Take control of your website

By on Mar 17, 2016

For most of our clients, setting up a basic website is the easiest part of their marketing journey. They are technologists and know how to dive in and get it done.  But I taught marketing classes for Fairfax County’s Adult and Community Education program, so I’ve met many small business owners who are completely overwhelmed with website issues and dealing with unprofessional web developers.

They tell a hundred versions of the same frustrating story.  It usually goes something like this:

I hired a web developer who was:
a) some guy from India
b) a friend’s kid home from college for the summer
c) a part-time programmer who I heard from someone might be cheap and pretty good

For a 10 page website, he charged me:
a) $50
b) $250
c) $1000
d) $2500

Now there are problems with the site:
a) I can’t update anything
b) Something on the page is broken
c) It doesn’t work right on mobile browsers
d) It doesn’t appear in search engines
e) It’s hideously ugly and looks outdated
f) I got a cease and desist notice that all the photos were stolen

The developer can’t/won’t help me because:
a) He wants a lot more money to make changes
b) He won’t take my calls
c) He’s flaked/disappeared and no one knows where to find him
d) He says he’ll fix it but never gets around to it
e) He’s a jerk and I don’t like him

Putting up with this level of foolishness from a developer might be fine for your personal cat photo blog, but it’s utterly untenable for a professional trying to run a business. As a marketing professional it makes me angry to see so many people taken advantage of by incompetent and unscrupulous web developers.

It really doesn’t have to be this way.

Sure, the easy fix is to hire a top quality marketing agency like ours to develop a web strategy and build an awesome site for you.  But if you’ve been burned before; how can you be sure we’ll do a great job? If your company’s like most of the small businesses we meet in website hell, your sales and marketing programs will have been so profoundly damaged by having a non-functional website that you probably couldn’t afford our full service anyway.

The solution: you can do it yourself.

When we suggest that small business owners dive in and create their own version 1.0 website, sometimes they freak out. “This website stuff is really complicated! I don’t have time to spend weeks or months figuring all this out!”

When our strategic director Katherine Chalmers started programming websites in 1995, it was pretty complicated. But today setting up a great basic website is a breeze! With a couple of hundred dollars and a couple of weekends, any business owner can build out a pretty good website. New services and new software make it easier than ever to build and deploy a professional website.

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