At Coppertops we see a lot of websites that have been created “as a favour“. Usually by clients who then need the website redesigned correctly because it just hasn’t worked out.
I know what you’re thinking….you would say that. And I know where you’re coming from. You as a business owner, are not sure how useful a website would be so you don’t want to spend a “fortune” on creating something you’re not convinced you need. So you ask your nephew/niece/brother or cousin to throw something together for you.
Well leaving aside the fact that a) you DO need a website and b) it DOESN’T have to cost a fortune, have you considered that this low cost/free option may end up costing you more than you realise in the end?
When you do get your nephew or your cousin or the guy/girl you used to work with to “design” your website, you need to take the following into consideration:
Hosting & Domain Registration
When your website is live, do you know where it is hosted? Do you know where the domain is registered and do you have the usernames and passwords to access both?
If you ever want to change anything, you will need to know. What if that cousin is now in college or gone abroad and has NO idea where that information is now…..didn’t they send it to you already..I think I might have..it was so long ago…search your inbox? Do you have the time in your business working day to start searching for logins and passwords you’re not sure you even have?
Do you know what the site is written in? HTML, Joomla, WordPress, the list is endless.
Do you know how to update it yourself or are you relying on them? Have you received any training? How will you update it if your cousin is working on an oil rig in the North Sea?!
Even if they’re not on the high seas, and you need your latest offers on the site immediately, can you get in touch with them and will they realise the urgency of the request? If you want regular updates, how are they going to feel about that if they too have full time jobs or are in the middle of exams? Will you lose on business out as a result?
The use of imagery on a website must be of a good quality, a particular format and must be legally acquired for use. Will your cousin know this or will they just swipe an image from a google search and use that? Will they know the imagery sites to use and under what licence images can be used? Getty Images regularly send legal demands for payment to website owners who unknowingly have illegally used images without proper authorisation or payment. And YOU as the website owner will be held responsible.
How will you keep your website maintained and up to date? Will your cousin have kept up informed of the new changes in technology and be able to implement upgrades so that your site is now mobile friendly? If putting together websites is just a hobby, will they be up to date in the changes to the Google algorithms or Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or even be aware of the new trends. Being left behind will cost your business money.
How experienced is your cousin in designing websites anyway? Have they done many sites before? Have you seen them, can you judge the quality of their work? Are they using old fashioned methods to code or have they kept pace with technology? Have they done all types of websites, ecommerce, mobile friendly, catalogue sites, sites with CMS? You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive so never employ anyone without seeing the quality of their previous work.
You will need support after your site goes live. To make updates, to maintain security and keep the site online. How much support can your “designer” actually give you? If this isn’t their day job and they already have a full plate themselves, how easy is it going to be for you to get this type of aftercare?
You need to take all of this into consideration and remember while this website may have been “free”, dealing with all of the above can be costly in terms of time, aggravation and stress. And you will still have to go and pay a proper web designer in the end.
If you want to check out our experience and the types of websites we’ve done already, check out our portfolio.