Outsource Your Website Design and Web Development Needs (Safely)

If you’re like most business owners you know that you need to have an internet presence in order to reach a more expansive audience. The problem is that you probably don’t have an unlimited budget with which to build your internet presence through avenues such as having a custom website designed, hiring a search engine marketing / optimization (SEM / SEO) expert, and paying for pay per click (PPC), blogging, article posting or banner ad marketing.

Well, the good news is that needing more services than one can afford in the general market is a very common issue. And like most common challenges in the business world, there are at least a few ways to get around this problem.

First, before you even begin searching for a web development or marketing firm you need to take the time to think through your precise needs. When looking to promote your business, information or services online some crucial questions you must ask yourself are:

1) What exactly will the main purpose of my website be (deliver information, increase local on-site sales, generate internet based sales, sell advertising, save money by enhancing the efficiency of your current site).
2) What size budget are you working with? Later in the article we will suggest a range of reputable providers who’s services range from very inexpensive to relatively costly. We’ll also note some of the differences in quality you can expect based on what you pay.
3) Have you thought through your service needs well enough to explain them to a competent designer or developer? Clearly understanding what you are looking will significantly increase the odds that you actually receive it. If you want a website developed, take the time to actually find similar sample sites you can send your web team to so they have an idea of what you want.

Because this holds true for just about any graphic design or website development services an employer (you) would need, most professional website design firms should actually provide you with a questionnaire or “creative brief” that will help you think through and then clearly state what you are looking for. Such briefs should ask you about your company, other designs you like, color schemes you prefer etc.

Secondly, now that you’ve thought through the services you require, it’s time to start looking for a suitable provider.

The good news is that there are literally thousands upon thousands of website design, graphic design, search engine marketing and SEO companies out there for you to choose from. Oh wait, maybe that’s the bad new… With so many providers in the market you might need some help finding the best web service provider for you.

Here are a few suggestions that will help you identify a company to start your design project with:

1) Check out Craigslist.org. Craigslist is the most active internet based classified ads website in existence. Because this site is free to use, and it receives literally billions of page views each month, a good number of national and local service provider advertise their services on it. Website design, graphic design and web development service providers can generally be found in the “Creative Services” or “Computer Services” sections on Craigslist.
2) Run a search for “XYZ directory” and you find websites that maintain extensive lists of whatever service providers you require. Note: replace the “XYZ” with the type of service you need. For example, you might search for “Website Designer Directory.”
3) If you’re not in the mood to do the research for yourself here are some reputable, and national, web development providers:

Logoworks.com : This firm is a well respected website and logo design firm. Their prices are on the high side but if you’re not too budget conscious you’ll find that they produce quality work. I’d probably go with them for medium scale jobs in the range of $5,000 to $10,000.

InkBlotDesignStudios.com : Ink Blot Design Studios is a national web development company that established itself by providing premium quality website and logo designs at wholesale prices. If you’re budget is between $39 and $5,000 then they are a great choice.

Volusion.com : These guys are for the big boys. Their logo designs alone cost around $600 (vs. $39 Logos from Ink Blot Design Studios and $299 Logos from Logoworks) and their template based websites can cost $3,000 (vs. $400 from other companies). However, if you are looking for prestige (a perfectly reasonable desire) and you’re willing to pay for it then this might be a no-brainer.

Of course, there are other options for outsourcing your design projects (guru.com, odesk.com etc) but we didn’t include a review of them here because of the frequency of complaints they receive from past clients who tried to hire really cheap workers from overseas and ended up getting burned out of their money. That’s not to say that you can’t find great service providers on sites like those; you can. You’ll just have to be extra cautious so that you don’t end up losing your money and/or being disappointed with the product you receive.

Final note, I didn’t talk specifically about SEO services much in this articles because you can find those same services from via the means suggested for finding website developers and logo designers. You can also check with the companies I mentioned above because some of them provide SEO and SEM services as well.

Good luck with your new website and/or graphic designs!

Small Business Web Development Software

There are numerous options you can choose when looking into finding small business website development software. The final choice is influenced by your specific needs. As small as your business can be, there are some features you simply can’t do without.

Web Database Development

This is an example of a feature that you should include from the start. Before you pick software, you need to evaluate your needs for a custom database. This will help you develop a website that is data base driven and tailored to the exact needs of your business.

One thing to keep in mind is that web database development can be quite trick and so you need to make sure that the software you choose is user friendly and “smart” enough to deal with all the issues. This includes browser compatibility, client/server interaction and the database performance issues.

Website Development Software

I know that you are probably looking for software that does not only focus on the database. You can find small business web development software that you can use to easily create web pages, add buttons, force users to complete capcha fields and even allow data entry forms and save all to a database.

A good example is Adobe Dreamweaver. It is good small business website development software for any one with little or no much knowledge on web design and coding. By this I do not mean that you do not need to take a few days trying to get around it. In fact I personally bought a Dreamweaver book and took 30 days reading and practicing. You can also try our Frontpage but it is too basic for my liking.

Obtaining Cheap Web Development Services

The term cheap web development is not necessarily one that one would associate with a good website, but as this article aims to demonstrate, it is possible to get hold of some good quality web development for a very reasonable price.

People with experience in web design, but who have not built up a portfolio of work, may well offer their services for a significantly lower price than professionals, who can, it must be admitted, charge a premium for these sort of services.

Whether it is PHP, ASP, XML or Flash – there is probably someone out there with the experience and skills to get the job done for an attractively discounted price. People do this because they want extra experience but more importantly want to be involved in atop end project that they can then show to future prospective clients in a bid to win them over and begin charging a fuller price.

When firms are looking to cut costs in any conceivable area of their business, finding cheap web development or a similar service at a discounted price can be a god send.

As well as looking for these kinds of services in classified ads both online and in newspapers, there are special companies that pair up these kind of skilled people with firms who need those particular services.

It is often the case that students form the greater part of such groups of people, as they often have a burgeoning number of skills but do not have the level of experience required to land bigger jobs. In this case they are looking for ways to add to their portfolio whilst simultaneously making some cash to pay for their studies or perhaps their basic living expenses.

Rather than finding the people directly, the possibility of going to a company that specialises in this ‘pairing up’ of skilled people with those who could use their services – means that the student or person involved can be fully verified in terms of character and skill; accessing CV information along with examples of work.

Cheap web development is something that offers up a situation where everyone wins – a high quality website or application is developed for a reduced price, while the person who carries out the work can get a ‘foot up’ when it comes to learning their trade – and gain experience that will ultimately put them in good stead for years and years to come.