Launching a simple Web site is something most people can do by themselves. If you don’t have the time or inclination, finding help to launch a simple Web site can typically be found through friends, family or a local college. When keeping things simple, the job can usually be accomplished with one or perhaps two people (a designer and programmer) at most.
However, launching a complicated Web site can take a fair amount of technical skills. To get a sophisticated Web site off the ground you’ll need the two skills mentioned above, but you may also need a specialist based on the functionality you’re looking to incorporate. For example, you may need to hire a videographer or a programmer who is knowledgeable in a specific computer language.
Have a Plan
If you decide to hire outside help, make sure you first know what you want. Do your homework. If you already have a live Web site, mark up the changes you want made. If you’re starting from scratch, browse the Web and find other sites (even if they’re unrelated) that look, feel, and function the way you want your Web site to.
There are many qualified individuals and companies out there ready and willing to put your Web site together. So how do you decide? First, ask around. Building a Web site is a highly creative process, so you want to make sure you work well with who you hire.
Next, find Web sites that you like and inquire about their creators. Many sites will include a logo or other contact information about who did their work. There are also numerous directories and Web sites where you can find help:
- WebDesigners-Directory (www.webdesigners-directory.com)
- DesignFirms (http://www.designfirms.org/)
- Project4Hire.com (www.project4hire.com)
- Elance (www.elance.com)
- GetaFreelancer.com (http://www.getafreelancer.com/)
When it comes to price, you’ll be charged either by the hour or by the project. Prices vary widely, but expect the pay scale to start at around $20 to 40 per hour for basic work and go up from there. For a basic Web site with just a few pages you can find help for a few hundred dollars.
If your site requires a lot of technical programming beyond the basic architecture of your Web site (like building a Web application), find out what skills they possess so you know they can get the job done. Often times, companies that hire multiple programmers versed in various computer languages are better equipped to handle more complex sites compared to individuals. When you think you’ve found your hired help, browse their portfolio and contact the listed Web sites for reference.
Get the Keys
When the work has been done, you should get final approval before your Web site goes live. When it does, be sure that your designer hands over all the login and password information so you can check under the hood in the future and make changes if needed. Furthermore, have them burn a disc with all the files they created so you have a backup. Going forward, these items will prove helpful if you decide to add a page or functionality.