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Tips On How To Avoid Paying For A Disappointing Website

Tips On How To Avoid Paying For A Disappointing Website

Tips On How To Avoid Paying For A Disappointing Website

Understand Who You Are Targeting.

Your website is often the first port of call for your potential customers. As such, many businesses rush to have a website designed and developed, without dedicating enough energy to their marketing strategy. It is important that a business owner knows who it is they are targeting and the best ways to convey the right messages to those people.

Spending time on digital strategy and planning, before engaging a website designer and developer, is possibly the number one step you personally (or your team) can take in order to avoid a poor performing website. If you are unsure, engage an outsource marketing agency. They will work with you to ensure you have a robust digital strategy for your business.

Don’t Pay Too Little…But Don’t Go Overboard!

This sounds obvious, but in reality, for those not informed on the latest in web design and development, the answer to the question “How much should I spend?” is akin to asking for the answer to a complex quantum physics equation.

Websites have never been easier to build, so with that in mind, spending huge sums of money is a poor decision, given most businesses require relatively simple websites. We certainly wouldn’t expect to see a small to medium business spending in excess of $10 000 for a website with common e-commerce functionality, ordering systems, so on and so forth. Prices above that mark are only really applicable to businesses requiring highly customised sales processes, complex postage calculations, complex payment systems and so on.

Put simply, shop around and don’t fall for the big website agency sales tactics. It is very much in their interests to make everything sound as confusing as possible to ensure they extract the highest price for what might actually be a very simple website. One way to filter out bad sales tactics is to only work with a developer who can explain how the website works in a simple way that you or your team can understand. This also applies to things like Search Engine Optimisation and Pay Per Click advertising.

So what is too little? Personally this is where I find my biggest frustration in the industry. Almost everyday I see a website a business owner has had built for very little money, with what can only be described as woefully inadequate consideration of the business owners ongoing needs. Cheap is almost always nasty in this industry so forget about the ads selling websites for $450.

We see WordPress sites with so much hacking, a simple plugin, theme or framework upgrade is near impossible. Pages with complex inline CSS in the page, the client can not make the simplest of content changes without breaking the site layout. The list of disasters we see is endless. Cheap website developers often build sites quickly, taking short cuts and leaving you with a disaster going forward.

So how much is the right amount? The right amount is different for every business, because no two businesses are the same. Ask friends for a trusted referral and seek multiple quotes. It’s my opinion that the choice often comes down to trust and relationships. You want to know that the work will be completed to a high standard and that the website development team will be there to help whenever you might need.

Keep It Simple – Use a Theme/Template.

It’s an old saying, but it’s applicable…Keep It Simple! Sometimes we see overly complex websites and overly complex coding/design, purely because a developer or business owner refused to purchase an off the shelf theme and customise it accordingly. WordPress, Magento, Drupal, etc all have thousands of templates/themes available to the developers. We are huge advocates for these because when purchased from a reliable source, they offer superb ongoing support (updates and bug fixes), exceptional functionality and offer huge customisability. WordPress is especially brilliant with regards customisation available within “off the shelf” themes.

Why pay a developer huge hours to rebuild the wheel? In our experience this often results in a poor (and often very expensive) ongoing experience for the client because simple updates to the website framework (these need to be regular for security) can become very time consuming and costly. These days almost any design can be achieved with an off the shelf theme in the capable hands of an experienced developer. Again this is a case of not falling for sales jargon and misinformation from sales teams with a vested interest. There is nothing wrong with using a well built theme/template instead of building from scratch!

I could write forever on this topic, but if I could give three quick tips on avoiding a disappointing website for your business it is to have a robust digital strategy in place before you start, ensure you work with the right developer at the right price and finally to keep it simple and make the most of themes/templates at your disposal.


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