I’m sitting here at Starbucks doing some online marketing for my business, holtis.com. In my journey as a business owner/entrepreneur I’m learning a great deal of information through my experiences selling services to other businesses. The saying “you get what you pay for” is very true, as some will choose to save money at the expense of quality. Typically it costs more to do things this way, you just pay for it at a later date.
My biggest battle seems to be getting some of these decision makers to realize how important it is to do things right in the beginning, even though it may cost more. My best and most successful clients are the ones that realize there are costs involved and are willing to make the investment.
As I look through listings for people seeking web designers and developers, I quickly see the importance of how valuable being a consultant is. Obviously if these people are looking for web designers they most likely don’t know a lot about web design and development. Where they get their ideas of what they think they need for this website I have no idea, but it’s absurd. Since when do people really know what they need? Their minds are limited to only what they know, which is generally a very narrow vision.
The typical listing will state how such and such company is looking for a web designer to perform some kind of outdated time consuming tasks and offers to pay something really low. Some are even stating the position as an “internship that will look good on a resume”. So this results in a website that is not only built by amateurs, but also hard to maintain since most new developers do not know to put comments in their code. That means as soon as they want an update, what should take a matter of minutes may take hours. Multiply this over a year and you can imagine the actual costs endured.
Saving a couple thousand dollars in the beginning is going to end up costing thousands over years when the site needs to be maintained/updated. That doesn’t even account for the accidental mishaps of messing up code and trying to fix it because a backup plan wasn’t created. Now they end up with a website that is unappealing to their users and expensive to upkeep. There are thousands of sites like these populating the internet. Is there a solution?
In result of this, I plan on starting a marketing campaign and program to help clear the internet of horrible websites. I’ll target non-profits at first and then open up to small businesses as time goes on. I’ll simply offer heavily discounted website services and links to many resources online that will help guide them in better development, like http://www.usability.gov.