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"Get the Most From Your Design Company"
by MIke Rozack
Published in COSE Update
Establishing your company's presence on the internet can be a daunting task. Converting your databases, promotional materials, and corporate information into a "Web-ready" format is a job typically left to web design company. But even the most skilled Internet provider is only able to work with what they've got. A little bit of preparation can go a long way in helping to better convey your ideas to your Web Designer.

Technology is cool

While it may be an exaggeration to say that Web-hosting companies hate paper, it is certainly not an overstatement to say that they do prefer digital information. Thinking of mailing a stack of pages that describe the layout of your Web site? Think again. Instead, send the text file on disk, or add it to an email. Have a minor change to suggest? Instead of making a call, use email. Then you have a written record of your request, and your hosting company has an instant hard copy as a reference.

Information, please

When communicating with your design company, you can get faster results by being specific. "On page X, when I do Y, Z happens" is a great message! "Something is wrong on one of the pages" is not nearly so great. Remember: be specific.

As your site develops, you will want to make changes to your original design (trust me - it happens). You will also notice that some of the parts of your Web site don't work the way you had planned. Properly explaining your ideas to your site's designers is obviouslyan important first step in getting the results you want.

I browse, therefore I am

To better plan your company's Web site, it is essential to know a bit about the medium of the World Wide Web. Explore the web, taking note of sites that interest you (as well as sites you find annoying). Knowing how and when the web works well (and fails miserably) is a valuable method of planning your Web site.

As you work with your Web designers to implement your company's site, you will discover that the methods you use to interact with your host are as important as the information you provide them. Working with your Web design company can be a rewarding experience. Find a company you like, check out their portfolio, and rely on their expertise.

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