New parents will tell you that there is no greater feeling of love and fulfillment than the feeling you get when you hold your new baby in your arms for the first time. That feeling of accomplishment as you look upon that perfect little creation of yours.
Not every one of the websites I get to work with are brand new – I have worked with a handful of clients that have come to me after a disastrous experience with other companies. Some people still haven’t learned that the cheapest option is not necessarily the one you should pick.
You get what you pay for, Susan! And you paid SHIT!
These clients very often make the same 3 mistakes:
“Hey, these guys look good and have good reviews on their site… and they’re cheap! Let’s go with them”
You’re setting yourself up for disaster if this is your train of thought.
You must remember that your website is possibly the most important marketing tool – and therefore, form of income – for your business. If you were looking at pre-schools for your child, you wouldn’t pick the cheapest one you could find, would you? No – because your child is important to you – and your website should be too!
Here are 5 things to look into before you decide on a designer:
- How does THEIR website look? Chances are, if they’ve done a shoddy job on their site, they’re going to do a shoddy job on yours.
- Other Websites – visit other sites that have been designed and developed by the company you are considering. Check that they are functional and aesthetically pleasing. Would you be happy with the quality of this site if it were your own?
- Testimonials – Look to see if you can find any reviews from credible sources on their website or on the net. See if you can contact any of the sources and hear their opinions first hand.
- Costing – Very often, you’ll see website design quotes that say “From R1 500”. What they fail to mention is that this is for the simplest website option you can possibly think of. Make sure you are very clear about the type of site you want, how many pages, specific functions you want, etc. so that you can get an accurate quotation. Get a quotation from at least 2 other companies as well, to make sure you are not being ripped off.
- Ask about extra costs! So, you’ve been quoted R4500 for your entire site – it seems reasonable, so you give the go ahead. Then, half way through the development process, you get a call that says “We need this plugin to make __(insert function here)__ work” BAM! There’s another R500 onto your bill. Then, “Hey, we need a customized HTML form for this page”. You don’t know anything about HTML or how websites work, so you approve it and BAM! Another R500. These little extras could go on forever…
Your website gets built on a free template
There are some great templates out there. 90% of wordpress sites will make use of a template design, as will most other web design platforms. While these may look good and may work well if you’re looking for something simple, more complex sites can run in to some issues with the use of free templates.
Templates can limit the ways in which your site can function. For example, one of my clients asked to have the layout of her homepage changed for better flow. The company that was doing her site (a pretty well known company in Durban too) told her that it was not possible because of the template restrictions.
Have you ever visited a site with a website award sitting on their home page and thought “Wow! I should have one of those…”? Bad news, cupcake. Most website awards (such as webawards.co.za) disqualify sites built on free templates.
The solution to all of this – The best websites will be developed from scratch, custom templates or be custom-coded. Free templates are just lazy shortcuts anyway. Again, you get what you pay for. Custom code may cost a little extra sometimes, so be sure to mention it when you’re asking for your quotation.
That interactive image looks great on your home page! You’re so excited to show your friend, so you drop them a mail with a link to your new site, only to receive a reply 5 mins later to say “I can’t see anything?”.
While there is no arguing that you can do amazing things with Flash Player, one must realize that it is getting closer and closer to extinction every passing year. In fact, half of the web devices these days don’t support Flash Player anymore.
By all means, use Flash Player for an interactive map etc. on a reasonably unimportant page, but don’t build half your site based on Flash Player. That’s just a recipe for disaster…
I hope that these tips help in creating your little baby. I would love to hear your feedback and any comments you may have about experiences you have had. You can comment below or drop me a line.
Check out the BOSSVISION Retreats and Live Training Workshops to learn how to master this fuckery!