Download the eBook
The following is from our recently published eBook, Planning Your Next Website, of which you can download in its entirety for free. As a website support company, we see the good, the bad, the ugly (and the really ugly). We hope to help organizations make the right hiring choices when it comes to having their next website built.
We work with a lot of websites that we didn’t build; some are marvelous examples of computer science genius and others are… not. Over the last year we have taken a close look at some of the more troublesome websites we work with, we have talked to many of our clients about their frustrations and in full disclosure I think we probably lost a client or two because we had nothing but bad news for them.
The Critical Point of Failure for a Bad Website
Based on our observations and internal conversations we came to the, maybe obvious, conclusion that there is a critical point of failure that can lead to a horrible website experience for any company. This is the point of hiring a freelancer, studio, or agency to build their website. The wrong hire means a bad website, it’s as simple as that.
Whose Fault is it Anyway?
So we asked ourselves, when this happens, who’s fault is that? Is it the client’s fault for not planning correctly and effectively communicating their needs to their developer/designer? Is it the fault of the developer/designer for overstating their technical skill? Is it a combined fault of the developer for not asking the right questions or the client not understanding the scope of the project? The answer to all these is probably a simple “yes”.
Well, we could just yell to ethos-sphere, “Stop it” but that would mean nothing. It would mean nothing because non-technical clients (marketing/communications executives, business owners, account executives, agency representatives, etc.) simply don’t always know the right questions to ask, the right way to write an RFP, the correct language to use when describing complex software challenges. Developers and designers in turn are often so focused on making a sale that they answer “yes we can do that” to anything while planning to Google it later.
In other words, there is simply no way for a website development/design client to cut through the fluffy bullshit, evaluate a development service provider and make a decision based on much more than a nice portfolio, jargon-filled RFP answers and glowing testimonials. Often times it’s a non-technical person buying a very technical product and that is tough!
Taking a Stand Against Bad Web Development
So, focused on this major point of failure, the planning and hiring of an individual or team to build a website we asked ourselves: How can we help?The answer: bestow our knowledge (‘cause we are so brilliant) so as to help others make a calculated decision at this critical point in the process so they are set up for success from the very start. That’s where this (very long – it’s like 20 freak’n pages long) book comes in.
From planning a website, to writing a meaningful RFP, to evaluating developers and considering all important aspects upfront (including performance and search engine optimization), we hope to send website buyers down the right path, a path of success. The book covers:
- Choosing the right person or team to build/design your next website
- Planning for the various development phases
- Prepping for your next website project
- Evaluating a developer
- Performance and search engine optimization considerations
- Planning for hosting, support, and maintenance
It’s our hope that if someone were to actually read this from front to back that they would have the knowledge and a framework to define their project, convey their needs in an RFP and to evaluate those responses – identifying and skipping all crap that is out there.