Enhance your online presence

As a business owner, the best way to enhance your online presence is by having your own website. And I’m not just saying that because I test websites for a living.

Social Media outlets are quick to set up. They’re fairly easy to manage, and free to run (at the minute). But what happens when they change their policies or accidentally delete your account? It does happen, and when it does you have lost your whole business profile, contacts, showroom, pricing. All gone overnight.

Whereas if you own your business website you have control of your own destiny. You own it – lock, stock and barrel. If anything goes wrong then it’s generally your own fault, but it is recoverable.

Responsive Website Design - SAA IT Test Consultant
Responsive Website Design

Choosing a Website designer

Once you have made the decision to have your own business website, for it to be successful I would recommend using a professional web designer. It doesn’t have to be a big company and it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone local either. It can be more beneficial to have someone based in the same country, because a) if you have any problems they’re in the same timezone and b) they should be familiar with the website legalities for your country.

What else do you need to know? Knowing how much they charge would be a good start, but there a few other questions you should be asking too.


In a study by website designer Joseph Putnam – 94% of people couldn’t trust a website that was unattractive, had navigation problems, or was challenging to access on a mobile device

What’s included in the price?

Does it include registering a domain? Will the domain (mybusiness.com) be registered to you? Does is include hosting? 24/7 support? Does it include Search Engine Optimisation? Does it include making changes if you don’t like the first draft? 

If any of these service aren’t included ask how much extra they cost, and get everything in writing.


Website board with different tags

How long have they been in business?

You want someone that’s been around a while, experienced and isn’t going to disappear in a couple of weeks. Ask for recommendations and also ask to see their portfolio. Do they have designs that appeal to you? Do the websites look professional? Can you view the websites fully on different devices – laptop, mobiles, tablets?

Ask them about Responsive Website Design

What do they need from you?

Obviously if you are paying for a service you want to have some input. You’re the business owner, you know your business and should have an idea of the kind of image you want to present. You need to get this across to your website designer and make sure they understand it fully. Show them some websites that you like the look of and ask them whether they will be writing the content or whether you need to provide it. Have you got a logo? What about your colour scheme? 

Update 03/08/2020 – some of the web designers that I have spoken to recently about Cookie and Privacy policies have informed me that it is the client that should tell them if and how they want the cookie banner to be displayed. The onus is on the website owner to make sure the website is legally compliant, not the web designer. So please, bear this in mind and check out the legalities for french business sites 

How long is it going to take?

Before you part with any money find out how long it will take them? There’s no point placing an order for a website if it isn’t going to be ready when you need to start advertising your products and services. They need to fit your timetable, not the other way around.


I have worked closely with website designers over the years and I now focus on testing website from a user perspective. If you need any recommendations from me then just ask. I’m always happy to help and can give you some hints and tips on what to look for in a designer’s portfolio. In fact I’ve even written a couple of articles on it recently. Check them out.

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Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

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