It can be gutting when the new website you’ve invested time and money in turns out to be sub-standard. Here’s what you can do to avoid website disappointment.

What if your new website isn’t working? Part 1

Not all web developers are created equal

Of course, web design, like any other area of design, is subjective. But there are certain standards of working you can check with your developer beforehand, and questions you can ask, to ensure, as much as possible, that the final website you are presented with matches, and hopefully exceeds, your expectations.

What can go wrong?

You describe to the web developer what you want, give them your branding and imagery, explain the functionality and structure you think you need and go about your day, trusting the designer to interpret all this perfectly. Right?

Not really.

You don’t like the final design of the website

This is the most common problem, and one we see a lot from our clients coming for new web builds. 

After you brief your developer, you wait and wait for the build and then, on completion, you hate it; it doesn’t fit your brand, your style or your values. It’s too late, and too expensive to do it all over again and you’re stuck with a website you can’t stand to look at. You blame yourself; you blame the developer; it’s an unpleasant situation.

How to avoid

Granted, you can’t do much after it’s all done and paid for. But beforehand: ask the developer at the start of the project, how they will get your approval on the design, before the job progresses too much. Will they show you a mock-up template, or wireframe, so you can check it’s on the right lines, and you like it? You need to check that at this point, you’re able to walk away, or pay a minimum fee for the time spent.

You can’t update your website yourself

You already know that you want to alter some of the text, upload blogs regularly and change any practical details, like contact, delivery, and product and service info, and yet, you don’t have the ability to do that. It seems as if you are in the position of having to contact, and pay, the developer, every time you want to update the website.

How to avoid

Maybe you’re happy to pay your developer every time you want to update, but if you’re not, you need to make sure beforehand that you are going to be able to do it yourself. Ask your developer about the editing system, and your own login. If it’s a WordPress website, there’s a content management system (CMS) that makes it easy for you to update. And if you need help with this, check that you can get some sort of tutorial, or training session to set you up and running.

You can’t find your new website on Google

Your website is live and has been for a few weeks. But there’s just one problem - you can’t find your website in the search results and you’re worried. What could have gone wrong? You’re not anywhere to be found.

How to avoid

Hopefully it would just be a technical hitch. But check beforehand with your developer, how they are going to ensure your visibility with the search engines. Will the URLs be search-friendly, will the build adhere to Google Search Central (Webmaster) guidelines, and will they list your pages with Google from day one, so they can start to be returned in results?

Hopefully these pointers help prep you for the job of finding a good web developer. Coming next, our second part to this blog of further points to check, so your new website is exactly what you want.