Monthly Archives: July 2013

“It’s time to update my website. Where do I start?”

Part I

By Lynn Amos, Principal and Creative Director, Fyne Lyne Ventures, LLC

If you’ve been through the process once, you should have some idea of what to expect. Hopefully the first time around was a good experience for you. So many of my clients come to me with stories about paying a lot of money and not getting the product they expected or wanted. Here are some tips that will help you gather the information you need to make a good decision about a designer, a copywriter, a hosting company, a search engine optimization/marketing specialist and a social media expert.

The Designer

Here are the first 5 of 10 questions you can ask potential web designers to help narrow the field and find someone you are comfortable working with who can make your vision a reality:

  1. Listing of 5 sites designer has done along with clients’ contact information.
  2. What web program do you use to develop the site?
  3. For ongoing maintenance and hosting, is there any special software that ties us to a particular type of hosting service?
  4. Can it be built so that a couple of pieces we would be able to update (like a weekly newsletter)?
  5. Will we own the final version and the graphic source files?

The Copywriter

Obviously asking for writing samples would be a first step, but also notice if the subject matter of the articles is about your industry or one similar to yours. There will always be some research necessary on the part of the copywriter to understand your business, but you can cut that time (and the number of hours you pay for) by choosing someone who already has some experience in your field.

Does the writer speak in a “tone” that represents you and your business?

The Hosting Company

Customer service and taking responsibility for their servers are the two most important criteria to consider. Ask friends and colleagues what their experiences have been with their hosting companies. If you are planning on building a blogging site Google “best hosting company for blogging website” and read the user forums to find out what others with your level of technical expertise have experienced.

Personally, I work in WordPress and recommend as a WordPress host or two reasons:

1) Their customer service and technical personnel have always done their best to answer my questions, they have never rushed me off the phone or told me I have to pay for help, and they offer a choice of phone, e-mail (trouble ticket), or online chat as ways to interact with them.

2) Hostgator is known for keeping up with best practices with regards to fending off website hackers.

Fyne Lyne Ventures, LLC provides visual skills to help your bottom line. Website design, custom WordPress blog design & graphic design for business print communications. Call Lynn Amos at 914-930-4537 for information about how she can help you create a new website or redo the website you have.