Just a like a good friend, your website designer should be there for you in the long run. Don’t just seek out someone for the initial design, construction and launch. You also need to someone to perform the post-launch maintenance and updates.
Don’t just think there’s a chance your site might need to be updated after the launch, EXPECT it! There’s many important reasons that will demand changes. First and foremost, WEBSITE SECURITY! Security is a cat and mouse game and unfortunately the cats are the hackers, and the mice are the software providers. Whatever content-management-software (CMS) is used to create your website will inevitably have security flaws that gets exposed down the road. So it’s vitally important that your website designer constantly updates your CMS with the latest security patches from the software provider.
Another reason you’ll need to make changes to your website is that you’ll have fresh content you need to add. It could be new testimonials, new case studios, new portfolio items, different services, an updated phone number… the list goes on. And it’s important to remember that you get search engine brownie points for constantly adding new fresh content to your website. Google likes fresh content and they rank you higher for it! Why the heck do you think I’m writing this blog post right now? Get my drift? Fresh content!
To reiterate my original point, make sure you work out an agreement with your website designer to handle all the changes that will be required after the launch. If your buddy or your cousin offers to build your site for free or real cheap as a favor, that’s all well and good if you never want to touch it again. Same with hiring someone on the other side of the world to build your website for peanuts. But you might be shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t hire someone to work with you through all the post-launch updates.