a website, we include it for free.
It can be a bit of a jungle out there with website companies. Happy customers tell others, so ask your business contacts and friends for recommendations and don't forget to speak to some of the web developers existing clients.