RoadBlockInc is a web site design company based in Chicago, IL. We specialize in web design & redesign, graphic design and logo design.

Road Block Inc. Serving Small and Medium Sized businesses all across the the North Shore and in Chicago.

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Consider an Online Presence

Do you have the need for a website? Having a web presence and an
e-mail address is essential in today's new world of communication. The World Wide Web is the fastest growing market of advertising in history period. The web is an invaluable tool to provide others with knowledge. It has become as necessary as having a business card or phone number, however, a web site provides 24 hour, 7 day a week accessibility / advertising.



Some of our clients have found Road Block Inc. via search terms like: Skokie, Northbrook Web Design, Evanston, Highland Park, Niles, and more.

We work with clients all over the north shore, including Deerfield, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kennilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Northfield, Skokie, Wheeling, Wilmette, and Winnetka.


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Choosing a Web Designer

Research

When you have decided that your company will benefit from having a web presence, you must first do so research. Before ever making a phone call, be sure that you have in mind what you are trying to accomplish with your future site.

This part of the process is very important because web site design is costly, and you want to get the most for your dollar. You need to call several companies and compare not only their rates, but also their portfolios. See which company does the work that is closest to what you have in mind for your new site, then talk to some of their references to see how they felt about the process that took place. Was it a smooth process, did they know what they are doing, did they ask the right questions, how close where they to getting the site correct the first time? These are some questions that need to be addressed. A start up company that has a small portfolio does not mean that they do not know what they are doing, and vise versa for a large company, just because they have a large portfolio, and charge a lot of money does not mean that they do know what they are doing.

Choose wisely, for you have heard that you get what you pay for in the computer market. Well this is true for the most part, but it does not mean that the most expensive company is the best!

Your Part

You have a very significant part is the design of your web site. If any company tells you to sit back and relax, then seek another designer. NO, and I stress, NO designer can know the ins and outs of ever type of business, and what your web site is trying to promote is YOUR business. Be very involved, and ask a lot of questions. Make sure that your designer knows exactly what you are trying to achieve with your site.

You also need to have a written plan on how to market your new site. Go over this plan with your designer to get his/her ideas and thoughts.

Preparation

In preparation for a consultation with a web site designer, have your homework done! Sit down, and before your ever set a date for a consultation, have at very least these things typed out: 

  • Opening statement (This is the first thing that people are going to see when they open your site.)
  • Mission Statement (This is not a must, but it is a great idea to have on your site because it lets your viewers know what you are trying to do.)
  • Purpose (What is your purpose as a company? Lets the viewers know your purpose.)
  • Who you are (Let the viewers know who you are.)
  • What your company has to offer
  • Departments (If you have multiple department in your company, list them with all the services and products they have in each.) If you do not have multiple departments, then just list services and products.
  • Services (List every service with: The title of the service, a brief description of the service, and then a full detailed description of the service. Do this for ever service that you company has to offer.)
  • Products (Do the exact same for products as for services, except maybe offer a picture of the product.)
  • Articles (If you have any articles that have been published about your company, be sure to include these.)
  • Contact information (Put together a contact information sheet; phones, addresses, e-mail addresses to various departments.)
  • Have together any logos that you want to appear on the site.
  • Terms and Conditions of the use of your site, products, and services. Make sure that the people know EVERYTHING, but be sure not to give away information that your competitors might use against you. If you are reporting to upper management, then make sure all the text that is going to be on the site is approved, and legal. You do not want to waist ten hours of changes to the site because management would not approve the text, logos, or anything else.
  • Decided whether to host your site somewhere else, or in-house. (In-house for e-commerce is recommended because if you have a large database of products, and they change often, then it is easier to manage.)
  • You need to make sure that your domain name is still available. Example: www.you.com. To do this go to www.networksolutions.com and follow the instructions to check for your decided upon name.
  • If you decided in-house, then you need to have the servers setup and configured before your designer ever starts.
  • If you decide to host your site somewhere, then you need to choose a hosting company that will best fit your needs. Take into consideration size of your site, number of hits, what your site will be doing. Then go ahead and signup for service to get the setup started, unless your designer has specified that he/she will take care of this part for you. (Be sure to print or write down any important information such as IP address, FTP address, User name and password.)
  • If there is going to be any custom graphics on the site, make sure you at least have a drawing or sketches of what you have in mind.  

Consultation

When you set the time and date for a consultation with a designer, be sure that you allow for at least 3 hours.

When the meeting takes place, present your designer with all the information that you have prepared.

Also, have some web sites that you found that are close to what you want book-marked so that you can show your designer what you have in mind.

Ask a lot of questions and anything that you do not understand be sure that he/she clarifies it before they leave. You do not want to be left guessing or assuming anything.

Understanding

As I mentioned earlier, No designer can know what ever company is about, or how they do business. By having the above information already done, you are saving yourself time and money, and making the designer's job easier. The designer's job is not to know your company and build a web site for you form his/her own imagination; they are there to put the information that you decided upon into a web format and onto the internet. Yes they will and should use some imagination to bring your site to life; otherwise no one will take the time to read it. Your site needs to catch the attention of your viewers and hold it. Think of your site like a billboard to the world, if it is boring then viewers are not going to explore it, if it is exciting then they will tell others to view it as well.

Also, understand that designers are not mind readers and there will need to be time to make changes to get the site as you picture it. The better the communication between you and your designer, the closer your site will be to what you want.

If all you are wanting is a text site only, with now flares, then I suggest going and purchasing a web page editor, and type the text yourself. Read the instructions on how to publish to the Internet, and save yourself a lot of money.

Warnings

A few things that I want to warn you about before you make your first move to getting your site created is:

  • It is costly, a good designer will charge!
  • It is time consuming; it takes a lot from you and your designer. Nothing will be done overnight.
  • If your designer does not offer a consultation or says that he does not need the information that you provided him, FIND SOMEONE ELSE!
  • Be aware of legal issues, do not misrepresent yourself, do not plagiarize information, have permission for use of other companies logo's, and links.
Understand that the site is not going to be exactly as you picture it unless you are willing to spend a lot of extra money, but a good designer will get it very close.
-Jason B



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