My Website Doesn’t Work!

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  • September 23, 2013

Websites. I regularly have conversations with people who feel they’ve been cheated by their designer/developer, or are dissatisfied with their website. On a very regular basis I hear “my website doesn’t work”, “my web guy is a shark”, “my website was a waste of money.”

I believe there are a few reasons:

1. assumed knowledge

Most people who pay a web developer do so because they don’t have the time or the knowledge to build their own. Similarly, they don’t have the expertise to know what is possible or not, practical or not, preferred or not. Developers assume the client understands the limitations and the client assumes the developer is clear about the clients needs.

2. clarity

The client and the provider have different opinions/knowledge and they haven’t clearly communicated their expectations so one party or both are dissatisfied with the outcome.

3. rogues

Every industry has people who are very good sales people and not so good with service. A problem only occurs when the client feels like they haven’t received value for money, or they feel they were “ripped off”.

What it comes down to is a break down in communication. For whatever reason the service provider and the customer did not understand each others requirements and one or the other is left feeling unhappy about the transaction.

When it comes to choosing a provider to work with on your website you must understand these things.

1. a website does not include SEO

Just because you have a website does not mean it will show up on page 1 of Google. SEO (search engine optimisation) is an ongoing process. When you launch a website into the web you are competing with millions of other sites and it is not a simple matter of telling Google you exist or including the right words. The search engines are seeking validation that your website is in fact relevant for those “keywords”.

2. you get what you pay for

Generally the price you pay for your website should reflect the level of functionality, the degree of customisation, and the complexity of your website. If you are paying for a budget website then you should expect that not all things are possible and there will be some constraints and standard things which cannot be changed. Whereas a high price point should mean you can customise as much as you like.

3. design and development take time

Generally there will be a couple of milestones during the process of setting up a website. It is normal to work on the design and once design is complete to move into development and building in functionality. However it is important to understand that website development is a process and there is a lot of testing and tweaking which goes into this process. Design may not be complete until development and testing has taken place.

4. the best result will be a collective effort

Although you know best when it comes to your business, you may not know everything when it comes to achieving the best result with your website. Allowing your web developer to help you achieve a good result is the ideal way to achieve the best possible outcome.

5. it’s not entirely about the look

As business owners we want to create a certain look and feel when it comes to marketing our business. However, when it comes to websites there will be certain elements where it becomes more important to consider the functionality of the site than the design. You website must work for you.

These are just a few points to consider before you choose someone to help you with your website. And there is one overriding contributor – which I believe should determine your direction – follow your instinct. You must feel comfortable with your developer. You must have a good relationship and understand each other. This doesn’t always dictate the outcome, but at least if you work with people you like your days at work are more enjoyable.

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