Top 10 Tips for Choosing a Web Designer for Your Business Web Site

How to Choose a Web Design Firm

Simple. You do your homework on them. Then, you start asking questions and taking notes. There are plenty of web designers available. You want to go with the best because, in fact, your web designer is in essence your partner. You want to choose a designer that takes YOUR business seriously.

What questions do you ask?

There are several important questions to ask when choosing a web designer for your business web site.

Creating your web site can be a tricky process. Choosing the best web design firm for your business web site is a very important decision. And if your company is like most small businesses, you probably do not have web design experience. Building your web site will take time and work. And working with a web designer is no easy task. So choose the right web design company from the start and avoid do-over’s, which can be costly and time consuming.

1. What kind of web experience do you have?

For starters, find out what kind of design experience your potential design firm has. Do they have experience with content management systems such as Joomla or Drupal, do they have experience working with “raw” HTML? Has the web design company created web sites similar to yours? Do they have relevant industry experience? If you want to sell products through your web site and accept credit card payments, does the web design company you are considering have experience with ecommerce hosting?

2. Do you have a portfolio that I can review?

An experienced web design company will have a solid portfolio of web sites that they have created for other clients. Ask for links to other site the design company has created and review each one. Do you like what you see? Do the sites have a style that appeals to you?

3. Do you have any references?

In addition to reviewing web sites, ask for customer references. Contact their clients and ask them about their experience with the web design company. Were they happy with the results? Did they get what they paid for? How much did they pay? Would they recommend them? How long did it take? What didn’t they like about the company? How responsive was the company when they had questions?

4. What are your prices?

The most important step in pricing is to make sure the potential design company outline all of the prices associated with the work and puts it all in writing. Never enter into a deal unless all of the costs are well understood up front.

Ask them a bit about how they manage payments. If they respond in a very business-like and professional manner, this is a good sign. If they throw out answers like – “Don’t worry, we’ll manage” or “Whatever you are comfortable with”, don’t be fooled. This is trouble waiting to happen. Get the price in writing before you begin the project.

5. Do you have experience with search engine optimization?

Most small business owners do not have it in their budget to hire a separate marketing firm to work on search engine optimization (SEO), so it imperative that your web designer have experience in SEO. A good designer will know that design and SEO go hand-in-hand. Designing a web site for search engines with “clean” code that utilizes cascading style sheets is essential to getting your content indexed in the leading search engines, such as Google and Bing.

6. Do you have experience with social media marketing?

Many marketing firms do know the first thing about social media marketing. These firms are stuck in the past and are not as effective as they pretend to be. Be sure that you work with a designer that knows how to setup a Facebook fan page for your business and design a customized Twitter profile. This is important because you will want your social media properties to mesh with the design of your web site. The web site and social media pages should complement one-another.

7. What is your process for designing or building a web site?

Make sure you ask your potential web design company about the process that they use? Do they design a web site or do they build a web site? An experienced Internet professional should understand the difference between these two concepts. If they don’t, they’re probably not as experienced as they claim to be. Building a web site is a highly technical process, while designing a web site is a highly creative process. Many advertising firms specialize in web site design which does not necessarily require any web development skills whatsoever. At the same time, many firms design web sites, yet out-source the creative portion of the project. Find out from the beginning what the process if for the firm that you are considering.

8. How long will it take?

Perfectionism can be a huge stumbling block in the fast paced world of the Internet. Some designers are unable to compromise between quality and time to market needs. Test: See how long it takes until you receive a proposal.

9. What type of support is offered after web site launch?

If your design firm does not offer web site maintenance, you might want to continue looking. Most reputable design firms will offer “post-launch” maintenance for companies that do not have an in-house webmaster.

10. Which web hosting providers do you work with?

If your design firm does not know the first-names of the contact at their favorite web design firm, then this should raise a red flag. Most reputable web designers know not to choose a web host simply because they are the most popular or because they offer the cheapest web hosting. A reputable web design firm should know who to call and how to get results! Does your web designer work with a green hosting company? Environmentally-friendly web hosting is becoming more and more popular for business web sites looking to implement an eco-policy.

Getting a little recognition on the W3 is hard, even in a niche market (especially in a niche market). You have less than 10 seconds to convince a site visitor to stick around long enough to learn about the quality of your services, your products or your message. Web surfers are jagged out on information overload. If they don’t see what they want to see on your home page or a landing page, they bounce. So, making a statement about your corporate culture and your business’ core values has to happen in the blink of an eye. Visitors will never even see the “About Us” page if you don’t create a good impression – in 10 seconds. So, go green! An emblem or banner proclaiming that you employ green hosting makes an immediate statement about your on-line business. It says you care about the environment.

