Your buddy building your website could be your first step towards business disaster

Don’t mix business and pleasure.

I am always intrigued by the answer to this question “Who built your website?” and the all too common answer “Oh, this guy I know built it for me…”

The follow up question – “how’s your website working for you?” (cue sharp intake of breath from small business owner and a look of embarrassment at their current online offering). Why is this? Why not fix it? The answer is simple; it’s always difficult to properly critique the efforts of a friend, relative, or the friendly web developer down the road you met down the pub.

You probably choose them because they were doing you a favour, saving you some money, getting your website knocked up quickly and now you’re stuck with an online shop front that doesn’t look very good and worse still, doesn’t work hard for you in driving traffic that could convert into valuable new customers.

The proliferation of what I call ‘web-co’; thousands of independent, one man band web designers who in the mid to late 2000’s created a huge graveyard of poorly built, horrifically designed websites which fester like relics in time. What’s more, the huge variations in service level, price and quality has left thousands of small business owners skeptical over whether they should ever trust a web designer again.

Does this sound like you?

Unfortunately in this increasingly digital world, your online presence is not something you should leave to chance. You need to work closely with a reputable web design company which has the expertise to help you build and manage your online brand, ensuring potential customers can quickly identify with your business and reach out to contact with an intention of making a purchase.

Here are my top tips to make sure you aren’t left with a new relic for the online graveyard:

  1. Check out some of their recent work, do you like the style of website they build?
  2. Does the web developers own website look any good?
  3. How do they rate on Google reviews?
  4. Do they use open source platforms for development such as WordPress? Important if you do ever want to move to another web development agency.

Don’t fall foul of the ‘guy down the road’ trap. Obey the good old rule to never mix business and pleasure.

Creares Advice Centre is full of helpful tips, tricks and advice to help your business succeed online. Take a read here.