Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Your cousin is a web guy?

Today's content borrowed from Digital Daisy

Or your neighbour knows someone who can "do you a web page"?

Or even luckier - your daughter's latest beau can set you up with a Facebook page and a Twitter account. How lucky can you get!

Or not. In this issue - why is this a bad idea?

If there is one particular story that breaks my heart, it is this one. Clients talk to me about a friend or relative who developed their website and then ended up being disappointed.

A second relates scenario that plays out when a web designer fails to deliver, drags his or her feet or is not available for further support.

In both cases the root cause of the problem may be similar.

Was the Scope Clear?
Ask yourself whether the scope of work was clearly defined. Did both parties know EXACTLY what was agreed to and at what cost? Scope creep (like colouring outside the lines) eats into profit - in terms of time and money, leaving two unhappy parties.

In the first scenario you have the added complication of personal relationships that get in the way of making tough business decisions or speaking your truth.

Quacks Don't Cure
You take your health problems to your doctor. Web development and Internet marketing are professional services too - don't take them to a quack - the pain is not going to go away. Pay fair value for fair service. It is investment you make in the health of your marketing.

Here are some suggested questions to ask a web developer before moving forward:

How long have you been in business?
What do you know about my industry? (Super important in Tourism !)
What's included in the design - how many pages, what features, etc.
How much will it cost?
Is hosting included?
How much is it per month - is there a discount if I pay annually?
Is setup included?
I don't have a domain name; can you recommend one and register it for me? How much will it be?
Will the domain be registered in my name? (Insist on this!) How is that billed? How can I register the domain name myself?
How do you like to communicate? By e-mail, phone or in person?
What can I expect in the design process?
How many designs and revisions are allowed for?
How long will all of this take?
What are your terms?
What happens if the scope of the project changes?
What happens if we cannot seem to work together?
At what point is the site considered "done"?
What happens when the work is completed?
Do you have a guarantee?
How will the site be maintained? Do you have a service contract? What is included?
Will there be a construction page posted while the site is being built?
What do you need from me?
How should the content be delivered (via email, disk, hard copy)?
Do you take credit cards?

Get your answers in writing
Ask for and check client references

Programmers are not always people friendly, don't let that deter you from hiring one, just keep it in the back of your mind while going through the interview process.

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