We get calls all the time from people asking "How much does a website cost?"
, as if web design was an undifferentiated commodity like salt or sugar. It is not. No prudent businessperson is going to choose a web designer based solely on what they'll be paying
without also knowing what they'll be getting
for their money. And to know that, they'll need to ask more than one question. Ten more, in fact, and here they are: 1.
Prepackaged website "templates" rarely comply with W3C standards
and can never be fully optimized the way a custom template can. Will your web design include a custom template that is both W3C-compliant and search-optimized
Flash websites have an unfortunate past ... because they are search engine suicide ... and an uncertain future because they can never be "iPad ready
" much less Web 3.0 ready
. Will your web design use flash only for accent, and never for content?3.
Will the rendered HTML of your web pages avoid the use of deprecated table tags, be validated as error-free and W3C-compliant, and separate content
from format and behavior so as to be search-friendly and Web 3.0 ready?4.
Will the rendered CSS for your web pages be validated as error-free and W3C-compliant and contained exclusively in stylesheets that separate format
from content and behavior so as to be search-friendly and Web 3.0 ready? 5.
from content and format so as to be search-friendly and Web 3.0 ready?6.
Will the rendered source for all web pages be tested for compliance with WAI/WCAG
and Section 508
accessibility guidelines, thereby assuring that the website will be accessible via all manner of mobile and other computing devices?7.
Will the rendered source for all web pages be tested for semantic richness to verify that key content can be understood not only by humans but also Semantic Web
applications, user agents and other "machines"?8.
Does your web design quote include comprehensive link verification, incoming link facilitation, and a pervasive link proliferation program?9.
Do you offer seamless integration of incoming and outgoing RSS
content feeds and Ajax/jQuery
updates to enhance user experience and extend website exposure?10.
Do you offer a comprehensive suite of online marketing resources (SEO/SEM/SMM/PR) to assure that over time the website will achieve the high search and social media
visibility necessary to maximize both traffic and bottom-line results?
If your web designer cannot answer "Yes!"
to all ten of these questions, we encourage you to speak with a Web 3.0 design
specialist who can.