I'll add to the above;
When looking for quotes for getting a website built, you are likely going to get some massively ranging prices. People often remark in the fora that quotes ranged anywhere from a few hundred to 7k+.
A savvy client will shop around, but will also be very clear in what they are looking for. The more specific you are, the more accurate the quotes will be. You don't
need to know the technical details, you just need to know what you want your website to do.
- A simple brochure site for your business, with contact information, opening times, business summary etc.
- An ecommerce site where you sell products through the website. For example a retail shop might wish to expand their business through online sales.
- A social media presence where you are trying to reach out to customers through Facebook, Twitter etc. For example a bar, or a band might want a strong social media presence to build up interest.
- A blog or diary website where the emphasis is on documenting a process or processes regarding your business. For example a travel writer might keep a blog to document his travels or a crafstman might want to visually document his work.
What suits one person won't necessarily suit another. When dealing with designers and developers you should be given a chance to speak from the perspective of your business, and a good designer will work with you in that regard. Be wary of being sold extras that you may not need - for example a Flash intro may look pretty the first time, but it harms your websites performance and annoys customers on repeat visits.
Find someone who you like the work of, someone who you think their design style suits your own goals. It's best to give a good designer the flexibility to provide you with a solution they see as the best fit. Clients often want to cram in far too many things, which ends up spoiling things. Give the designers vision a chance, and if you're not happy you can always add things later on after analysis and feedback.
Remember to post your site in the website reviews
forum as well for some unbiased feedback