Website Expectations vs Website Reality

Budget

“Free” websites are promoted as being as good as – or even better than – full budget sites, leading to disappointment when you discover that the free option is not exactly free, doesn’t exactly meet your needs or you very quickly outgrow its capabilities.

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Being found

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There’s an expectation that as soon as you launch your new website it will appear as the first entry on Google search. Some SEO companies promise a silver bullet approach to getting the #1 spot on Google, which is a huge red flag as genuine SEO involves a number of factors and takes some time.

Themes

Premium (and even free!) WordPress themes are promoted with super glossy screenshots showing how they could look. When applied to your website, with your content, and without the photos or videos from the demo version, they can look very different and often turn out not to be fit for your purpose, which is incredibly disappointing if you have spent your hard-earned money on it.

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Time

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The “free” options are also touted as being fast, eg get your website online in an hour. While it is theoretically possible to build and launch a website in an hour (if you are starting with a site layout, design, and content ready to go along with the technical know-how to pull it all together) the reality is almost always very different. Even when you have a ton of experience, last-minute tweaks and rewriting mean the process requires a little more time than 60 mins.

DIY

We’re bombarded by ads telling us that we can do our own website. Again, technically this is true. However, if you are going to save money by taking the DIY approach you must be aware that saving money is most likely going to cost you extra time. If you have more time than money then this can be the best option, but we would always prefer you make an informed choice! Building a web page that looks professional, performs well, and is responsive (just for starters) is a more involved process than you may expect.

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Images

close up shot of printed photos

If I had a euro… Please please please do not take images from google images for your website. Check you have permission to use your images. Use your own images if you can (there are free stock photo websites which can be a good temporary measure while you work on your own) and use the best quality photos that you can – but optimise them for speed so they don’t slow down your site!

Launch and ✅ Done

Once you build and launch your website the job is done, ticked off the to-do list, and no more effort is required. Right?! Eh no. If you do this your website will not be found, will look stale to anyone who does visit and if you don’t have (at least!) website management going on in the background will be at risk from security attacks. It’s a living breathing part of your business and will work harder for you if you give it some care and attention.

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Show me the money

person putting coin in a piggy bank

If your perception of web development is that all developers are the same then you may be tempted to make your choice based solely on price. Whether it’s going as cheap as possible or thinking that expensive means better, money should not be the primary factor in making this decision. Instead, we would recommend that you decide on a budget for the work you want to do and then look to get the maximum return possible on your investment. In addition, trust is a huge factor in website work and we would always recommend hiring a web developer who you feel you can work with.

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2022-04-13 Website Expectations vs Reality

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