10 Things to Do to Avoid Getting Fooled by Your Developer
There are a lot of cases of customers being tricked by their web developers in some way. This usually ends up with that customer losing a lot of money, or even worse, he or she could lose the whole website or any important data stored on it. There are a few reasons why this could happen to you and not all of them are the result of ill intent. A web developer might be unethical, unskilled or they just might want to deceive people and steal their assets through their “web development.”
You might think that the people who get fooled by these web developers don’t have any clue about this topic, that they are ignorant, and that you would not be fooled so easily. Well, in reality, there are a lot of people who think like you and they do get fooled, and after that they wonder what they could have done to avoid being scammed. With that in mind, here are some of the things that you can do to avoid any problems when hiring a web developer.
Request some sort of formal contract
To avoid getting scammed you should always look to work with a designer that has some sort of formal contract. A web development job can easily be segmented into smaller pieces and all the prices can be displayed. This is how you can get to understand what you need more easily and determine what the realistic costs of the services you requested are.
Additionally, look for a developer that has a terms and conditions page where everything will be clearly outlined – all the payment methods, your obligations and their obligations – and additionally, the deal you’ve made will be put in writing and a copy provided to you. This is how you will be able to protect yourself from being tricked.
Perform a thorough check up of potential developers to see whether they are fake
When you are looking into a developer or web development company, you should find out as much as possible in order to ensure that they are legit and that they know how to do their jobs properly. When checking a certain portfolio, look for previous websites developed by that person or company and visit those addresses to see if they are operational.
Take a minute or two to go through them and see if there are new posts, comments etc. to see if they are fake or not. Additionally, it is good to contact several previous customers you find in their portfolio and ask them to tell you about their experiences and if they were satisfied with the job that was done for them.
Perform payment through secure channels
Most of the web design fees are usually paid online, and since the deal was made online as well, it makes perfect sense. However, there are a lot of those “disappearing developers” who wait for you to give them money and then the just vanish, leaving you without your website and without any money.
The best thing you can do here is to pay using some secure credit card or PayPal, so that you can file a dispute in case this happens to you, so that you can try and recover all of the money that has been taken away from you. Send emails to the person that took your money and tell them that if you don’t get your money back, you will be filing a dispute with your payment provider.
If you don’t get your money, go through with it, and supply them with the formal contract you previously got in order to justify why you want your money back.
Learn the fundamentals of web development
Don’t let anyone squeeze money out of you by doing fantasy work on your website. There are a lot of “web developers” who, in order to get more money, like to tell their current or previous clients that their web assets are in grave danger and that they need to be fixed or restructured, even though this is absolutely untrue.
You can never know if this is true or not, unless you learn about the fundamentals of web development. In most cases you only need this core knowledge to figure out whether something is legit or not. If not, you should ask for a second opinion or search for additional answers online.
Don’t get your website hijacked
There is one type of scheme called “website hijack”, when a person who is hired to do a job on a website ends up hijacking that website to use for their own purposes. The first thing you can and should do is to pay attention to who you are hiring.
If this still happens to you, contact your web host immediately and tell them to shut your website down. If your host is good, you will be able to recover your website and change all of your passwords, while making it secure once again.
Don’t fall for cosmetics
There are a lot of amateur web developers who are more web designers than developers, but they present themselves as the full package. They build a website and everything looks simply amazing, only until you start using that site or try to see how it behaves from the visitor’s perspective, and you find out that it is very slow, that some things won’t open on certain devices etc.
The key is to look for functionality and not merely cosmetics when building a website. Make sure that you don’t pay all the money before you check how your website works. It can look amazing, but this won’t do you any good as people will leave it straight away if they can’t use it normally.
Website SEO schemes
Improving SEO rankings of a certain website is a process that can last a long time, especially if your website is still new. There are a lot of emails these days in which people tell you they have noticed that your SEO ranking is very poor and that, with their help, you will be able to climb to the top of the search results pages in no time.
This is impossible and clearly a trick to get as much money as possible out of you. They usually ask for a small amount of money initially, and this is why a lot of people go for it. But, soon they start asking for more and more, and they claim that there are some complications that require more work and money. Don’t fall for these propositions.
See how skillful they are
Like I mentioned before, not all designers will cause you damage because they want to. Some of them simply don’t know what they are doing and they cause you harm because of their lack of experience and expertise. Make sure that the developer you choose has a lot of successful work in the past and that the previous customers had positive experiences working with them.
A bad web developer can put in a lot of effort and be good to work with, but still mess up your website and cost you even more money because you will have to hire a real professional to fix all the damage that was caused. This is why you should never go for developers who are extremely cheap; there’s a great chance that they don’t know what they are doing.
Make sure that you request a CMS
A content management system (CMS) is essential for any modern website. However, there are those “beginner developers” I talked about earlier who won’t install a CMS on your website once they’ve finished the job. With a CMS, you can easily access all of the pages on your website and add new content or change texts with utmost ease, even if you have no real coding knowledge.
This is how you will be able to handle your website later on. Other designers will fail to install a CMS on purpose, so that you have to call them every time you need something done on your website, and they will take this chance to ask you for even more money. Implementing a CMS into your website is a standard today and you should ask for one.
Don’t focus on the sales pitch
When talking to developers, they will all tell you a great story of how good they are and how they can do the best job possible for the amount of money they ask. This is all fine and dandy, but facts are facts, and you should focus on them and not the sugarcoated story they are trying to sell you. Ask them important questions that can help you understand their expertise, approach and experience, and base your decision on this when hiring a developer, not on their pre-made story.
When building a website it is essential that everything starts off well. When the foundation is good, you will easily build on it and grow your website even further. If a lot of things are done badly from the start, there can be many additional complication in terms of money, time and functionality. Choose your developer wisely and take your time before making the final decision.