by Terry Young
Knowing the difference can save your money, and your business
The Internet is easily accessible by anyone with a computer, and with an abundance of free web site software and templates, it is easy to make money selling these on to businesses.
This make an easy buck possibility, coupled with the fact that there is very little experience needed, is why it seems that everyone you meet says they are a web designer. While a web site can genuinely benefit a business if done correctly, it has become increasingly difficult for companies to find someone who has the necessary knowledge and experience to help their business online. The bottom line is that companies simply don't know enough to see beyond a pretty design, low initial price, and tech jargon when commissioning a new site.
This is ironic, because with these simple questions you can determine if they can really help your business or are just out to make a quick buck for themselves.
1. Is what you're selling something that you created? This is very important. Someone reselling something they got elsewhere will most likely not have the knowledge to make additions or fix errors that arise. Furthermore, if they are simply downloading free software, like Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress, you have major security issues to consider, and the designer must regularly go back to where they got the software and check for new error reports and apply security patches to your site. Because we created the WebUpdate system ourselves, we can troubleshoot and address any issues quickly.
2. How long have you been doing this, and is it your full-time job? The Internet is an ever-changing arena. We have been doing this full time for 15 years, and keeping up requires constant work. A professional web designer or developer needs to devote their full attention to your site. It is not good if they have only been doing this for a short time or are making your site part-time around their real job.
3. Can you prove how will you promote my business? This is the single most important question, as it can end up costing you a great deal of money if answered wrong. Anyone who can help your business online will be eager to prove it. You should be suspicious of anyone who skirts the issue or just makes promises without backing them up with evidence or logs from other clients. This leads to the question that every business owner should be asking themselves and the designer:
4. How much will this really cost? To get a fair comparison, this must involve not only the initial cost, but ongoing fees. There have been many times that prospective clients have said that someone had offered them a site for 1/2 the cost of ours. However, when pushed further, they acknowledged that the designer also expected them to sign an ongoing maintenance and pay-per-click advertising plan, costing sometimes thousands of dollars a month, forever.
Once their site is developed, our clients do not have to use pay-per-click advertising. We fix bugs free of charge, and have unlimited phone and email support for up to a year. After that, clients can keep their site coding up to date for a small monthly fee.
If you have concerns about your web site, call today and ask about our WebUpdate systems. These take advantage of our advanced marketing, SEO and promotion, designed to take your online business to a new level, without costing a small fortune.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design. Since 1997,