5 Things You Do NOT Need To Ask a Web Developer

If you’re a Work-at-Home Parent, setting up (or currently operating) a home-based business, then you will have noticed how many web developers and hosting providers offer advice in the form of a checklist. You know the sort of thing… “7 things you need to know before…”, “The 10 Things You Must Ask…”. It’s fantastic isn’t it? All these lovely people freely helping you come to the “right “decision – in other words, to decide to put your business with THEM.

It’s true, giving away free advice is a well-established marketing technique, and there is a lot of GREAT information available through that type of article, blog post etc. However, you do need to take such advice with a pinch of salt sometimes.

Loaded Questions

You see, when you start to analyse some of these lists, you start to see that they are questions that the developer would prefer you to ask them. They are almost invariably a reworked listing of that company’s particular strengths (or what they see as their strengths), rather than the set of basic rules they are dressed up as.

That’s fair enough, if you can’t lead people to your own services on your own web site, then where can you do that?At the same time, people can easily become blinded by science, and wind up paying more than they need to, or simply come to the conclusion they can’t afford it. After all, these lists come from what are perceived as experts, and you’ve got to follow the advice of experts, right?

What Not To Ask And Why

1. How long have you been building web sites?

OK, so experience is a good thing, however everyone starts somewhere. Van Gogh had a first painting, Einstein had a first theory, James Dyson had a first invention. You will be asked to ask this question by companies that have been around for a while.

2. How many web sites have you built?

This would typically be a follow-on question from the first. Think about it, does it matter if a business has built a few sites or hundreds? The fact is they haven’t built YOURS before, and that person just starting out might actually create a site that suits your needs perfectly.

3. Can you get my web site on the front page of Google search results?

Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most heavily sold services on the Internet today, with the possible exception of “online marketing systems that will do all the work for you”. A web developer will often specialise in the development aspects, while a search engine specialist can always be brought in to fine tune content and set up search engine strategies for ANY site.

However, when you’re first starting out (and particularly with home/hobby businesses) your initial focus should be to put something online. Then tell people about the site, include the web address on your business cards, include details in your literature and signage and so on.

Good SEO does not come cheap (as in $50 or less) – you can reasonably expect to pay about $350 per month for good quality SEO services.

4. Will I get a dedicated project manager allocated to my web site development?

If you are asked this, then that reflects the way this company runs its operations. Reality is that you don’t need to care if you get a project manager or not. What you actually need is someone who you can build a working relationship with and who can build your site.

If you’re getting a dedicated project manager then you’re paying for it – on the other hand if you simply deal with a freelance/sole-trader designer or developer then you’re probably going to pay less and benefit from dealing with the one person who is at least as passionate about the process as you are!

5. What experience do you have with marketing web sites?

If you’re looking for a provider who can build a site and market it for you, this question is fair enough. Clearly this issue will be raised by any company that offers a design, build and market package of some kind. However, if you find a developer you can work with, and they build your site in the right way then you are free to enlist the services of any marketing specialist you like.

You’ll probably save a few dollars along the way as well, especially if you use a home-based marketing specialist.

Like SEO, services like these don’t come cheap, and rightly so. If a company is offering a mixture of services then you will, inevitably, be funding their plush city offices, an admin team who simply manage the company itself PLUS the development, marketing and other costs.

The Really Important Stuff

As a Work-at-Home business operator, you probably don’t have time to build your own site, nor do you have a huge budget to have one built for you. In these circumstances, hand-picking a few specialists can prove to be a real cost-saver.

Even better, if you hire other home-based specialists then you won’t just keep costs down; your fellow Work-At-Home operators will have incredible insights into the specific issues that your business faces.

THAT level of understanding is priceless!

How Do I Outsource Web Development and Find Inspiration for My Website Design?

Finding a firm or freelancer to help get your website up and running can be a complex and time-consuming process. Your choice of design and Development Company will largely depend on your resources and objectives.

Whatever type or size of business you are starting or already running, you’re going to need some inspiration. It might come from a conversation with a friend, a chance encounter with a magazine or book, an existing website or any number of other sources. My personal favourite is picking your topic and start brain storming with a pen and paper. Once you’ve picked your short list type your ides to Google and right down ideas you like colours, call to action or even the way other people have structured their site navigation.

The important thing with inspiration is to be open-minded and aware of developing trends and techniques within the online marketplace. Observe which online businesses are enjoying success. Ask yourself why what they’re doing is working and try to see the connection between their business model, their website design and the way they connect with their audience to make a profit and grow their business.

Once you decide how you want to position your online business, how you want your site to look and how complex or simple you want to make your online presence, you’re going to need to find someone to turn your vision into reality.

This is where outsourcing your web development work comes into play.

You need to find someone who is going to suit your budget, style and objectives. If you are a sole trader looking to form a modest online business with a very simple website, a freelance web developer might do the trick.

If you’re a small to medium business looking to reach a wider audience and potentially grow and develop to take on bigger competitors, you’re going to need to connect with a larger and more versatile web design company.

It’s all about matching your resources and aims with the resources and abilities of your web designers and developers.

Begin by getting inspired. Be clear in your own mind what you want to achieve with your online business and how you want to get there, and be open and observant to the ways others in your industry (and other industries) are attacking their objectives.

Once you have done the necessary brainstorming and research, you’ll be in a strong position to make a sensible choice about outsourcing the web development work you’ll need.

Web Development Tips

Web development plays a very vital role in the present times. More and more companies are now getting on the Internet. That is why you need to maximize your online presence which is not possible without a meaningful website. Therefore website development requires careful attention so that you can lure more and more customers to your business. There are a number of tips that can help you in this regard.

• First of all, you need to bear in mind that the website you create should be simple, useful and direct. The sites that are inundated with unnecessary graphics or information are not very useful. Visitors find this confusing and they find it hard to get useful information from such sites. So remember to keep the layout and outlook simple and clean.

• The website needs to be attractive despite being simple. It should look professional so that visitors get a good first impression. You should use appropriate images and colors.

• The content of a website is also very important when it comes to the development of a site. Make sure that the information that you give is clear, concise and true.

• Another important web development tip is to make your website user friendly. Make sure that the graphics and text are balanced.

• Try to avoid flash based files in your website. This will help visitors access your site quickly and easily. Heavy websites take too much downloading time so just use simple images and graphics.

• You must also make your website search engine friendly. The use of proper keywords, descriptions and titles is important so that search engines can rank your site higher on the results. SEO plays a very important part in web development process. Follow Search engine optimization rules and guidelines as this will help you win more customers when your site comes in the top search engine results.

Remember that the more time you spend on developing your website; the better and faster the results you will be able to get. If you have expertise in web development you can do it on your own. If you are not familiar with web designing, you can hire professionals to do it for you. Whichever approach you take; it is important to have a general idea of web development so that you can be clear about what you want and how you can achieve it in the best possible manner.