Are you supremely confident in your website’s security?  How well do know your web developer? Are you absolutely certain they have your best interests in mind?  If your developer was referred to you, do you know why they’re so great?

As much as I would love to pretend bad website things don’t happen, the truth is they do happen. The ridiculous things I’ve seen and the shocking stories I’ve heard over the years would make you cringe. I’ve seen entrepreneurs get scammed out of hundreds – and in some cases thousands – of dollars because they blindly trusted the wrong web developer.

Some web developers are just plain shady.  And if you don’t know much about websites and how to vet a good developer from a bad one, how can you know the right questions to ask?  Web developers aren’t mind readers and often speak an entirely different language than the rest of us. If you nod your head and smile when you don’t understand something, then you’ll get a website that isn’t what you wanted.

For example, I know a client whose web developer would do everything the client asked. This went on for years and everyone was happy, which is good, right?  One day, the web developer skipped town and the client’s website was suddenly gone because the web developer had opened it in his own name —- from domain to hosting — which means he owned the whole smash.  In this case, we were able to call the hosting company and get things transferred over before they were permanently deleted from the servers, but a whole lot of drama could have been saved if the right questions had been asked of the web developer from the start.

(Hint: “Who “owns” my website?” should always, always be your first question!)  

You’d be surprised how many solopreneurs think they own their site, but don’t, which is stressful.  We’ve seen a lot of money spent — and time — to unsnarl the messes and fix the issues.   Ask yourself: How much do you know about technical website jargon? If someone starts talking CSS or HTML do you have any idea what that means? Your website in the wrong hands could be a tool for hackers. You don’t need an IT degree to figure out that if you get hacked, you’ll likely lose business.

Having a visually appealing website is very important, but the bottom line here is it is just as important to know something about sites too — there’s an entire back end to consider (is it set up to make it easy for the browsers to crawl?). Once your site is up, it absolutely has to be maintained, a step most solopreneurs skip.  Websites are ever-changing and constantly need security updates and “freshening up” to keep current with the times as well as your changing business. If you don’t know how to do that yourself or have the time, get somebody to help you.  Some solopreneurs are embarrassed by that; they think they should know everything about everything (oh, puhleeze). Most businesses hire someone to maintain and update their sites.  Many small businesses use virtual assistants like us to maintain their sites.

A problem arises, however, if your web developer made it difficult to make changes yourself — even simple things like adding content and photos. Sadly, we’ve seen many developers do this – it’s job security – and unfortunately the entrepreneur didn’t know to ask that question.  In many cases, we can usually figure it out, but it’s another expense that could have been avoided if the site had been set up to easily make changes.  Knowing what to ask so the entrepreneur doesn’t learn about problems down the road or until it’s too late helps a lot.

Because it’s important to have a website you truly want, we’re unveiling a new service here at AngCo. Basically, we do the vetting of web developers for you. Much like your insurance agent would give you a comparative analysis of companies that may be a good fit, we will be your comparison shoppers when it comes to web development. We’ll help you find the best value and the best fit for your business.

While some business owners are fully willing to “hand over the reins,” we realize some want to be a little more involved in the process. Because of this, we’re offering another option. If you’d like to vet the developers yourself, we will arm you with a long list of questions to ask them, and what the answers mean. That way you’ll be sure you know exactly what you’re getting, even if you don’t understand all the jargon.

Note: Always, always, always ask questions if you don’t understand something!

Comparison shopping can be time-consuming and difficult, so let us help! We’ll make sure you go in with eyes wide open and don’t end up with something you don’t want.  If this is what you’ve been waiting for, let’s chat!

Thanks for reading.

Until next time,