When you are having a web site built for your company it’s important to make sure the company that you hire to build the site knows the five most important elements of web site design so that the design of the site isn’t a complete failure. Your company web site can be what sets your company apart from your competition so it’s important that the site be great. When you’re interviewing web site design companies make sure that you ask them about these elements of web site design to make sure they understand how important they are:

1. Branding and appearance – Your company website is your calling card on the Web, and in order for people to recognize the brand name and recognize the product branding is very important. You need to have uniform branding from the package to the website and on everything in between. Any custom web site design that you done needs to incorporate your brand image and your company colors into the colors and appearance of the web site.

2. Navigation – Whenever you have custom web site design done for your company one of the priorities of the design needs to be navigation. A website is no good it’s difficult for the user to figure out how to get around on the site. You want people that visit the site to look around the site, read the content and maybe shop on site. If the site is hard to figure out and hard to get around they won’t stay on the site very long.

3. Load time – Flashy custom web site design that is full of animation or large graphics is definitely not the way to go for a business web site. Not everyone that visits your site will be using a high speed Internet connection and a custom web site design that is full of Flash animation and large graphics will take too long to load. Your visitors will just surf away rather than wait for everything on the page to load. People that are trying to access the site from PDA’s and cell phones won’t be able to load the site at all. Any custom web site design should be simple and clean with no Flash if at all possible.

4. Search Engine Optimization – Websites today need to be search engine optimized. Even if the custom web site design company you hire doesn’t search engine optimize the content of the website they should do search engine optimization on the tags in the HTML codes of the site.

5. Functionality – If the site that you are having built is an ecommerce site then the company that creates your custom web site design should make sure that the shopping cart and payment processing systems that you want to use will integrate seamlessly into the site. The shopping cart and the check out process should be tested and re-tested before the launch of the site.