Picking a Webmaster

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There are six questions to ask a prospective webmaster.  

1) What successes have you had getting websites on the first page of Google?

The reason for asking this question is pretty obvious. So many web sites are designed by graphic artists that really don’t care about and certainly don’t know anything about SEO (search engine optimization). We’ve seen way too many sites that we call, “Search Engine Proof.” That means Google can’t index them. The site may be gorgeous, but if Google can’t read it, you’re wasting your time. As for us, we can show you lots of Google Page #1 successes.

2) What are the pros/cons of using Dreamweaver, WordPress, Joomla, or other?

Any web master should be able to give a clear explanation of the pros/cons of Dreamweaver, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. We use WordPress almost exclusively for many reasons we’ll be happy to explain.

3) For WordPress sites, what theme do your recommend and why?

WordPress is an excellent CMS, but it’s really the theme that makes a website shine.  We recommend a theme that includes all the features that would otherwise be very difficult to implement or would require additional plugins.  And more plugins mean more possibility for conflicts.  The theme we recommend makes the following features simple: columns, background images, custom color schemes, custom fonts, pricing tables, tabs, drop caps,  popup boxes, tagline boxes, and much more.  We can give you a tour.

4) Show me how CSS works.

<p class=”style11″ align=”center”>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet…</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet…</p>
<p><font size=”5″ face=”arial” color=”red”>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet…</font></p>

Show this to your prospective webmaster and let them explain why this code is not good. A webmaster should be able to demonstrate how to use CSS to format your site so that global changes are quick and easy.

5) What’s your favorite book on web site usability?

Personally, ours is Don’t Make Me Think, by Steve Krug. A website needs to do two things: 1.) A website needs to clearly explain why the viewer has reached the site that will fill their needs. This needs to be clear within two seconds. 2.) A website needs to clearly show the viewer what they’re supposed to do next. That’s the call to action. So many websites fail at these two simple things. Simple, yet difficult to get just right.

6) How do you help clients create content for the website?

Building a website is one piece of the puzzle. Creating the content for a website can be overwhelming. Be sure a prospective Webmaster has a system in place for helping. We use an in-house journalist who is extremely talented at interviewing and extracting information by phone and then writing up content. This can take the pain out of coming up with content for your site.

Conclusion

We build web sites, and we’re pretty darn good at it.

 

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