I am a small business owner. When I work with any vendor, I want to make sure I’m getting the best value for my money. This post will give you some tips to make sure you get that value with your next web project.
1. Make Sure You Own Everything
Isn’t it great when you can get a vendor to just do everything for you, especially all of the technical stuff? Of course it is! The problem with letting that happen during a website build is that you could end up with a website that you can’t update, maintain, or move. Even worse, you might not even own the website! Here are a few things you can do to prevent that from happening to you:
- Before you find someone to build your website, register your domain name(s). You can use GoDaddy, Register.com, or Namecheap. If your developer is registering the domain name for you, make sure they list you as the owner, and not themselves.
- Make sure whatever web hosting you and the provider decide to use is set up with your name on the account. You also need to have a username and password for the hosting control panel.
- Get an administrator username and password for the content management system dashboard.
As your developer works on the site, you might need to set up additional accounts. Either set them up yourself, or ask the developer to set them up using your name and email address.
If your developer offers training, take advantage of it! You should know at least the basics of adding content to your website. If the developer doesn’t offer any training, as them for it.
2. Stability Matters
Over the past few months, several small business owners have approached me about taking over maintenance of their websites, because the previous developer simply vanished. In some cases, these business owners paid for 1-2 years of maintenance in advance, and now that money is gone.
About two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least 2 years and about half survive at least 5 years.Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Employment Dynamics.
Sadly, some small businesses will fail, and that includes businesses that build websites. Before you invest a large amount of money into ongoing maintenance, do your best to make sure the company will still be around to provide that maintenance. Ask them how long they’ve been in business, and get client references. If someone recommended them, make sure they actually used them for a project, and didn’t just meet them at a networking event. Sometimes people can be great at selling themselves, but not so good at following through with delivery.
3. The Lowest Bid Might Not Be the Best Value
You need to keep costs down as much as possible. I get it. Just keep in mind that the lowest bid for your project might end up costing you more. Sure, that $500 bid might be tempting, but it’s probably unrealistic, and you’re probably going to end up paying a lot more in the long run. Refer back to the tip about stability!
We have had to fix quite a few “cheap” websites. Sometimes it only takes us a few hours, but sometimes we basically have to start from scratch. When you work with a company that’s been around for 10+ years, run by a developer who has been in the business for 25+ years, you might pay more up font, but you’re going to end up getting a much better return on your investment.
Start your next web project armed with your new knowledge. If you’d like to get a great return on investment for your next web project, from a company that’s been around for more than a decade, contact us. We’ll make sure you own everything that’s yours to own!