Looking to build a website for your business? Here are some helpful hints moving forward.Whether or not a perspective client hires me, I am always forthcoming with them about what they should look for in potential web developers. I want them to get the best value and quality work for their money. In order to do this they will need to consider a few things. There are a humongous amount of people who refer to themselves as web developers, oy…it’s almost mind boggling at how many people think they’re web designers once they’ve built Uncle Harry a blog. There are also unscrupulous agencies and overseas rip-offs that abound, so be careful and smart about choosing your next web designer. Ideally you want a relationship with them that will last for years. You can weed through the bad and ugly rather quickly by following the steps below.
1. DO NOT HIRE web design firms that call you!I know that sounds awful, I know that there may be a few developers out there that are ok that cold call you, however…the majority of these cold calls are shysters and charlatans and you need to avoid them.
2. Research, research and then research some more.Make sure to read reviews and look into their online reputation. Do a Google search, look on Facebook, LinkedIn etc and see what previous clients have to say. If you’re finding negative on different social channels, move on to the next candidate.
3. Have a conversation with a perspective web developer.Talk about what you’re looking for. Voice any concerns up front and how the developer might deal with them. Be forthcoming about your goals and possible evolution of your site in the future and ask if the developer can handle that type of programming.
4. Check out the web developer's own website.
- Do they have a user friendly site?
- If they boast about search engine optimization, are they actually ranked?
- Do you like their samples of websites they’ve built?
- What is their payment policy?
- What about refunds?
- What about a maintenance agreement?
5. Have reasonable expectations.
- Expect professionalism and the web designer to keep their word.
- Expect to stay on the timeline that was established unless you (the client) are delaying milestones and don’t get the developer files and permissions on time or don’t communicate.
- Expect an amazing website according to your vision.
- Expect open communication, but remember the web developer has many projects, so be reasonable.
- Expect to be respected and appreciated as a client.
- Expect to get your money’s worth.
- Don’t expect to have a professional business website developed for $250.
- Don’t expect the web designer to be your employee; they are contracted to carry out a project according to your pre-determined agreement, much like a construction contractor.
- If you don’t pay for SEO, don’t be surprised when you can’t find your business online.
- Expect to pay for maintenance for updates and platform programming changes (unless you’re willing to learn, which is awesome). Maintenance is never included in website development; once the project is done,
- Don’t expect a guarantee once the programming is updated or changed. Sites are typically guaranteed with the initial programming, once that changes (which it does almost weekly), the initial site programming has changed and requires maintenance.