Picking the Right Web Designer
I have seen many really bad outcomes that people have had with their Website projects.
There is one company out there that has a one size fits all offering which is a really bad idea.
They use Wodrpress for every type of website which does not meet the needs of 95% of the clients.
Wordpress is a Blog software and yet this company uses it for E-Commerce.
True Wordpress has a plugin to do online sales but Wordpress is not a tool to use for E-Commerce.
Online sales is best done with a Shopping Cart and there are many free and commercial Carts on the Market. If it's an Online Store you wish then choose a company that will use a Cart best suited to your business. I also suggest to test drive the cart to see if you like it. A good designer will provide a demo site so you can see the cart in action.
Last is setting up payment methods in the Cart. Most really good carts support the majority of Merchants that process Credit Cards plus Paypal and other payment systems.
Paypal Pro and any Merchant account setup requires a dedicated IP plus an SSL Security Certificate and you will need to do PCI security testing by a trusted organization.
Standard Paypal and services like 2co.com process Cards and payments off site thus you don't need to pay the fees for an IP testing and SSL.
If you are just wanting a basic website then you may want to look at using a CMS ( Content Management System ).
Apps like Joomla or Wordpress can be a choice over basic static pages in that they allow you to manage the content of the website. Thus you can avoid having to call a web designer to make changes to your web pages. There is a down side although in that these software applications often requires upgrades.
Although Wordpress is flexible it really is designed to be a Blog thus we recommend using Joomla or another good CMS . It's best to use software suited to the task rather than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Static Pages take up the least amount of space and are much faster to load verses dynamic pages created by such Apps as a CMS or Blog. The space savings can save you money in hosting Fees as most better Web Hosts charge more for space.
The bottom line is to know a little about what you need so that you can ask the web designer the right questions,
Don't let the designer force you to use a software that is not suitable to the task.
Look over the software you are planning to pick as this is what you will be stuck with if it's not 100% what you expected.
There are many good designers out there - let them show you their past work.
Don't just take a quick glance at the prior customer web sites - look at them as if you were buying one of them. You may be surprised to find broken links or other problems.
The art work is really nothing more than fancy wrapping paper - you need to open the box to see what's inside.
Hope this helps