If you are designing a website or having one built for you there are a number of considerations you should have. Keeping in mind these factors can improve on the effectiveness of your site and the image of your company to the world. Keep in mind that your company website is the first thing that is seen by a potential customer and is a critical factor in showing off your site.
Understand the Intent of the Site and Your Industry
The nature of your website will fluctuate widely depending on the industry that you are in and the intent that you have for the website. Some sites are just for information like location and hours and can be sufficient for small mom and pop stores.
Others are sites that require social interactions, detail on products and services, and even industrial research. Understand what is needed in your industry and have a website crafted that fits the needs of your audience.
Using a Consultant to Design a Site for You
Unless you are very experienced in web design, it likely makes sense to bring in a professional to help. Simple websites can be built cheaply by involving students who are willing to build a site in exchange for a small fee. Anytime you need to secure data or accept credit cards for payment from customers you will need to have a real professional web developer come in and build your site for you.
Be sure to communicate just what you are looking for in terms of content and interface and take an active role in the website design process as you will be happier with the end result when you do and save time and money on redevelopment. Spend time upfront and build a site that you are proud of when having your business site developed and reap the long term rewards.