How do I select a website developer?

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Answered by: Victoria , An Expert in the Build Your Website Category
If you've turned on your television in the past few months, you've probably witnessed NASCAR star Danica Patrick or TV's favorite personal trainer Jillian Michaels advertising for GoDaddy. These commercials showcase the popular beauties in an attempt to convince viewers that they should enlist the help of the registrar when developing and hosting their businesses’ websites. With the number of internet users steadily increasing, it is no surprise that the number of website developers has also increased exponentially over the past few years.

With more players in the game, it is difficult for many small business owners to select a website developer that will provide them with an effective online presence. When shopping for the best website provider for your business, you should consider the following factors:

What is the purpose of your new website?

When beginning any marketing campaign, it is absolutely essential that you create a plan detailing the purpose of your advertising, target demographics, strategies for success and end goals. As part of your plan, create a list of “must-haves” for your website. This might include components like a shopping cart feature, if you plan to engage in e-commerce, or a photo gallery so you can upload your portfolio. These “must-haves” create a starting point for the conversation with site providers and will allow you to easily eliminate those that don’t offer the essential components that you need for online success.

Is it dynamic?

Few small businesses can afford to have a static website and continue to thrive. As such, it’s important that you carefully explore how you will make changes to your site once the website developer completes the project and the site is online. Many providers now offer website owners a Content Management System (CMS) which allows them to easily update the site over time as the business grows and evolves. Make certain that you have a tour of the CMS offered and that it gives you the flexibility you need. At the least, you should be able to add or delete a site page, upload files and edit text without extensive knowledge of HTML.

Do you have the content?

Many small business owners are anxious to develop their new websites but few realize just how much work goes into the process. In many cases, the daunting process of creating unique content for each page on the site can stall the project for months. When selecting a website developer, inquire as to whether they offer copywriting services in the event that you can’t devote the time to writing. There are many website providers which pride themselves on developing websites for a specific industry. These developers are often your best bet as they have content and industry-experience to build on.

What is your search engine optimization strategy?

Having an attractive website is not enough; your business’ site must also be properly optimized to ensure that it can be found by internet users. While some search engine optimization (SEO) may be done on your end through the creation of keyword rich content, many strategies are more complicated and require the assistance of an experienced website developer. When researching site developers, make sure they offer basic search engine optimization. They should be able to help you implement SEO techniques like unique URLS for each site page, effective H1 tags, a dynamic sitemap and well-optimized Meta tags.

Since your website will undoubtedly serve as the cornerstone of your business’ online marketing effort, it is essential that you carefully consider the above factors and devote time to select the perfect site creator who will serve as a resource during the development phase and long after the launch.

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