Do your homework when choosing a web design firm.

Good designers are creative people that need to think out of the box. Finding a good web designer is getting harder and harder. The good designers are being snatched by agencies and large projects. They are overloaded with work and often, you won’t know about them because they don’t have time (or need) to market themselves. Doing your homework and asking the right questions is important to decide if they are right for the job.

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Kids Educational Christmas Activities – Useful Tips to Keep December Academic

The month of December in theory is three weeks of prime teaching time, a solid hunk of time that is perfect for a self contained unit. The students however are extra busy at home and totally focused on the upcoming holiday and vacation. One trick teachers might try to master is how to use Christmas themes for holiday assignments without sacrificing their curriculum. Students appreciate math worksheets, with a holiday theme, Christmas and Hanukkah themes for writing topics, and the opportunity to play some quality holiday games during their lessons and for homework. Teachers will enjoy devising effective ways to incorporate some kids educational Christmas activities, as well as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa assignments into their lesson plans for December. This article will touch on a few useful tips teachers can use to keep December academic.One useful tip for bringing holiday fun into the classroom is with the creative use of color. Running off worksheets on red or green, blue or silver paper that matches the appropriate December holiday will excite the younger students and bring a smile to older ones. Using holiday themed bookmarks as a place to also record their independent reading progress is another simple trick. Use holiday graphics for reward or motivational charts adds a little spark to the project. Students of all ages will totally enjoy using holiday colored markers and colored pencils to do their work. These are all simple, but add an element of fun to the classroom atmosphere.Using Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas themes for journal writing, and formal paragraph writing is another easy way to bring kids educational Christmas activities into the classroom. Using creative writing prompts that are based on common themes to these holidays end up being different than what they usually are asked to do. To improve written language skills the students need to write frequently and consistently. Having innovative prompts to use around these holidays will keep the motivation to produce quality work up and their writing skills will improve.During the three week period in December putting their study of plot elements to practice with a holiday themed story might be a perfect way to keep them focused on a long term project. Applying their knowledge of setting, characters, conflict and resolution and creating their own story, or alternate ending to another holiday story, gives the students much needed practice and opportunity to use their writing skills. Keeping December academic is easy with a project like this.Another useful tip is to find some printable educational math worksheets, puzzles, and mazes that tie directly into their spot in the curriculum and use them for warm-ups, homework and quiet seat work. This provides variety, let the students have some fun but does not sacrifice academics. Holiday homework assignments that are quality games or puzzles can be spread out during the month. These actually will be more effective than designating a separate day for fun or games.Bringing December holidays into the classroom with an assortment of kids educational Christmas activities and Hanukkah or Kwanzaa games by making them an integral part of lessons is truly one of the best strategies for teachers to use. Teachers are able to keep December academic while students continue with their routines, the educational quality stays firm, and everyone is allowed to have some holiday fun.

Money Saving – Costly Education? Tips To Cut Down Educational Costs!

Cutting down schooling costs of your kids:When its time to put your kids in school or the time of the year when you have to put in money for school expenses all you think about is the impending cost. Education is a right and is also necessary for every child, but it has now become very costly. The best way to get your children through schooling is by availing the scholarships that are offered. Of course, only a few of the children get this privilege.Parents can cut down on the schooling costs of their children by effective and simple measures.Organize and save:Keep a regular stock of the things your children will need and keep it well organized. If you do not organize them you will be putting in more money on getting these things again. Things like crayons and pencils may not cost you much but replenishing them will surely do cost you much more.You will also need to involve your kids when you make this inventory. This will let them know where to put things and where to take them out from. It will also induce in them a sense of ownership.Tax holidays:During the season when you get back to school, many of the states offer tax holidays. Different school gears will put down price ceilings. You may have to do some amount of research to find out on the details of tax holidays in the area you are put up.Buying in bulk:It is the most economic thing to do. The more you save when you buy more. This is applicable only if you buy those items which will be needed for your use sooner than later. For example, when you buy pencils in bulk you will save more than when you put it money for each pencil separately. If you do not buy these in large amounts you will need to keep buying them every now and then.Transportation:You may even consider in buying a bicycle for your child to go and come back from school. This may not be feasible. You may look into school transportation or pooling in cars as an option.Snacks:Prepare food for your child whenever you are free and have the time. You will be assured your child will be eating healthy foods and having safe meals in doing so. At the same time you will be saving their pocket money.Getting children to school is a task which is pretty hard and also costly at the same time. Saving money in this process will help you a lot. These benefits will make the future of your children bright.