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SMB Article:

"Why Hire a Website Designer/Manager?"

Think of your website as a Storefront Sign or a billboard.  Would you create the graphics, plastic, parts and pieces yourself?  If you are a sign designer, maybe.  Few people in business are website designers, graphic designers, sign painters, billboard engineers, etc.  Yet some try to become what they are not.  Creating a good website design, business sign or a billboard takes more than just some software, a bucket of paint, enthusiasm and good intentions.

The Design

A good website designer will have your business in mind when designing the site and try to give your products/services a feel that can be passed on to the website visitor.  The designer will tap years of hands-on experience to create a unique and exciting website design. 

A good designer will take many things in to consideration.  One major consideration would be future site changes, such as new graphics or slight design changes.  Also, there is the cross-browser issue.  SMB will make sure your website can be viewed almost identically in all major browsers.  I adhere to W3C Standards and keep an eye out for new coding techniques that are cross-browser compliant.

Another area that some designers totally fail at is "Page Optimization" so the site is easily indexed by search engines and not skipped over or given low rank because of the design. All the correct coding, meta-tags, statements and server files are taken into consideration when SeeMyBiz creates your web pages.

It is true that first impressions are everything.  For example, take two websites for chocolate candy makers - Both companies offer high quality, gourmet chocolates made in sanitary, professional kitchens.  One website was designed by a professional designer and the site literally makes you drool while looking at the content.  The other site however, is a homemade site, and when people look at it - what they see in their mind's-eye is a low budget candy shop and poor quality products, likely made in someone's home kitchen - they pass on this site and go to the other site to shop. 

In the long run, an amateur site will not only lose money, but can actually be detrimental to the company name and product/brand, where a moderate investment in a professionally designed site can have a huge positive impact on your business name and on the bottom line as well.

Many web space providers are now offering website building tools to their subscribers.  Don't be fooled!  These tools will not make you a website designer.  The tools are usually limited in features and can make editing difficult and sometimes impossible.  If you ever want to move your site to another provider you may be out of luck, if the site is dependant on the system that created it.

Site Management

Site management is sheer convenience and peace-of-mind; you leave the technical details to the pro while you run your business.  Say you need to change graphics or content occasionally or on a schedule, or you need to add pages to the site or create new email accounts for employees, or a webpage stops responding or errors out.  Rather than try to solve the issues yourself, you just send an email to the website manager and the issue is resolved in short order. 

The website manager is responsible for not only making changes and making sure the site is running at the optimum, but also ensuring that when changes are made to the site there is no harm done to the design or layout.  Client-side content management systems can help with this but they can be very technical themselves and sometimes just will not allow for the changes or additions to content that need to be made to the site.  This is especially true for highly customized sites.

A good site manager will also make sure that your site always has a current backup, in case of a failed drive or server.  Backups are usually current to 48 hours of the last site change, unless a database is involved.  Since databases are dynamic there is always the possibility of data loss if a recovery has to be made.

With SeeMyBiz the site manager is also your technical contact.  I can help with many computer issues as well as website and email issues.  Need a new graphic for a product or service?  I can handle that as the manager.  The site manger also has "resources" and contacts that you do not have, such as programmers, database engineers, flash designers, PHP and JavaScript writers.  Having a management agreement for your site is kind of like having a manager on retainer - I will always be available to you if needed.


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Always informative, the articles are written to help answer questions and clarify issues.