Who do you complain to when your website is broken?

broken website
Who do you complain to when your website is broken?

Imagine buying that awesome 60” flat-screen HDTV only to find it was DOA out of the box. You’d be mad and probably take it straight back to the store and demand your money back. It might take some haggling but chances are that you’ll get a refund.

Imagine you pay someone to build a website for you only to find that a) you just didn’t like it because it didn’t reflect you or your company well or b) it was so badly constructed from an SEO perspective that it was going to cost you serious money to fix it. Who do you complain to? What are your chances of getting a refund? Answer – slim to none!

I had discussions with two small business owners within the last couple of weeks that had these issues with their sites.

Client #1 had already paid for their site but just didn’t like the look and feel of it at completion. “Too sterile, just not me.” The web designer seemed deaf to their requests and, essentially, point blank refused to make design changes to make it more personal and warmer. So, a half complete site has been sitting on the shelf for over 6 months and I could start to understand their reluctance at even trying again. What if it all went bad again? They’d be out thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it.

Client #2 needed a site in a bit of a rush. They had a fledgling business that was doing well but no website. They paid to have a template website built for them and then filled the pages with general copy. I guess they had a feeling that something might not be right so they asked me to perform an SEO review. I felt so bad writing my report when I graded it 3 out of 10. This was probably generous – from an SEO perspective it was very poor. What were their options? Limp along with the site as it was or pay all over again for a complete revamp.

Lessons to be learned?

  1. Make sure you get the site you want – stagger the payments so that you don’t pay all upfront and make sure that that from the very first meeting that the web designer “gets” you.
  2. If your designer doesn’t talk SEO from the very first meeting find someone else, even if you are in a rush.
  3. Think about what YOU want to get out of the website (leads, phone calls, sales, etc) and make sure your web guy builds the site around this rather than what they think you need.
  4. Keep It Simple Stupid!

Posted by
John Tully

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