Watch Out for The Guy

By Mamie Patton | August 23, 2017

“So who is managing the back end of your web site?”

“Oh, we got a guy.”

And thus strike the gongs of doom.

More often than we’d like, clients come to us because they used “A guy.” It conjures images of a self-taught, one man shop working out of his basement to build websites on the cheap. He got hired because his price was way lower than other proposals. Turns out, there are reasons for that, and the client got what they paid for: too little.

One company asked us to fix their new website. It was less than 3 months old, but it didn’t provide a user experience that enabled them to get leads. After analysis to understand their business needs and how the site needed to deliver, it was clear the site could not be salvaged. They had to have a new one built from scratch, the way it should have been done the first time.

Another client built a site on the cheap and a year later the developer had disappeared, along with the access information.

Yet another client had their site hacked and the data was held for ransom because the developer was hosting the site on their own servers, which were not as secure as they should be. But his price was really low.

See a pattern here?

We don’t like seeing businesses suffer the consequences of shoddy website development or maintenance.

It reflects poorly on our profession. We’d much rather spend our time helping clients grow their business instead of fixing problems that should not have happened in the first place.

That’s not to say there aren’t some terrific one-man or one-woman shops out there who are highly qualified and professional. But they are not doing it on the cheap. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Imagine your company has outgrown its offices and the board has agreed it’s time to build new headquarters that will better serve the business. Do you cast about for Some Guy who says he can build it cheaply, or do you consult with architects who are experienced in designing buildings of just the type you need? Do you hire the cheapest construction company, or the one that will do the best job within parameters of cost, time and quality?

Websites are complex.

Behind even the simplest appearance is an extensive design process and array of code and plugins that are hard to imagine. Additionally, there are changes on the internet almost daily that can affect your site, requiring disciplined monitoring and ongoing updates. Good sites are not inexpensive. The only thing more expensive is a poor site built on the cheap.