Website management companies in tough economies have been known to close up shop, disappearing with clients’ files, and leaving businesses with no way to manage their websites. These tips will help you avoid the same problems.
7 Tips for Outsourcing a Website Developer:
- First, determine that the company is American-based. The vast of the majority of major IT companies have outsourced off shore…to Europe, the Philippians, or India. Besides supporting American companies, you will reduce verbal communication problems and cultural differences (extended holiday periods, work ethics and other cultural influences you might be unaware of). Naturally, some outsourcing companies are very good, and this is not intended as a blanket statement for all. However, you can see how different standards can lead to frustration and conflict.
I am a small company based in Colorado, USA and understand the challenges associated with poor communication. I always strive keep clients informed on their website design status.
- Check the experience and/or education level of the personnel. Look for qualified technical personnel (this means personnel with degrees and industry experience). Ask a real embarrassing question, “What is your employee turnover rate?” There is an extremely high turnover rate in the IT world – with large companies sometimes in the 300% range. High turnover leads to a high level of inexperienced, non-dedicated personnel filling the void.
I am a solo small business owner. I am very resourceful at solving problems and providing the best possible service. When necessary, I have a team available that can help resolve any problems.
- Where are you hosting the website? Check the website’s Shared Hosting complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Shared hosting isn’t a bad thing. In fact, most websites don’t drive enough traffic to warrant dedicated servers, so yours will likely have share hosting. But you want to check the guaranteed network up time, and the security features if you have an online store or collect other sensitive data, etc.
I do not provide hosting services for websites. I have had experience with multiple hosting companies over the years, and am more than happy to recommend companies for you to consider.
- Get client referrals and talk to them. Also, look at testimonials…and see if they are credible. Compare BBB complaints to testimonials. Do the numbers match up? For example, how could a company with over 250 complaints in the Better Business Bureau, have glowing testimonials?
My portfolio is my testimonial. Any of these people can be contacted through their respective contact pages. I will never let a single complaint to the BBB go unresolved.
- As far as the design itself, make sure you are getting a site that is designed around SEO principals…meaning it is designed using CSS, and is compatible with current versions of all the major browsers: IE, Chrome, FireFox and Safari.
I know the importance of these design principles, and adhere to them on all sites I design.
- Ask how flexible the process is as far as introducing changes. No one ever gets into a design without thinking of something to add. Some design companies only allow one or two “design updates” before charging for changes.
I want you to be happy with your website and will do my best to accommodate design changes. I am confident that any extra services I provide will come back to me in other ways, sometimes tangible, sometimes not.
- Ask if they have a ‘closed’ system of communication where you have to log into their system to check your website’s progress? Some companies do, making it very difficult to keep up with messages requiring your action. Some companies have been known to give you less than 24 hours to approve the final website before it is published. If you miss that deadline, the site is published and the account is considered closed. Any design changes would cost extra.
I do not use a closed communication system. All websites I develop are built on my own development URL and clients have open and full access to that web address so that they can view and monitor progress, approve edits, and when ready, approve the actual ‘Go Live’ publishing of the website . I communicate through DropBox, email and phone.
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