Contributed by: Lorraine Hart
If you are planning for a new website or a redesign, be sure to investigate the company you plan to hire to do the job. There are critical mistakes that can be made that may affect your company’s reputation and even cost you future business.
While you are looking for a company, research carefully and read reviews from independent sources. The results may uncover complaints and problems that could seriously cost you and your business.
There are several red flags to look for:
- A website company that uses templates rather than customizing.
- A company that offers to create a duplicate or additional website for you. Companies will tell you that it will be easier for you to get found, but actually, you will be competing with yourself and eventually your ranking will be lowered by Google.
- Website companies that develop one-page websites; i.e. they have little content and poor structure. It will be unlikely that you will be found.
- Promises of a price or timeframe that is too good to be true. If it seems too good to be true it probably is.
- Failing to redirect pages from your old website to your new website. This will result in “broken links”. Google interprets broken links as a problem – and they may lower your rankings and assume you are not reputable.
- A website that goes directly to a video. The video may be incompatible with a type of phone, or may require additional software. This may result in a poor experience and many people may be turned off by sound. Although videos are beneficial for a website the visitor must have the ability to turn it on, pause it or turn it off. Otherwise, potential customers may avoid your website and have a negative view of your company.
- Publishing of an incomplete website. Any web designer that does this, for example, with lots of “coming soon” pages, is unprofessional and creates a bad impression of your company. When a potential customer sees an unfinished website, what might they think about the work you would do in their home?
Most of the time, web design firms will have a portfolio of sites which they have either created or worked on. Don’t just look at their screen shots. Visit the websites and look at the structure and content of them. Sometimes, unscrupulous web designers will put sites in their portfolio that they actually had nothing to do with.
Do your due diligence and research to find a reputable company to work with.
About the author:
Lorraine Hart is the president and senior consultant for Ideal Consulting Services who have been providing business consulting, coaching and training to small businesses in the construction industry since 1992. She is a national member of NARI and is also a regular contributor to the Texas Home and Garden blog and the coordinator and editor of the weekly home articles for the Houston Chronicle. Lorraine can be reached at 832-569-5079 orwww.idealconsulting.net.