Based on over eight years of experience working at providing professional web services to business, here’s my top list of web design mistakes you won’t want to make.
1. Don’t let your web designer register your new domain name under their own company name. Make sure you own your domain out right.
2. Make sure you have all the details AND ownership of your web design project in a contract. It is important that you clearly outline and understand who owns your website. You may find out that you do not that you only own a license to use the site and only if the web designer is hosting and webmastering the web site.
3. Make sure that your website is transportable. If you are using Yahoo Web hosting or even Hostway for hosting, if you have built your website using their proprietary tools including their graphics, it is important to know that sites of this nature are NOT transportable to a new web host if you get disenchanted with services.
4. Do not package your web hosting fees with web design and webmaster services. In all cases where clients have asked us to do a review these co-mingled services always cost more than going ala carte. Make sure that you are not tied to your webmaster for future content updates. You may want to stick with them for a while, but have the option to leave if they become unresponsive to your needs.
5. Don’t move to a new web host unless you really need to. Many clients think that they should shop around for price and get the cheapest web host. You may actually pay more to move your site depending on the technology and scripting used to move than you would have saved from a cheaper web host and webmaster. Every client who we have helped to move has always said at the end “this was much more complicated than I had any idea that it would be”. Our recommendation is to stay where you are especially if you have an e-commerce store or database driven application unless there is a real reason to move. Remember that when you move a site like this EVERYTHING will break. Your contact forms, database application, secure socket layer, credit card processing will all need to be set up and tested all over again.
These are just a few tips to consider before you start a new design or look for a new webmaster for your project.