The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Web Professional for Your Site

The most important thing to remember when you are building a site for your business is that websites are now critical marketing tools. The days of static sites that simply present products or services are giving way to the Web 2.0 boom, and these types of sites are a critical sales vehicle for any type of business.

Finding a web professional who can build these interactive sites is essential for today’s competitive marketplace and they can help you build, develop and even market your business with ease. When you’re searching for the right web professional to join your team, here are the top ten questions to ask during the interview process:


1. Do they build for the search engines?

Making sure your website is compliant with today’s SEO rules and regulations is a critical step for site construction. If a web professional isn’t keeping up to date with SEO guidelines you could be left with a less-than-stellar site that doesn’t get any exposure on the major search engines.

2. Do they check their work for W3C compliance?
W3C compliance is another critical area for websites, and building a site with these rules and regulations in mind can also earn you high rankings on the search engines. This will save you coding work in the future, so make sure the candidate is aware of industry rules and can apply them to all of your projects.

3. Do they have Web 2.0 development skills?
The days of static websites are long gone, and it’s essential that your web professional has the skills and experience to build a web 2.0-friendly site. Avoid getting left behind as the industry grows with the latest Web 2.0 developments; select someone who knows which direction the industry is growing and can help you build your business accordingly.

4. Do they understand your marketing concept?
Building and designing a website in today’s competitive marketplace involves a thorough understanding of the market and sales. Your candidate should be able to understand your marketing goals and build something that attracts your target market appropriately. Remember, you need to build a site that sells to get the traffic and advertisers you need to build your business; can the web professional create a site with this goal in mind?

5. Do they have verifiable references?
Checking work history is an important part of your interview process, and can help you learn more about the candidate’s work style, commitment to projects and deadlines, and the types of projects they’ve worked on.

6. Are they committed to ongoing education?
Ongoing education is necessary for all professionals in your organization, especially with the rapidly changing world of the internet.

7. Will they provide you with the code of their projects?
Even when you’re hiring a web professional permanently, you need to have access to their code and work at all times. If they end up leaving or are dismissed for any reason, you don’t want to have to start from scratch – make sure you back up all copies of their work and have access to their projects.

8. Can they sign a non-compete agreement?
Making sure you don’t lose out on business opportunities is an important part of running a successful business; make sure they are willing to make a commitment to your company and sign a nondisclosure and non-compete agreement. It’s a simple step that can protect your business for the long-run.

9. Are they willing to train and lead a team?
If you are planning on growing your business or outsource various projects, the web professional may be in charge of developing a system to allocate work. Are they willing to train and build a team, or will they only be working independently? Find out what type of commitment the candidate is willing to offer.

10. What type of programming experience do they have?
While some web professionals do not need extensive programming experience, most will have basic programming knowledge that they can use to build and create a quality system, or even work with programmers and other designers. Check their qualifications for any certificates or other credentials to learn more about their educational experience.
Choosing the right web professional for your site can be challenging, but defining your goals and development plans can help you make a better decision. While every business needs a website, few business owners take the time to map out exactly how the site can help them build their business. Take the time to prioritize your goals, then set out to find the right web professional with these top ten questions.

http://www.smallbusinessmavericks.com/2007/06/questions-choosing-professional/

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