Talk to other business owners about their experience in hiring web design companies. Ask them if they have any advice. You may be surprised about how much you can learn from other business owners, especially if they have been through similar experience. Don't be intimidated about technology. The people working with technology are not geniuses. They all had to start from scratch and most of them will be glad to help you.
There are millions of different business websites. Some web sites are simple while others are complicated, some are popular some are abandoned. Regardless of what your website looks like your visitors will expect certain components. First impressions are no less significant online as they are in our off-line existence. Therefore, you have to work hard to make sure that your visitors will find what they expect.
For example, if a visitor finds your websites searching for San Diego accountants, your web site better have something to do with accounting in the San Diego area. That message has to be loud and clear on your homepage. When a visitor lands on your homepage she should have no trouble determining what you do in a matter of seconds. Yes, you only have a few seconds to convince the visitor that your website is what she is looking for.
The Internet is a fast moving environment. So you have to make sure that your website loads quickly. Visitors will not waste their time waiting while all the pieces of your slow moving website becomes visible. If your website doesn't completely show in a few seconds you have work to do. You can reduce the size of your images, or find a hosting company that provides faster service. Installing a fancy video about your latest products would spice up your site but it may slow it down so much that you could end up losing many of your visitors. Remember visitors are more likely to help you succeed online than clever design.