How Do You Know It’s Time to Say Good-Bye to Your Web Guy (Or Gal)


I know that the Internet can be a scary place when you need a website and don’t know where to begin. Some people’s entry to the web is with a site created by a family member, a graphic designer friend, or a business connection from a networking group. Any of these individuals can put up a website, but may miss the mark when it comes to driving traffic to you business.

As you become more web-savvy you may find the relationship feels less comfy. You may wonder if your web person has been keeping you purposefully in the dark. Do you know your own login information and do you own your hosting and domain name? Excellent questions for any website owner. Despite the old adage, online, ignorance is seldom blissful. If your web relationship has any of these red flags, it may be time to say good-bye to your web gal or guy.

They Own You. Some web companies register your domain name and set you up with a hosting account. When you want to make changes to your website, you have to go through them… only them. This relationship should make you very nervous, as some web site owners have been “locked out” of their website when their web consultant disappears or doesn’t share access to the domain or hosting accounts. Sorry, the website you thought was yours is now theirs and unavailable to you!

Can Do is Often Can’t Do. Have you frequently asked for a website update or enhancement only to hear that it can’t be done? There’s a laundry list of why changes can’t be made to a website:

1. Does the web designer lack the technical know-how?

2. Was the site developed by someone else with code unfamiliar to your current designer

3. Did your current designer create the site without the foresight to accommodate future growth?

Pick any issue, it doesn’t matter… any one of these reasons can be a disaster for your website updates and plans.

I’m OK and You’re NOT! I hear from web site owners who complain when they question or challenge their web person, the response makes them feel inferior. The tactics include speaking down to the client in elevated techno-talk that no lay person has any hope of understanding. Other instances involve shouting and even threats. If the relationship isn’t working it needs to be dissolved, but not necessarily at the expense of either person’s ego.

“Why?” is Not an Answer. One of the most annoying tactics is the excessive questioning from web persons who senses a client is gaining web knowledge and is becoming an empowered web owner. Rather than answer the client’s questions the web person becomes a virtual question machine: “Why do you want to do that? Why do you think you’re not getting any web visitors? Why would you get better results with another developer? Why don’t you trust me?” When your web consultant sounds like a curious three-year-old, take note as it may be a defensive maneuver to ask so many questions that you start to question yourself.

What You Don’t Know… Do you keep discovering things you would have liked to have known about your website a year ago, but your web person never told you? Maybe you recently discovered that you could have an email address that uses your domain name. Or you just found out that your hosting account has free monthly statistics that would be useful in figuring out how many people really visit your website. Did someone just show you how to look at your keywords and meta tags and you found out you didn’t have any? Ouch!

When 15 Minutes Equals a Car Payment. It’s easy to be unknowingly gouged by Internet companies who prey on ignorance. I heard from one client who paid $75 to have a text link added to a web page. A simple text link is about 15 minutes, so $75 means you are really paying your web person $300 per hour. When you call around to get quotes and start building your pricing knowledge, you’ll figure out how long specific web updates will take. While hourly rates vary, understanding when you’re paying too much will help you determine if your web relationship is healthy for you and your wallet!

On the web and in business, trust is everything. Any one of these reasons is enough to part with your web guy or gal. The goal for website is comfy and simple… if it isn’t it’s probably time to change direction.


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