Whether you work in the marketing department of a Fortune 500 brand or you're the one-man band responsible for getting the word out about your business, you're going to face a similar dilemma when it comes to building your next website. With a seemingly endless stream of jargon, prices that aren't always easy to compare across vendors, and the sinking feeling that today's plans will be out of date by the time they reach execution, it's easy to throw up your hands and run screaming out of the room.

But even if you have only a superficial knowledge of building a website, it is possible to get quality work on budget and on time. You just have to know how to speak with your vendor, whether that firm is a small design shop, a larger ad agency, or an in-house team responsible for building websites.

Here's what some top designers told us about the kinds of questions to ask and the kinds of answers to look for.

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