10 Juicy Secrets Web Developers Don’t Want You to Know

Like any other business service, web design can be complicated. Web development and Internet marketing involves a number of highly developed skills, some of which can be quickly learned, some of which take time and experience to develop.

But, how do you know if the person(s) you’re hiring for your web development and Internet marketing needs are up to snuff?

By doing your homework. And I applaud you for starting here.

If you’ll just give me 10 minutes, read this short list of 10 juicy secrets web designers don’t want you to know about and I promise you will be a MUCH more informed consumer.

JUICY SECRETS WEBSITE DEVELOPERS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT

1) Every Project is Different – Even though you may want to go with a website developer that knows your industry, you must also understand, that almost every project, no matter how similar is different. As an individual company you have specialized needs. You may need to host your own website, or have your own photos, but everything is always just a little bit different.

1.5) Every Project is the Same – What? Didn’t you just say every project is different?! Yes, but I’m attacking this from a different angle. When it comes to the basics of the web, what works for the actual development/coding, as well as what leads to long-term results from online marketing, every project is the same. For example, just because a company doesn’t have a real estate client, doesn’t mean you can’t use them if you are in real estate. Sure, you get some warm and fuzzy feelings, but 9 times out of 10 specialized developers often do poor work. Instead choose a more well rounded company that knows the basics of the web (good coding and online marketing).

2) There is NO Such Thing as “Website Maintenance” – It doesn’t exist, period. Sure your website has to sit somewhere (called hosting – more on that in just a second), but it costs nothing to physically maintain and, generally, unless specified, there are no ongoing “updates.”

3) Search Engine Optimization is Also Up To – Although a development company can develop a great website, and make the code pretty for search engines, you need to be actively involved in the entire process of SEO for longterm, sustainable success.

4) Marketing is HUGE – Your website will NOT have tens of thousands of visitors the first month. In fact, you will probably not even break 100 visitors/month, unless you market yourself and your website. You can do it physically, or digitally, but search engines alone will not give you free traffic for nothing or right out of the gate.

5) There is Really NO Set Cost for Development – Prices per hour for a developer may range from $30/hour – $250/hour – it all depends on the expertise of the persons involved and what you find important.

Generally speaking the higher the service price, the better the quality and more likely they are going to stay in business and provide you with customer service (a rarity in the web development businesses). People come to my web development company all the time after they’ve been burned by a cheap developer that either didn’t know what he/she was doing or simply disappeared. There are a few resources online where you can find out more about the true cost of a website, but prices will vary.

6) Hosting is Important – Hosting is important because it not only is a factor in search engine optimization, but it is also the backbone of your own image. Your website and email are probably running on your hosting right now. What if they go down? If your site and server is down, even for a fraction of a day it could cost you lots of money in lost productivity and even more in negative branding. Ask yourself this question… “How do you react when you visit a colleagues site and it is slow or doesn’t even show up?” It makes you question that business, and wonder if they are still operating.

7) Nothing is Free – Absolutely nothing is free. Sure, some services may not “cost” anything (in terms of money), but there is always the amount of time it takes to implement.

8) Your Developer Owns Your Website – This is HUGE!!!!! Unless otherwise specified in your agreement, your developer, like other intellectual property creators (like photographers) OWN YOUR WEBSITE AND CONTENT. Make sure your agreement is specific, and spells out that YOU and not your developers OWN YOUR WEBSITE.

9) Your Writing Matters – We all hate to write, but according to Google, and from statistics we’ve seen over the years, the writing, or copy, on your website has two major effects on your website. 1st, it effects search engine optimization. The more writing you do AND the better your spelling, grammar, etc. the more likely you are going to rank well in search engines. 2nd, your writing has a profound effect on your visitors’ response to your company, and your website. Great writing will prompt your users to take action, to contact you, and to make a sale. Poor writing will lead them confused and upset.

10) Your Developer May Not Be Doing Your Work – I know what you’re thinking… “They better be doing my work, I paid them!

But, the scary truth is that most “web designers” don’t even know what they are doing. They DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DESIGN OR DEVELOP WEBSITE, LET ALONE MARKET THEM!

Instead, they are simply overzealous sales people that, in trying to make a quick buck, and in knowing a thing or two about photoshop, figured web design was “easy.” After making a sale they then rush to find someone to do the job. This is a problem, because both you and in some cases even they (your web developer) have no ability to gauge or evaluate the work and accountability is eliminated.

Don’t just go for the quick sale (especially when a price is too good to be true). Instead probe, ask about the person or company’s expertise in things like HTML, CSS, programming languages, etc. And, as always, references are always a must!