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!