Choosing A Web Developer: How to Spot A Bad Investment
Before we launched Alpha Strategy, we were entrepreneurs running into the same issues with web developers. They kept going over budget, not communicating, and taking a lot longer than they said they would in order to get our website completed. We were tired of the same stories, and poor customer service from all of the different developers, so our existence is in response to those experiences. And our goal from day one hasn’t changed: we say what we mean and mean what we say. We’re transparent, honest, accountable and on time—these values are key to our approach. Since our inception, we’ve worked with high-profile clients locally, on Vancouver Island, and throughout North America and many of them also experienced less-than-professional web developers before working with us. To help spot the bad apples, we’ve compiled a list of red flags to watch out for when you’re looking to hire a web development company.
Lack of Flexibility: a website should be futureproofed for the growth of your business. If it’s going to be expensive and time-consuming to add pages, products and services, then your website was not built to accommodate your business over time. That’s a problem. You have two options: continue paying for someone to hack it to suit your growing needs, or move to an efficient website platform (we primarily build sites with WordPress) that will allow for easy expansion now and down the road.
High Ongoing Fees: there are certain fees you can’t get away from. Hosting and domain fees, email fees, custom form or e-commerce plugin fees are typical associated third-party costs, depending on the scope of your site. If you’re seeking help with ongoing website maintenance, this will be an additional cost. Shop around to compare prices and quality of services to make sure you don’t end up paying more than you should for nothing less than what you deserve.
Too Much Waiting: if you aren’t receiving prompt service when you reach out to your web development company, you aren’t being treated as a valued client. For small website edits and changes, you should expect to see your request resolved within two to three business days (that’s our mission at Alpha). For longer custom changes, you should receive a timeline to completion and regular check-ins on the work in progress. Don’t settle for frustrating waits; find the company that cares as much as you do about your business goals.
Outdated Functionality: your website should be functioning seamlessly across all devices and platforms. From phones to tablets and desktops, a fully responsive and mobile-first site is the new normal. If your website isn’t universally compatible you’re doing yourself a disservice, as is your web developer.
Difficult Customer Service: if your point of contact exerts high-pressure sales negotiations, or is difficult to impossible to get ahold of in a timely manner, this web developer is not working for you. Make sure you are working with someone you can trust, who is there for you every step of the way. A good web company will look out for your best interests and sell you on what will work for your company, not the other way around.
Our mission and vision at Alpha Strategy haven’t changed since we launched in 2016. We offer fixed transparent pricing, open communication, and if you get us the information we need, we can guarantee your project deadline. Reach out today for an informal chat about your website goals.