Yet again, I’ve heard from someone who has received very bad service from, not one, but two, web development companies. I hate this because it gives the person a lack of confidence in the industry. Here are some of the most common issues:
1) My web designer had gone bust/moved away/changed professions/is no where to be found — and I cannot update my website.
I saw this a lot in the early days when there were a lot of students doing web design and a lot of people moving in and out of the area from other countries, but it is still happening today.
– Get references/referrals for your prospective web development company and make sure that you are confident in the stability of the company.
– Get the login details (no reason why you shouldn’t have them).
– Make sure your domain registration is in your name and has your contact details.
2) My web design company says that Search Engine Optimization doesn’t work and that SEO people are cowboys just trying to get your money.
Everybody is entitled to his or her opinion, but we can show the proven results of our Search Engine Optimization techniques and have clients that would be happy to tell you about it.
3) My web designer says that SEO doesn’t work and that I should pay for Google AdWords.
I think Google AdWords are great, but should only be a compliment to good search engine results that you don’t pay for (aka ‘Organic Search Engine Results’). This person may genuinely think that SEO doesn’t work, because he hasn’t been doing it right; or perhaps doesn’t have the time, so is suggesting an easy way out. Sometimes it takes awhile for your organic results to start showing, so AdWords are a good way to get a quicker start, especially if you are in a highly competitive area.
4) I paid a lot for my website and I’m not getting any enquiries.
When hiring your web development company:
– Ask upfront what exactly you are getting for the money – graphic design, copywriting, search engine optimization work, link building, content management system, after care support, etc. We offer different level packages – from basic to complete Search Engine Optimization, etc..
– All of our sites are created in a Search Engine Friendly manner, but you will get better results if you take the full package — as it takes more time and utilises different levels of expertise.
5) My IT guy did my website, but it’s not really like I wanted it.
That’s what you get for hiring an IT guy to do your website 🙂 (Sorry IT guys/gals) Same goes for graphic designers that do websites and copy shop people that do websites… There are plenty of people that used to be IT technicians/graphic designers, etc. that now do web development full time and that’s a different story. In this new industry, most of us had previous careers (I was in printing). You need to use someone that does web development full time, day in and day out, to ensure that you are getting the level of expertise you need for a successful site.
6) I paid a lot for my website now I have to go back and pay the web designer every time I want to make a change.
Did you discuss getting a Content Mangement System or Web Maintenance Service as part of what you paid for? If not, you paid for the initial development of the site and any after care is additional.
– To avoid surprises, ask before you start your project, what the costs are to update the site after it’s completed.
– If you think you will want to make changes yourself after the site is completed, then consider getting a Content Mangement System included in your website — balance out its cost vs. the cost of paying for each change.
– If you don’t have time/desire to make your own chages ask about a Web Maintenance Service; it should save some money and perhaps provide some other additional services (phone support, priority changes, etc.)
Other tips for hiring a web development company:
– Look at their portfolio of sites and see if they can provide the type of site you are looking for.
– Do get referrals and check references. Your website is very important to your business, so don’t leave it to chance.
– Select a professional web design company. It’s not worth saving by hiring a student (sorry students), if you cannot update your site in a year when they’ve moved away or changed careers.
– Don’t get a friend or relative to do your site, unless they are experienced in doing this. Even then, do you want to take a chance on ruining your relationship over your site!
– Don’t believe everything you hear — unless I tell you, of course :-). Like I said before everyone is entitled to their opinion, but beware of someone that has read a few articles and thinks he knows it all. Get a second or third opinion.
– For the most effective and efficient web development project, you will need a clear idea of your own business goals and the goal of your website. We work closely with our clients to work out a site plan and the content, depending on the services you have selected us for, but not all web development companies will do this and will need strong direction from you.
As I said before, your web site is important and you should make sure that you select the web development company that will bring you the best results with it.
For more on my company and our services, visit www.e-business.ie