Unless you are tech-savvy, the chances are that you’ll want to pay someone else to design your company’s website. Even if you’re willing to learn coding and web development, it will be huge time drain to master it enough to produce a high-quality product.
Therefore, it makes sense financially to employ someone else to do this. Professional website designers will be able to produce a great site for you without hassle. They will know what works and what doesn’t, and can apply this to your website. This means you can focus on running your business instead.
Firstly, they must have a degree of technical capability, and be able to produce the features you want quickly and to a good standard. Look for evidence that they can produce websites to a standard you want – this can be through samples on their website.
However, the most important aspect of a web developer from your point of view is their customer service skills. While you may think that you’ll want to pick someone who is technically superior, this should not be top of your wish-list.
What you should look for is someone who communicates with you. Trust me, it’s no good having the best coder in the world if they never reply to your messages or requests.
A pitfall of many technically great developers is their complete lack of customer service. All they want to do is get on with their work and think it’s ok just to tell you when they’re done. They don’t want to reply to messages, or tell you what’s going on, as they see that as wasted time.
“The most important aspect of a web developer, from your point of view, is their customer service skills.
While you may think that you’ll want to pick someone who is technically superior, this should not be top of your wish-list.”
Imagine you want to make a change to your website, and you envisage going live with it in a few days. So, you submit a request to your website developer – and you hear nothing back. Now you’re wondering – have they received your message? Are they working on it? Will I be able to go live in a few days? You then end up calling them to find out what’s going on.
Now, from here, you may find out that they are working on it and it’ll be completed in your timeframe. You may think “Great, I’ll be able to add my new feature on time”. However, imagine this process every time you want an update to your website – it soon becomes stressful and frustrating.
Even worse, you may find out that they are not working on it. This is because they are busy completing work for another project. This is fair enough if they have multiple clients (as is likely with any web developer). They will need to make time for all their customers’ needs, unless you’re paying them enough to keep them on retainer.
Imagine though, when you contacted them with your request that they had replied the same day with “Sorry, I’m busy with X in the next few days. However, I can start work on your request after this and have it ready next week”.
How would you feel now? Sure, it’s not ideal, but at least you know where you stand. If your feature needs to go live in the next few days, you can use your time to find a solution, rather than chasing your web developer. If not, you can choose to wait. Either way, this situation makes it less stressful for you.
Now we’ve established the importance of communication, your web designer should be offering you these things:
All things considered, there’s a simple test to see whether you should stick with your web developer – if you’re having to chase them for answers, it’s time to look elsewhere. Ask yourself, if they worked directly for your company, would you accept this kind of behaviour? Or would you look to replace them with someone else?
If you would like a free no-obligation discussion about your site or having one designed, I'm your man. Click on my profile and contact me at my website or on LinkedIn. Let's add value to your business.
Tom is a skilled Website Developer (he made this site for us!) who also has extensive management experience as the General Manager of Australian Training Resource Provider, RTO Materials. He's also an NCTJ-accredited journalist!
Tom has expertise in web design and development, content creation and people management. If you need a great website that works hard for your business at an affordable price, Tom's your guy!