Choosing a Web Site Designer

A fundamental rule of advertising states that you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. This is especially true with industrial prospects.


There are three essential ingredients you should look for in a web presence provider. This is true whether you plan to design and produce your web site internally – you want to be your own web presence provider – or you wish to find a partner to help with your web presence development.

  • Technology.  Look for the technical ability to go beyond producing a simple web presence. You want a supplier who can provide you with the technology you may want down the road, if not immediately. Whether it's secure credit card transactions, work flow engine, real-time inventory, streaming video, threaded messaging or interactive, forms-based quotations and calculations, look for a supplier you won't have to change mid-stream.

  • Graphics.  Your supplier should have the ability to make you look like the kind of company people want to deal with. Graphics, in this context, includes the ability to make it easy for web users to find what they're looking for. You want someone who makes your site intuitive to navigate, within an attractive package.

  • Industrial Marketing.  In our view, the most important is to have an industrial acknowledge of your marketplace.  You can have a site that works perfectly and looks great, but if no one goes there it is just an expense.

    All web production shops have the first and second capabilities, to one extent or another. They have to have these capabilities to be in the business. However, shops are fewer than twenty or twenty-five people (the vast majority) are generally stronger in either technology or graphics.

    You want a successful, professional well-rounded supplier with depth in all three capabilities, technical, graphics, and industrial marketing background.  If you are a company owner or sales and marketing executive who will be able to devote considerable time and resources to the marketing aspects of your site, and you have significant creative, graphics and marketing resources of staff, you may be able to have your IT (Information Technology) department handle the technical aspects of the job. However, too often the IT departments are charged with the ultimate responsibility for a company web presence without the creative, and especially marketing, capabilities to properly handle the job.

There are literally tens of thousands of vendors designing web sites. We have found very few that truly understand the key elements to designing a successful industrial web site. These include:

  • Architecture Design & Development

  • Industrial Web site knowledge

  • Graphic design

  • Programming

  • Online catalog solutions

  • Rich media elements (animation, Flash, Cold Fusion, JavaScript)

  • Graphic image compression for fast loading graphics

  • Search engine optimization so your page can appear in the top 3 pages of search results

  • Optimal directory registration (Yahoo, LookSmart, Open Directory)

  • Marketing your web site via link building campaign to increase online visibility

  • Web site visitor tracking / Web site usability measurement

  • Product configuration

  • E-commerce