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W hen we sit down with new clients, the main issue unfortunately is people get taken advantage of and charged obscene amounts of money for something incomplete and give website design a bad name. We understand that when your developer doesn’t respond you can feel alienated and alone. In 2016, we had numerous clients who had been web mastered to the point of losing their entire website and database, forcing them to start fresh. As discouraging as this can be for our clients we like to look at this as a time for new beginnings. I felt compelled to write this post with some tips on how to protect your investment if you choose to work with a third party website design company instead of working with a transparent team like Zeeqk.
Answer: Simply ask for more details! When you get an estimate from Zeeqk, you get a detailed breakdown of the services that directly correlate to the cost of development. We provide a basic estimate for straightforward projects, large proposals for more in-depth projects, and we are happy to have a sit down meeting to discuss the project parameters in greater detail. We even go so far as to show you the front and back end of recent websites we've built, so you know exactly what you're paying for. If your developer or website design studio gives you a basic invoice before a proposal or estimate, beware. The main reason you want a detailed estimate is simple, if the website design company can’t show you the value of an estimate it’s unlikely you will get a properly designed system as a finished product.
Answer: The most common mistake we see our clients make is losing domain control. Never give up control of your DNS records. If you retain control of your domain you can always build a new website at that address. If you transfer your domain name server or DNS to another developer's account, you will lose control of that name unless prior agreements are in place. This can happen without your knowledge at all, domain theft is on the rise and if you have expensive top level domains make sure you monitor what's going on with them at all times to avoid losing control. Looking up your web developer to read reviews and asking their past clients about their experience is another way to check their legitimacies. Ultimately, trust your gut. Websites are a large investment, and if you don't feel comfortable with the person or team you are considering working with, don't.
Answer: Bummer, your developer wasn’t a developer, they signed you up for a website builder. Drag and drop web-based software like Wix and Squarespace offer a lot of value up front. Long term, these web builders are frustrating and expensive at $29 a month. Over 5 years time you will have spent over $2200 on your web builder site, plus whatever time investment you've put into it. Add the fact that your builder site isn't built for YOUR business, it's built for convenience. Convenience doesn't usually translate to success. We pack our websites full of SEO friendly information that you simply can't put into your builder sites - no matter how hard you try. This is where you need to ask yourself: Do I want to invest up front, and make more than my investmentback within X years? Consider how much your product or service sells for, and how many sales you'd need to pay the investment off. Many of our clients realize after even a $3500 investment, once they get just a few customers, they've paid off their investment and now they have a long-term solution they won't have to worry about for years.
The average cost of a custom WordPress website lands around $3000. With a do it yourself/builder platform, the builders limit your marketing capabilities, cutting you off at the knees. You will lack insights into your demographics and feel immediate pressure when you are told you cannot add a specific function to your website. These builders are for BASIC websites, not small businesses. We only recommend these builders for something like a high school fundraiser or non-profit event where budget it tight, and long-term goals aren't a priority.
“The public is more familiar with bad design than good design. It is, in effect, conditioned to prefer bad design, because that is what it lives with. The new becomes threatening, the old reassuring.” – Paul Rand
At the end of all this, we hope you've gained some valuable insight into working with web developers. What to look for, what to stay away from, and how to end up with something you're happy with. Here at Zeeqk, we try and be as open and honest as we can be. We understand we might not be the right fit for you, and you may not be the right fit for us either! But the only way to know is to get in touch and see firsthand. As a show of our transparency and honesty in design, we offer all initial consultations and project meetings completely free. No obligations whatsoever. And if you decide we're the right fit for you, we are happy to get started on your beautiful new solution.