Find a Good Web Developer

Picture this. It’s 2016 or so – heck, maybe it was last year.

You just paid someone a few thousand dollars or more to build you an awesome, effect-driven / animated website with very cool images and a big logo.

They chose to use a free or cheap 3rd party WordPress theme, and a bunch of plugins to control every aspect and feature you requested – simply to get it done quickly and pocket as much profit as possible. Then, maybe they put it on cheap, shared hosting and never updated it due to lack of coding knowledge and fear of killing it.

Content is rarely, if ever updated. Things are slowly degrading and the site is starting to have errors once in a while. Your search rank has tanked.

They are of no assistance other than to offer more expensive “SEO” packages and the typical website 101 recommendations, or maybe even a complete site rebuild(!).

Now that Google will be dropping site rank due to page speed, along with mobile friendliness and encryption, maybe it’s time to work with a professional web developer* and listen to their recommendations.

If you know me, you know I always preach simplicity, mobile friendliness and speed over bloated, effect-driven websites. Many of my past clients, just like many other website owners out there, have moved on to cheaper, off the shelf wordpress themes and shared hosting (or *gulp* a DIY provider) with a priority of looking cool over performance, or actually having to produce any meaningful content.

Now, most of them have websites that are underperforming and slowly degrading. Those cool effects from 3 years ago have been proven to do nothing for your actual search rank, or users browsing your site, or conversion rates unless expertly crafted for performance and compliance. Sliders, scroll effects, tons of large imagery, low contrast text, etc. are usually done poorly. I won’t even get into proper tag lines, use of headings, and other blatant errors I see everyday.

Lots of clients go into web projects like they are designing a big brochure… so smack-you-in-the-face design, giant logos and focusing on large screens are always a priority that I have to talk down. Other old school agencies love this kind of design too, so it’s a (seemingly) match made in heaven. Meanwhile, there’s oftentimes never new content, very little landing pages, and hardly any usable content. Some of them were even one page vertical scrollers with no other landing pages, remember those? Agencies are very good at traditional marketing, and marketing themselves… to you, for every other service.

I’ve had to rebuild sites that large “Agencies” charged tens of thousands of dollars for, and it ended up being a poorly executed, off-the-shelf WordPress theme, with lots of plugins (that were never updated) on bad hosting.

As of this month, Google will start dropping sites in rank who have slower page speeds. You may want to think about having your site performance checked, and possibly slimmed down / redone by a professional… especially if you hardly ever write new content!

Be careful of agencies who offer a one stop shop for everything under the sun (Marketing, Advertising, SEO, SEM, email campaigns, web design, branding, yeeeeee haw!) because usually it means they are slapping things together for as little $ as possible in order to make as much $ as possible to crack their nut. Unfortunately, many of them use amateur contractors, or entry level consultants / developers / designers to piece together their projects.

Maybe it’s time to get a custom built, mobile & performance oriented website which is fast, secure, and search rank friendly for the foreseeable future. While you’re at it, get some local dedicated hosting and a quality CDN.

* No, that doesn’t mean responding to those emails you get saying they can help with SEO either lol

Find yourself an experienced web developer or dedicated web agency you can trust.

Also keep in mind…

  • The place who did your logo and signs – not a web developer.
  • Most advertising agencies and hr firms – not web developers.
  • That person you know who slaps together free wordpress themes or DIY sites – definitely not a web developer.
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