So you have recently appointed a new web developer for your latest project. But how do you know if you are being ripped off?
Unless your site genuinely does not need a CMS because your site is a static HTML single page site, such as a placeholder leaflet, then your site needs a CMS. Otherwise every time you wish to change any piece of content on the site, no matter how small the content change is, if you do not have a CMS then you will have to ask your web developer to make this change for you. This will inevitably cost you money for every single content change and before long your web developers have a monopoly on you and you are being ripped off. Not to mention that your web developers have all the control over your site.
Using outdated/depreciated coding methods or software can be a huge problem in web projects and can be a sign that your web developers are taking you for a ride.
Outdated software/code can cause a multitude of security risks. This is because security holes are found by the third party software company and are patched in updated versions, however if the latest version of the software is not used by your web developer, then your site could be vulnerable to those security holes.
Compatibility issues with other software, browsers, hardware, etc. are also a big problem with outdated software/code. The latest version of the software/code used by your web developer may support newer hardware/software or browser versions. But, if the latest version is not used, then rendering issues can be caused for users visiting your site, or your site may straight up have missing content and nobody wants that.
If you web developer uses old software/code then it could be a sign that your web developer is stuck in their ways and not willing to adapt to newer techniques/styles of web dev. This is bad and could be a sign that your web developer is ripping you off!
However, having said that, there may be a genuine reason for using outdated software/code. Such as if the newer version of the software/code has security or compatibility issues with other software/code. And using the newer software/code could cause more issues than it fixes. So its probably best to check with your web developer before jumping to conclusions.
If your web developer often does not listen to you, and deviates away from the plan, or your web developer misses out on features that you asked for, then your web developer may be unsure of what you want.
Now, let this be clear, that we are not completely against web developers in this blog (even though it might seem like it), often times there are many good reasons for situations like this to occur.
Using communication methods such as telephone and email for example, can be hard to convey information for both parties, from the customer to the developer, and vice versa. Moreover, remember that web developers are not designers, and if there is not a clear, detailed design to base a project off then this can often be the base for where things start to go wrong.
However, having said that, a good web developer tries to listen and understand even when the situation may not be ideal, and does not deviate from the plan because they want to or that they find the original plan to difficult to implement.
Missing out on the odd question here and there may be acceptable due to the web developer either being busy, or maybe didn't receive the question via email or other communication method.
However, frequently dodging questions, especially ones of importance, can be a sign that your web developer is dodging your questions on purpose.
Your web developer may even dance around questions and not answer the questions fully. This may be because the question asked of them could show a weakness in the developer if answered truthfully.
If this is the case then either, keep persevering with your questions until they are answered, or move to a different web developer.
If your web developer frequently uses IT jargon such as "API" or "SQL" in communications without explaining what they mean, or if your web developer uses jargon in unnecessary situations, then your web developer may be trying to impress you with their knowledge.
This however, mainly leads to confusion in communications between the customer and the web developer, which can lead to projects not going as planned or slowed because of this confusion.
If you feel like this is the case then either get your web developer to speak plain English, explain what the jargon means, or move to a different web developer who doesn't insert IT jargon into every possible sentence just to seem impressive.
Can't find any testimonials on your web developer's site? Does your developer never come back to you when you ask to look at past client's work?
There's probably a good reason for this. Picture this. If your past clients are satisfied with the work you did for them and your past clients are raving about your work, then that would be something you would want to share right?
I mean it could be that your web developer has just started off and hasn't had many previous clients, or that your web developer can't get a hold of past clients because they are too busy raving (joke).
But really your web developer should be showing off their previous work, and if not, it's most likely because its not that great!
Overall a great web developer:
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