At least every other month we hear from a potential new client that has fallen victim to an unqualified web developer. It’s really heart wrenching to hear their stories and they all have one common thread: they took the developer at their word and failed to check their background and references. I really struggle when people put their faith in someone and end up losing time, effort and money. Typically after many weeks they have little or nothing to show for it. Sometimes they have something to show but it’s so damaged and ugly that it’s not worth posting. While the majority of web developers are ethical and qualified, here are the five warning signs I share with everyone that wants to know if they have picked a web developer that can deliver on their promises.
Warning sign #1. The developer doesn’t have a website. I know this sounds ridiculous but many so called web developers don’t have a website. No website? No hire.
Warning sign #2. They have a website but it’s ugly and out of date. If they can’t present a solid design for their own business how can they represent yours? Is it full of typos, missing images or could it win a prize in the ugliest dog contest? Ugly site? Don’t hire them.
Warning sign #3. They can’t provide any testimonials, references, or examples of work they have done. Testimonials and references are a great way to see what other professionals think about their work. They should also have examples of their work either on their website or be able to provide links for you. No testimonials, references or examples? Don’t hire them.
Warning sign #4. They want more than 50% of the full price to start the project. It’s standard practice to ask for 50% payment up front with the balance due at launch. If they want more, think twice about hiring them.
Warning sign #5. There is no contract and everything is verbal. A contract protects you and the developer. A good contract outlines responsibilities, delivery timeline and the specific deliverables. No contract? No thanks.
I’d love to see fewer clients coming in to our offices that have been taken advantage of. Sure we can rescue them and look like heroes, but it really doesn’t reflect well on our industry as a whole.
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