Sometimes a bargain is a bad deal. When you have limited budget and a need to reach an audience online, you are going to be looking for the best value in a web site builder. But if you aren’t careful, your choice can waste your money or even harm your business.
Web development is a career that people can learn on their own. Unlike an optometrist or even hairdresser, it’s not a licensed profession. And the level of expertise varies quite a bit.
It can be hard to tell. It’s possible to have a page that looks good, and does a bad job for you. For example, it may irritate users because they can’t see it on a mobile device. It may not work in search because it is using outdated SEO strategies that hurt your rankings. It may irritate everyone because the page takes too long to download because of how it is built.
Most credible web developers have a portfolio that includes client sites. Have a look at the developer’s own site and some client sites in the following ways:
- Look on a computer
- Look on a phone or tablet
Click on the links. Play the videos. See if everything works and is easy to use. Particularly if the site is hard to use on mobile, this is a bad sign.
When you interview prospective web designers, here are some questions you should ask:
- How do you keep yourself up to date on changes in web development? (going to training, completing on-line courses and following blogs would all be good answers. Um….I’m already an expert is a bad one)
- How will you build my site to help it do well in search? (If the answer is um…. Or focuses a lot on using keywords, be wary. Answers about site structure and file size are good signs).
- Where will you host my site and why? (The “why” is more important here. If the answer is “I host all my sites here” push a little bit about why they chose it. If the only answer is cost, be wary. Not all hosts are equal, and you want an answer that uses words like site speed and reliability).
Maintaining a web presence is probably important for you and your business. It’s a big investment, so you need to get the most out of it that you can.