Outside Help for Your Web Site

October 2005
by Reid Goldsborough

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If you’re redesigning your
organization’s Web site, there comes a time, no matter how good you are, when
it makes sense to turn things over to a specialist. Although you may be able to
choose among an alphabet soup of technologies—from CSS to XML, using the latest
Adobe InDesign (www.adobe.com)
or Macromedia Dreamweaver (www.macromedia.com)—to improve the appearance and
performance of a Web site, there is a risk that you will not use them
appropriately.

A Web site “shouldn’t be too
fancy, too cluttered, or too noisy,” said Leigh Weber, president of the
Independent Computer Consultants Association (ICCA), echoing the views of many.
“An effective Web site is easy to use.”

Weber points out that when people
go to a Web site, they typically take only seconds to decide whether or not to
stay. Barraging visitors with flash and withholding substance is one way to
ensure that they leave. Another is to design your site from your perspective,
starting with your organization’s accomplishments or history, rather than from
the visitors’ perspective, starting with their needs and how you can serve
them.

Help in Hiring

In going outside for help, your
choices include Internet service providers, graphic designers, Web consultants,
Web design shops, technology consulting firms, traditional advertisin

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