We have been designing and building websites for over 10 years now and have helped lots of businesses out of lots of difficult situations. We have listed the top 5 below to try and help you avoid falling into the same traps.
The ability to be able to make changes to your website yourself has been around for a long time. The functionality available now is huge; Global River design and build bespoke Content Management Systems for all of our clients. Make sure you have a full demonstration of this BEFORE you commit
We design and build in WordPress, the world’s biggest open source web platform. WordPress comes in quite a few shapes and sizes and it is well worth knowing the full range of options. WordPress provide a range of themes that can be downloaded and your content and images uploaded. This can produce amazing results for a low budget (or you can try yourself). It does, however come with some down sides;
Support – many themes do not come with any support and although your web developer may be on hand it is not unusual for themes to collapse when WordPress makes an update that the theme does not support
Growth – adding extra functionality or making changes to a theme often require “hacking” the original code which is difficult and inevitably leads to problems
Expertise – the most common problem we encounter is with “web developers” who set up having set up a couple of their own themes and quickly get out of their depth when dealing with rightfully demanding customers.
Check if you are getting a theme, or a bespoke built website. Make sure you think of your future plans and check your developers experience.
Web developers all tend to be experts in specific programming languages. We develop in WordPress and Magento for example. We have chosen these platforms because they are the worlds most widely used web platforms. You should make sure you know the language or platform your developer plans to use. If he disappears can you find other agencies or developers that can support your website? If not steer clear!
Without an understanding of Search Engine Optimisation or Google, it is possible your site will not appear on Google when searched for. Make sure you discuss this with your web designer before you engage. If you discuss it afterwards you may be too late and be stuck with a website that will never appear on Google.
The web design industry is generally polarised into 3 offerings. The lowest part of the market often involves you doing most of the work yourself using a template system. Great if you have time but please be aware of the above question of SEO. The next tier is dominated by Freelancers and one man bands that can create something great looking but often fall down when it comes to service and helping your website generate you some business. The final level is generally the bigger agencies, charging 10k plus for a website and a lot of money for ongoing support. The biggest mistake we come across is assuming that paying a lot will get the best service!