Custom Web Design, Boulder CO: Welcome to the Wild West

Shopping for web design in Boulder County, or anywhere for that matter, is sort of like buying gold from miners in the wild west – if you don’t know what fools gold looks like, you could be in trouble. There is no test to pass to call yourself a web designer, and an individual who doesn’t have a lot of experience might think he’s a great one. In other words, the miner might not know what fools gold is either.

So, how do you tell if you are getting quality web design? This article tells how to quickly make sure you are dealing with the real deal when you look for web development, without having to know a lot about the subject.

Web Design Shopping Principle One
The first thing you can do is to ask what steps are taken to ensure the web site looks correct in different browsers. While most people view websites in Google Chrome, many visitors will be using other web browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla FireFox or Safari. If you ask: “What steps do you take to ensure that the website looks good in different browsers?” and the answer is anything short of “We test the finished web site in Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome and Safari,” this could be a real red flag. Often times amateur web designs are only tested in one browser.

Web Design Shopping Principle Two
The second thing you can do is to say this: “Explain to me in layman’s terms what you will do to make my site rank well in the search engines.” As you know, if someone really understands something, they can explain it in simple terms. If the person claims they are going to use “proprietary techniques” that they can’t reveal the nature of, you might want to walk away. There is nothing extraordinarily proprietary about search engine optimization, since any designer can look at a web site and see what has been done to it. In short, you should walk away from this answer with a good understanding of what will be done.  Some people will say that the search engine optimization will cost a lot of money – again, I would walk away. A comprehensive search engine marketing plan should cost money, but a basic search engine optimization should not. When shopping for Boulder search engine optimization and marketing, you can always contact us for straight talk on Internet marketing.

Web Design Shopping Principle Three
Ask about hosting. Ask what is included in the cost. The average maintenance burden for web hosting  is probably between 4 and 6 hours per year. So, when someone wants to sell you a maintenance plan that includes 10 hours or 20 hours or more per year (and charge a hefty monthly fee for it) you would be correct to be skeptical. Making a simple text change to a site, like changing the phone number, might take less than 15 minutes. Adding an entire page of content can often be done in an hour or less. When you first create a web site, you may believe that you are going to continuously update it, but experience has shown us that very rarely does anyone have time. Besides, you don’t want your website to be a burden to you – it should help your business and mostly take care of itself! Ask if you can change your hosting plan at any time, add or remove maintenance at any time. Ask what portion of the hosting fee is for the maintenance on the site and what portion is strictly for keeping the site live and hosting the email accounts.  If you have a WordPress site, you probably won’t need much maintenance at all!

In conclusion, I hope these principles help you shop for a quality web design company in Boulder. In addition to these, of course its good to rely on referrals from friends and to look at the other sites the company has done. One final thought is to ask the company if the site in their portfolio that you like is comparable to what you will be getting. Some designs cost much more than others, so it is good to clarify this point. Good luck!

Chad Phillips
Web Designer
New Vibe Web Design
Web design in the Boulder CO area, Louisville, Lafayette, Erie, Longmont and Broomfield Colorado

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