Guide to how to choose a web developer
Over the years we have gained many clients who have contacted us because their website was, in the words of one, "a bit of a mess".
It’s a sad fact that many businesses spend a lot of time and money on their website and get poor results and end up with websites that don’t work properly.
From our experience, the 10 mistakes to avoid are:1. Trying to Build your own website
You can use website builders to produce your site; however, if you have not used the interface before, it can be a long process and the results you get are mediocre at best. Your time would be better spent selling your services or products and increasing sales.
2. Getting a friend of a friend to do it in their spare time
This will seem like a good idea at the time but you may find they are not available to keep your site maintained, or even available in the future. They may host your site on a poorly secured server crammed with other websites so you end up with a slow site constantly being hacked.
3. Not considering security and hacking
Where your website is hosted and what software is used to build it is paramount to the security of your website. Off-the-shelf open-source products such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are well-known to hackers. A bespoke CMS (Content Management System) is more secure because it is unknown and the code is not publicly available.
4. Thinking all domain name hosts are the same
There are hundreds of domain name hosting companies. Selecting the cheapest is not always the best option. Either you or whoever builds your website will need access to change settings and possibly transfer the domain to a new provider. Some control panels are not very user-friendly and other providers charge for transfers. Support can also be limited, so it is wise to go with a reputable supplier.
5. Writing your own words
If you find it hard to write about your business, then you should probably get a copywriter to craft the content for your web pages. It will save you time and they will be more objective about what your business can offer.
6. Not thinking about how your visitors will navigate your site
Your website needs to have an impact and hold visitors’ attention to get them to a point where they can act. UX design (user experience), page layout, calls to action and photographs can all help to improve conversion rates.
7. Not taking time to plan your site
Your website is your shop window and can have a direct effect on sales. Visitors will
decide in seconds whether to stay on your site or jump off to one of your
competitors. Taking time to establish your goals and develop a wireframe before the design and build start will pay dividends in the long term.
8. Not researching your target market
Do you know whether your audience will be more likely to visit your website using a mobile phone or a desktop computer? The age and profession of your customers may determine how your website needs to look and perform on a variety of devices.
9. Ignoring advice from the professionals
Web developers, like any other professionals, are experts in their field. If you ask for something that will not work across all browsers and devices, a good developer will explain why it won’t work and provide alternative solutions. There are usually very good reasons that you may not have considered. Always check your web developer’s credentials and their own website before you choose who to work with.
10. Not considering how you will market your website after the launch
Build it and they will come no longer applies in our crowded online marketplace. Think about how you will deliver traffic to your website.
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