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Choose Your Web Designer Wisely

As more and more South African businesses realize the potential of the internet, adding an online leg to your business is essential. Do not be hasty in choosing your website developer though, the market is full of scammers looking to make a quick buck. Below is a checklist to ensure your developer will provide you with a website that is user friendly, search engine friendly, and professional.

  • Sites that Add Value

    Take some time to find out if your potential developer creates sites that add value to their clients. A website should be an investment that gives returns and not a black hole that just consumes resources. Always remember that sites aren't just advertisements, they should add major business functionality to ensure more effective business processes.

  • Design History

    View your potential developer's website development history, check their site and their portfolio - if neither is available, beware! Although a company cannot be defined by their history - everybody makes mistakes - it should be taken into account. Be careful of established developers as they often use very outdated methods to develop sites.

  • Browser Compatibility

    More and more people are moving away from Microsoft Internet Explorer®, to other better browsers like firefox (which I use, and highly recommend), opera, and flock to name just a few. Be sure to download firefox or one of the other and test functionality of all websites created by the company you are evaluating, or you might end up with a website that's not viewable by 40% or more of the internet audience. In addition to browser compatibility, you should also consider device compatibility - although this isn't required by all sites, it should be taken into consideration as more and more people use mobile phones, pda's and other similar devices to browse the web.

    Do yourself a favour and take this test on your potential developers' website as well as his/her client sites, some companies claim they make compatible sites, but they really don't. Remember, it's your website...and you'll only have yourself to blame if you didn't do your homework properly.

  • Proper References

    Make sure you contact at least the last 3 to 4 clients of the company you are considering, they should be able to give you a clear idea of the service quality you might expect. Ensure that you try to establish whether they are knowledgable about the quality, functionality and accessibility of their website.

  • Project Deadlines

    Be sure to confirm with the references that their projects were completed within the time frame originally planned for.