5 Big Mistakes People Make When Hiring a Website Developer
Would you like to know some things that many Website designers don't want you to know?
Sure you do! And the main thing is that most website designers portray themselves as experienced wizards when in fact they are not. Most are beginner or amateur Wordpress users who only use it because it's very easy to learn. Keep reading and you will learn how to shop for professional website services provider while asking the right questions and knowing the right answers!
1. Paying to Little
We all want something for nothing, or at the very least, we want something for a very low price, and website design is no different.
Most people reason to themselves that if they pay thousands of dollars for a website, that’s money they’re losing, whereas when it only costs a couple of hundred bucks for a site, then that’s money they’re saving.
Of course, this is not exactly correct.
The ultimate purpose of a website for most people should be to MAKE money, not to cost money.
Most people have websites built to market their services or sell a product. In either case, they are trying to make money from it.
By skimping on your website, you run the risk of having a second rate and unprofessional website that might not bring in nearly as much business that a more professional website would have netted.
Here are some common ways I see people trying to save money on their website, and the pitfalls that come with it.
2. Using a “Free” website builder
I use “free” in quotes because I want to emphasize that everything has a cost even if it’s free. A lot of people ask me about the “free” websites available now and that it might cut into my business. The truth is “free” sites such as Squarespace have nothing to do with my business.
The answer is simple. Every customer I have ever had that tried to do their own website with a free service wound up spending a lot of money and time on a failed result. Websites are like prime real estate. If you have a small vision with an amateur builder, the result are always small to nothing. If you have a small or medium sized business the cost of having a leading industry website vs. a just good enough site will be a difference thousands of dollars in sales or none at all. Even the smallest business can see the greatest success in improved revenue with the right vision, strategy, and website marketing.
Using Godaddy’s website tonight, or similar DIY website builder
The problem with the do it yourself website building programs is that they just look cheap and unprofessional. They all use cookie cutter templates and they look like second-rate internet sites. If you search online, you’ll come across many of these huge, generic looking design firms.
They are selling you a template, where they just adjust the colors. The actual designer is probably a guy in India or Bangladesh who you’ll never talk to once. The site itself will probably have a pretty generic look to it.
And worst of all, after all the up-sells they give you for extra pages, and email account, a CMS, contact form and all the other stuff, you’ll probably end up paying way more than the advertised price. Takeaway: Don’t just think of the immediate result of saving yourself a few bucks up front. Think of the long-term impact to your business caused by having an unprofessional site.
3. Paying Too Much
Whether you pay $1,000 or $100,000 for a site, as far as the design goes, for the most part, they’re all just made up of CSS and HTML.Paying an extra $10,000 on your site won’t change the fact that you will still be getting a page marked up with HTML and styled using CSS.
Don’t let a fancy high-end design firm fool you on this point.
4. Hiring a Graphics/Sign Company to build your website
Graphic designers, are essentially artists by nature. By this, I mean that they mainly concern themselves with how things look, and whether something is aesthetically pleasing and beautiful.
But! A lot of designers fail to understand the purpose of having a website.
HINT: It’s not just to be pretty. No, the purpose of a website is to sell something, either your services or your product. And typically the purpose of a website is to provoke the visitor to contact you so they can one day end up giving you money. The problem with working with someone who is too focused on design is they lose sight of this.
Am I saying you should have an ugly website? Of course not! But it’s important to remember that you can’t deposit beauty into a bank account at the end of the month. Takeaway: Here’s how you know you’ve visited a great site. Not when you think, “Wow! What a great looking website!” but when you think to yourself, “Wow! I need to get that product or service!”
5. Not Getting a Drupal CMS
CMS stands for Content Management System that uses a databse to manage and store your information. We use Drupal, the worlds leading CMS. It allows you to easily access, manage and update your website yourself. Back in the day, the only way anyone could update a site was by manually editing the individual pages of code. With Drupal CMS you can change the content of your site, add images, or even add pages on your own without having to be a website developer. Without a CMS you’re hand cuffed to a website developer whenever you need to update or change your site.
Not only is this an extra cost, but it can also be a nightmare when you need to quickly change something, only to be unable to reach your website designer to make the updates.
Takeaway: Make sure your designer works with a CMS and hopefully one that is commonly used such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal.