Painless Web - Webmastering and Design in Charlottesville, VA
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Which Webmaster?

 

General Considerations

Should you Do-It-Yourself?

DIY may be appealing if you know a little bit about how web pages work, and your site mission is fairly simple. Although it really is easy to get "something" up on the web, there are a whole raft of technical and design considerations you should be aware of to do it right.

At the very least, study "Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability" by Steve Krug (ISBN: 0789723107)

Note that although Painless Web builds sites exclusively for small businesses, we can help you select an appropriate design firm for any needs. We also provide webmastering, project management, and auditing services for web sites built by other firms.

What mission(s) do you want your site to fulfill?

Are you looking for new customers, customer retention, customer service, or back-office streamlining? Be very clear about what you want your web site to accomplish before you or your design company gets started.

How complex is your web site project?

If you're envisioning interactive elements, or you expect to have a large number of pages, you'll want to find a design firm with relevant experience. For example, installing most catalog programs is easy. Picking one with the right mix of functionality, security, and speed is hard.

Is working with a local firm important to you?

On the one hand, nothing involved in web design requires a face-to-face meeting. Painless Web has clients spread across the country. We also understand that many people need face time to feel comfortable with a service provider. If that's you, and you're outside the Central Virginia area, we can help you find a dependable web designer in your area. Just call!

 

Picking a Web Designer/Web Master Top 6

"Choosing a Web Services Company" by Painless Web founder Mark Cohen provides a comprehensive checklist, which has appeared in a variety of publications. The condensed list below is drawn from this article. 

What's the difference between a web designer and a webmaster? The designer will actually build the site, and hopefully be available down the road to maintain it. The webmaster will take care of internet related issues, such as managing email, and web server issues. Often, the same firm will take care of both chores.

  1. As you begin talking to web designers, the first thing you should ask is what kind of sites they work on. Generalists are fine, but if they specialize in dentists, then they're probably not your best bet. Unless, of course, you're a dentist... Scale is also an issue. An outfit that mostly works on large sites may not pay much attention to your "easy" little site, while a small site developer may be altogether unaware of the complexities of larger sites.
  2. Do they lead the process, or do they seem to expect you to?
    They should be assessing your needs, and suggesting web pages and elements to fill them.
  3. Is there a written agreement?
    Although we try to make the process simple for our clients, it is a complex undertaking. Know exactly what you're getting  and what it costs. In particular, ask what they do not take care of. Many designers, for example, do not want to deal with email related issues.
  4. One in four people do not have a high-speed internet connection. If you are one of them, see how long it takes home pages on a few of their sites to load. If you have a high-speed connection, use the web site analyzer at Websiteoptimization.com to see if they build efficient pages. Most people won't wait much more than 20 seconds for a page to appear.
  5. Look at their site and some of the sites they've made.
    Do they use any annoying devices, like blinking graphics? Try finding things on them that should be easy, like a phone number, or directions. Are there huge blocks of text, or irrelevant graphics that take over the page? Both are well documented usability no-no's.
  6. Go to Yahoo and then Google. Enter the business names of their clients along with the city they are in. Their site should come up in at least Google, if not both.

 

 

NOTE: New clients are no longer being accepted.

Got Questions? Contact us now!

Painless Web - Webmastering and Design in Charlottesville, VA
Professional, Painless, Guaranteed.
     Email form    434 242-1841 in Central VA    866 234-9922 toll free

1003 Rayon St, Charlottesville Va, 22902

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