With so many new faces moving in and out of web consulting how do you pick a web consultant and remain confident that the consultant won't leave you high and dry?
1) Ask for a business history. Even newbies have some kind of history whether it is from a school or previous business experience.
2) Get a written agreement up front.
3) Don't give your own password to your web consultant. If your web consultant sets up your initial site, request your own ID and password and when you receive it change the password immediately. I often hear about password issues. You should have your own log on information separate from anything the web consultant uses.
4) Get estimates and examples of what you can expect before you pay a dime.
5) Do not pay the whole fee up front; and get a delivery completion date in writing. Include in any agreement what will happen if the work isn't completed as agreed.
Following a few simple guidelines will insure that your website project is just what you ordered, completed on time, and that you still hold the keys in the end.