This is just a brief guide to get you started, rather than a comprehensive list and is based on my experience as a small business web designer. Having just a basic idea can make the difference of several weeks in your web design timescale, and having an expectation of your web designer will also help the process immeasurably!
When choosing a web designer, it's helpful to have an idea of what you want - even if it's just the addresses of a few websites that you like the look or features of.
There's no point in choosing the first designer you find if you are unsure they can deliver what you want, so ask for examples of previous client's work. Their own website should also help you make a decision.
Make sure they are not going to charge you for features you don't want - agreeing a full specification in advance will ensure smoother communication. Don't assume certain features are included in the price - the designer might not even know you want them and therefore won't have included them in the quote.
Can they deliver to your time scale? And what is the design process e.g. do you get to see the site in development so you can request changes?
Will they ensure that your page meets legal standards (DDA - Disability Discrimination Act - in the UK, Section 508 in the USA) and that the code is written to W3C standards? If not, you'll be in breach of the law, and your page will not necessarily display in the same way on different web browsers.
Brief checklist when choosing a web designer
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19 September 2006
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