If you’re like many people who speak with me about development, you may have had a bad – or at least severely challenging – development experience in the past. Depending upon what kind of site you had developed and how complex it was, your experience may have been a slow, agonizing, frustrating process of trying to verbalize orders for development and struggling to translate your desires for the site into actionable steps that WordPress developers could take to get it done. This is not how site development should be for anyone, and it isn’t for my clients and me.
The reason development is often so archaic and frustrating isn’t inherent to the development process, but it is part and parcel to the business relationship many have with developers and business people in this area of business. Here are a few of the things you should be aware of and look out for, if your trying to get a site built in a reasonable manner, these are the “red flags” you need to be wary of.
Is the Developer You Hire Actually the One Building the Site?
This industry is comprised in large part of resellers, these are people who are often wholly ignorant of development, and instead of applying a craft learned over the years, they are merely middlemen who contract with the lowest priced WordPress developers they can and then spend their time trying to find clients. If you are unfortunate enough to be one of those clients who buy from a reseller, you might be in for a really lousy process.
With resellers, you aren’t dealing with the people doing the actual work; instead, you are engaging with a person who is taking the job of building your site and shuffling information and assets over to a much lower-paid person who actually does the work. In theory, this can work okay, but in reality, it usually leads to disaster because the developer doing the work isn’t going to have a skill level relative to what you are paying – kind of like buying a used car, except in our business there is no carfax report.
If you do contract directly with a WordPress developer, you have to understand that not all programmers are the same. Programming is a highly specialized skill, and each programmer has a differing level of proficiency; if a programmer offers excellent work at rock bottom prices, you have to ask why that is – hint, it’s usually a lie. The fact is, good programmers who do great work are able to attract better clients and better work offers; they seldom sit at the proverbial street corner begging with a cup. If you contract a developer and they claim to have a laundry list of skills, it can be tricky, if not impossible, even for a seasoned person to distinguish fact from fiction.
There are many developers online who exist purely to scam people, and it’s not always as straightforward as you may think. There is a strategy employed by many that go something like this:
First, offer the client a meager price to begin development, get them to pay a bit, and give them a little bit of work product.
Second, tell them they have exhausted their funds with you and that you will need more money to keep developing their website.
Third, get them to pay more and repeat this process until they give up with you.
This simple strategy of drawing clients in and suckering them with delays and sluggish work coupled with demands for more money is one that many business people are familiar with – but you might not be; this is because it can be impossible to weed out who does this and who doesn’t. Often developers treat their clients in far away countries differently than they do clients in closer localities where court involvement may be possible.
Do Your Homework
The tools I work with to make sites are complex and ever-expanding; development is a process of continual self-education to stay on top of the latest design, security, and programming trends and changes; without doing this, it is very easy to fall into obsolescence and even easier to pass that harm on to would-be clients.
The most important thing you can do as someone looking to have a site developed is to do your homework on whoever you are going to have to build it for you. Check their portfolios, question them, get a sense of their past projects and keep a critical eye on developments. Make sure to get firm commitments about what you are paying for and never enter into open-ended engagements. Good WordPress developers spend time with their prospects so that both know exactly what they are getting into long before development commences.
With my clients, I take the time to get to know who they are, what their business objectives are, what goals are, and also to understand how much of my time it’s going to take to meet those goals and objectives. I never enter into open-ended engagements that commit me to do any more work than has been agreed upon, and I am always sure to communicate with my clients at each stage of the development process. My goal isn’t to process hundreds of websites in a year – not at all – my goal is to have strong, long-lasting relationships with my clients that span years as I help them to succeed online and we work together in a symbiotic relationship. If you want to know more about the work I do and what I can do for your business, don’t hesitate to contact me, I will reply, and you’ll realize very quickly that you’re dealing with a real person who cares about you and your business.