Evaluating a website design or a developer’s skill is very challenging if you do not know what to look for.
Think of a web site as an 8-cylinder engine, if any one piston is not working, then performance will suffer, as follows:

1. Content - you must have a high quanity of high quality unique content
2. Organization - layout and navigation must be quick and intuitive
3. Graphic Design - The site must provide the best “first impression” possible
4. Programming - The site must offer at least the minimal expected functions
5. Speed - optimized / minimized code on fast servers to enhance user experience and improved SEO
6. Conversion - implemented the best practices to convert visitors into customers
7. Search Engine Optimization - knowing how to fight and win the page rank wars
8. Social Media - You must have a presence to be considered viable to the world

So when reviewing a developers work, you need to look beyond the first impression and look at the functions built in, how well does it rank on google, is there enough content and is it written well, does it it have social action buttons for facebook / twitter / google+ / linked in, etc. . .

It is too common for a developer to be strong in only one or two areas of development. That is why there are so many “cheap” developers out there, and people hiring them have a hard time understanding who is good and who is not, when we web developers all look the same.

Your company's website design can not afford being entrusted to the lowest bidder. Only a well-balanced design will help your company achieve all it's objectives relating to the website.
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