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What questions should I ask when selecting a web designer?

Answer: 

You don't really want a college student who has just learned HTML. You need a website design firm that will take time to understand your business, and has previous experience. Here are some important questions: What are the names and phone numbers of other small business clients you have served? You'll learn a lot by asking these references, "Would you hire this person to work for you on another project?" What are the URLs of some websites you have designed? Then ask your web-savvy friends to evaluate the sites with you. What kind of website do I really need to accomplish my objectives as a business? Unless the designer knows how to accomplish business purposes with a website, she is of no use to you. Do you have a contract that outlines our agreement? Get it in writing. What will this cost, how long will it take, and at what points will various payments be due? Define what will be accomplished before each payment is made. Will you register the site with search engines and perform any other marketing tasks? If this isn't included in their services, learn to do it yourself or find where to outsource it. A website without marketing is like a car without gasoline - nice to admire, but of no use at all.