- 28th Sep, 2015
If you have not been through the process of building a website before then you really need to work out who you would like to work with when it comes to your digital media presence. If you have a website and are looking for someone to help market your business in the digital media arena then you really should look in to the options before you jump in to something you may regret!
This in turn leads to the question we get asked during talks or presentations “How do you know you have chosen the wrong website person to help you?”
During the years of building and marketing websites for customers we have seen many “designers” and “online marketers” come and go. Most of these “designers” or “online marketers” have common themes or sales pitches. The common themes include price, relationships (friends or friends of friends) or even a common interest/activity group.
Generally speaking the areas we cover below NEVER make them a GREAT or even an EXPERIENCED designer or online marketer. All of these things can make for bitter disappointment and a great generator of distrust and a lack of respect for those who actually know what they are doing.
How can you identify the right people who “talk the talk” but cannot “walk the walk”? If you have very little knowledge on website design then it can be very hard. This is true, however if you know a couple of tell tale signs you will avoid these types of mistakes very quickly.
Here are a few tell tale signs that will help you avoid what is often a very very costly mistake:
1. Look at the designer or online marketers website. If they do not have one then there is typically a very good reason for it. This will vary from instance to instance however this should be a BIG warning sign
2. The website they have built is not stored on the same address you have typed in. For example their site address might be “www.zyxwut.com.au” but when you go to their website it changes to “zyxwut.wordpress.com”. This typically means they are not paying for website hosting. They are essentially cutting corners with their own business. BAD idea
3. You visit their website and the site has “Lorum Epsom” text, watermarked images, information on the page that doesn’t make sense or more importantly has addresses in them like “zyxwut.wordpress.com/sample-page/” or similar. This tends to suggest that they are still learning the software they have used to build the website with.
4. If their site looks really nice but you are still not sure whether it is still a unique design or not there are a few simple things you can look for without spending too much time. Look for theme club icons or thumbnails in the footer that have names like “rocket themes”, “yoo themes”, “envato” etc. If you click on them or do a google search they will typically take you to the respective theme designers site. This does usually mean that their actual programming knowledge is limited for that particular platform. While this is not always a bad thing, it can be a very good indicator. At a minimum ask them why they use these styles of templates.
5. Visit their site portfolio – If the sites do not look all that great, looks incomplete or even more importantly they have text that doesn’t make sense to you then you can be assured that the site isn’t finished. This is where you would need to ask the question of “When or why would you launch a website that doesn’t look finished?”. If they have no site portfolio it is odd as people like to show their abilities or past work off to potential clients. If they haven’t got a portfolio they can have heaps of excuses but to be honest, it is a just a way of saying “We are not proud of our work and do not want to lose customers because of the poor quality”. Privacy, security or credability by association excuses definitly do not cut it as an excuse. It is a clever way of really saying “We don’t have any decent work” or “We have burnt our past clients”
6. Price is a very big indication for quality as website design, website development or internet marketing is based on one thing…. SERVICE…. It is labour intensive and has very little expenses from a product or material standpoint. There are a few exceptions like reporting tools, image libraries and a few things like that but as a rule most of the costs is based around time/labour, experience and 3rd party vendors tools. If you are getting a website marketted and it is costing you $100 per month then you can be almost guaranteed nothing is getting done. This same rule applies to websites for $400. You basically run a simple rule of company hourly rate divided by 3 divided by amount being paid, you will typically get a very good indication as to how much time is being spent on your project.
7. Most hosting providers these days will supply you with either CPanel or Plesk as the hosting control panel for your webiste. If you have CPanel or Plesk you can quickly identify it by the address of your website control panel. If it is CPanel you will see an address like wwww.yourwebsite.com.au/cpanel or yourhost.com.au:2083. If it is Plesk you will see an address like https://someaddress.com.au:8443. Lets say your “professional” has to call your host to ask to create a new email address or how to set it up on your computer then it shows that they are not perhaps as savvy as they make out. While this point looks technical and sounds like “it could be hard” do not be fooled. This is generally a very simple task and doesn’t change as a rule from provider to provider as they are all running the same software, there maybe a few small changes to outgoing server settings. You can find these either in the knowledge base or more importantly in CPanel there is generally a “auto config” for your email program option available for you to download.
8. Phone numbers, email addresses and accessibility or response times of a potential vendor can be a good indication as to quality of service. If you call them or email them on a weekend do not expect a call back right away or within 24 hours. Like you they need downtime and do need a break so respect that. If they are called or emailed during the week and their phone is off or rings out and you have left a voicemail yet they do not call you back after 24 hours or so then typically it is a good sign that they are not reliable. Most reasonable businesses will call you back within 24 hours if they got your message.
While these things may be seen as negatives you really need to research your potential vendors, they are going to be doing work that represents your company. If they show any of these things then you really need to value how much they are going to really care about your business.
If you want to avoid these things out of the box then you can skip the list and contact Suncoast Web Solutions today. We have a team of experienced professionals who can help design, build and market yourwebsite. We also have on average a same day call back response time during our normal work hours of Monday to Friday and a 24 hour turn around time before jobs are actioned, booked or assigned to the appropriate person.