The Dirty Business of Web Development

cjones Uncategorized

As the Director of Business Development at Visual Compass Web Design, it’s my job to help our clients create the best website for their business or organization. If you haven’t gotten the memo yet, a website can literally make or break a business. Your revenue, growth potential, reputation, and ability to attract talent, are all greatly impacted by your presence online. This is why it’s essential to use a professional company to handle your development and design needs!

It seems that every week, I encounter a client that did not entrust their website to a pro, or even worse, a reputable pro. It’s important for business owners to understand the dangers when choosing who they hire to build, design, and administer their website. Being aware of some common dirty practices can save you a huge headache and thousands of dollars.

Pros Before Bros!
This is not the time to use your cousin, your brother-in-law, your friend’s friend, or anyone else that “does web stuff on the side, and can cut you a deal!” There really are a whole lot of differences in a professional website and an amateur site. What you see at first glance of a design is only one piece of it. There are security issues to consider, reputation management concerns, SEO consequences, and the often made mistake of overlooking your site’s mobile responsiveness. At Visual Compass, we are able to offer clients a full range of web and marketing services, and handle everything in house. Our sites are all built using a mobile responsive content management system. And we have the expertise to market that website for you. Our client is a part of their project every step of the way, using our agile approach. We take in frustrated and unsatisfied clients from those “web guys!” We produce happy clients with a website that is put to work for their business.

Ownership Ownership! Access Access!
In the past two weeks, I have had at least four conversations with prospective client’s that are being “held hostage” by their current web company. You see, held hostage means that the web company that you hired, refuses to give you access to your own website! They are the only ones that possess the login and password, and they have no interest in sharing it with you now that you want to take your web development business elsewhere! Even worse, are the web companies that purchased and administer your domain in their name, and refuse to turn it over! What this means to you as a business owner, is that the URL that you think is owned by you, is actually owned by that friend of a friend that you hired to design your site on the cheap. They are not administering your domain. They own your domain. If you find yourself in this situation – no ownership of your domain, no access to your website – your only option is to beg and plead with your current provider to turn over the goods, or start over with a new domain and rebuild your website entirely. Visual Compass gives client’s immediate access to their site, and is strictly an administrator. You have your login and password for your website at all times. Your site is yours. You can pick it up and take it elsewhere, anytime you like!

Hmmm….Where Have I Seen That Design Before???
You’ve seen the commercials. Build your own website for $100! While those companies do serve their purpose for the cash strapped entrepreneur that is just trying out their business idea, they are not a good fit for most businesses. Most businesses need to stand out from their competition. They need to offer something different….tell you their story….make the consumer want to choose them. A canned template design isn’t going to make someone choose you over the next guy. There are limitations with templates. There are functionality and design parameters in place that won’t allow you to develop the best user experience for your customer. The minute you choose a template design, you can be assured that hundreds of other people probably just chose the same one. Your law firm website is gonna look just like the plumber’s. Not a good way to motivate potential customers, and drive your revenue. Visual Compass collaborates with you on your brand and identity and puts our graphic designer to work. We build a website that is completely tailored to your business, using a custom design with your business goals and customer experience in mind.

Keeping these three common pitfalls in mind can lead you to a website that truly makes a positive impact on your company. Finding a reputable web firm that is eager to build an honest, collaborative relationship with you, and deliver a superior outcome for both you and your customers is what it’s all about at Visual Compass. And for those web guys that insist on dirty business practices in order to keep their pockets lined? Thanks for the new clients!