Now and again potential customers have approached ourselves at Breeze because they have previously had a bad experience working with another web development team.
We really have heard some really bad stories where money has been affectively flushed down the toilet and its a real shame.
Situations such as domain names being held hostage or a really poorly put together website which is negatively impacting the company rather than helping it to grow.
I always wish that I had met with them earlier and could have avoided the whole issue but sometimes it just can’t be the way.
Hopefully we can outline here somethings to be careful with when hiring a developer:
1. Who Owns Your Domain Name
We totally agree and actually recommend that you let your developer handle all of the technical aspects even down to registering and hosting the domain for you.
It is important to keep in mind, who actually owns the domain if as we said things did go pear-shaped. Once you have paid for your website do you actually own the domain or does the developer now own it?
Your domain name is a valuable asset, especially the bigger you grow and therefore you don’t want to lose this to someone else.
We personally include in our contracts a statement which says that you will always own the domain and it is included in the proposed costs of the development of the website
Extra tip: Make sure that if you register the domain yourself that you use an email address that you will both always check and always have!
We have had people come very close to losing their domains in a massive panic because they hadn’t kept an eye on their domain renewals.
If we host your website we will always keep an eye on this and manage the renewals for you.
2. Not Making Sure That You Can Make Future Updates Yourself
Now with this I don’t mean that you need to learn how to be a website developer. What I do mean is that you will likely have a content management system (CMS) for your website such as WordPress or Shopify.
Using a CMS means that you can make the simple site changes yourself (if you choose to), this would include things like changing slideshow images, testimonials or adding products,
We also like to provide some training on how to do that, therefore you can save yourself some money and not have to worry about changing the site.
make sure to ask your developer, “How can I make changes to my site once it’s launched?”
If they say “You have to come to me for any changes” … run.
Many of our clients do still ask us to manage every aspect of changes, updates and changing the basics because they are busy.
However it is important to have the option available to you therefore make sure you have the login to your website.
Be aware that not every web design agency runs their company the same way and a few depends on keeping you dependent on them for maintenance.
Don’t be held hostage to your website developer for your own website, make sure you can change a full stop to a comma without having to pay them £30 to do so.
Again just to clarify, if you would rather pay someone to do this as your time is better spent on your business than changing text then that is even better but make sure you have the option.
3. Using The Wrong CMS For Your Needs
There are many web design companies that only operate with one particular CMS platform this may be it’s WordPress, Squarespace, Drupal or Shopify.
Now it isn’t that there is anything wrong with that and they all serve their purpose.
The main word of warning here is to make sure that the CMS works for what you need.
For example for your needs Shopify might be the best option for example if you are starting a clothing brand, whereas Shopify would not be the best option for a law firm.
As a website developer, we should understand more than one option and recommend the right platform for your needs and then to recommend the right option even if that is one of the options we can’t offer.
A professional web design company with your best interests in mind should advise you on the appropriate solution, not just the CMS that they offer.
If the developer you are talking with ONLY understands one system then make sure you do your own checks to make sure that this is the right platform for you.
4. The Hidden Costs of a “Cheap” Website
We understand that some business owners and especially new business owners are running on a super tight budget.
However when it comes to your website, the face of your business, it’s important to understand however what you can expect when you choose a cheap website solution.
Just because you are paying less £’s doesn’t mean that you won’t be paying the price in other ways.
If you want a fabulous website that will help you make money and grow your business but you don’t have a lot of money, be prepared to make up the difference in time and effort.
We often get messages like ‘my friend can build a website for £200’ and there are many cheap solutions out there.
If you choose one of these then there is no judgment whatsoever, I get it but understand that there’s quite a lot of time, research and skill involved in creating a strategic website designed to get results.
With a free or cheap website then things will get missed out.
It is also important to understand that effective websites are never a one-time cost. If you are building a website to grow your business and attract clients then ‘Set it and forget it’ sites are not enough.
If you only need a website to be a nice digital business card so people can find your phone number, that’s fine.
5. Not Being Engaged & Involved In The Process
We new good, but us website developers are not magicians we can’t solve all of your business problems and make you multi-millionaires on our own.
I mean, yes, we will build a beautiful website but for the best results get involved in the planning and design process, let the developer know your needs, goals and your usual customers.
Taking the time to give as much information as possible will help you to get the very best results from your website and marketing.
Many developers in an initial meeting will ask the sort of questions they need for everything they need to know. Questions such as:
- What problem do you want your website to solve?
- Who is your dream customer?
- How do you plan on sharing your website?
- Why should someone choose your company?
- Where are you positioned in the market and where is the goal?
- What do you want visitors to do on your website?
While these questions take some consideration to answer, the more effort you put into this, the more likely your website is going to be a success.
Please don’t believe that you can hand over a bit of money to a web developer and sit back and wait for the millions to start rolling in. The most effective websites happen when you are engaged in the website yourself.
Do you need help planning your website?
If you are reading this blog post as you are looking for a website designer, then please take a look through our portfolio or Instagram and get in touch for a free consultation!
We are always excited to interact with motivated business owners who are looking to grow their business online.