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Don't Hire an Outside Web Developer

Don't Hire an Outside Web Developer
Pat Dickson - Fri Jun 08, 2012 @ 04:57PM
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I recently wrote an article praising my client Doodlekit, titled: Best Attorney Website Builder. I use Doodlekit to completely manage and maintain this site, www.patdickson.com. I'm a satisfied customer. What you see herein is all my doing and work product. It costs me next to no money or technical time.

In my article, I failed to mention one very important reason for using a website builder like Doodlekit, or to be fair, an equivalent. With the right user-friendly tools, you can do what I do. You can build, maintain, update, and add content to your own website in-house. You don't only avoid having to pay an outside web designer or developer to do everything for you. You also don't risk being held hostage. 

To be blunt, I've had a number of clients suffer at the hands of their web designer or developer. There are at least two ways this has happened, in my experience:

First, sometimes you really need content added or modified immediately, and your web person is simply not available. He is unwilling or unable to respond in a timely manner. Maybe he is on vacation? In many cases, even if you did have access to your website, were you to log in, you'd be confronted with a bunch of code you didn't understand. You are powerless because you don't have web tools available that are user friendly. You are a hostage to your 3rd party web solution provider's knowledge of some esoteric computer language, as well as his availability.

Second, in many cases, especially if you are a small or struggling business, you may be out of cash and credit, and simply have no way to pay your web designer or developer. You can end up in a Catch-22 scenario. You have to have something done on your web site to promote your business and make sales. Your outside web developer or designer refuses to do any work until you pay him everything he is owed. I have seen such cases where small struggling businesses were held hostage by web developers. They even went as far as changing passwords to deny their clients access to their own websites!

"Pay me all $5,500 you owe me or I'll take your web site down!"

I remember one developer threatening my client. I wasn't getting paid in a timely manner either, but sometimes you have to suffer along with your clients during hard times.

What I'm suggesting is that having full internal control of your website is a good risk management practice. You might not need an outside web developer or designer.

By taking this risk management approach, you avoid being held hostage during times of tight cashflow. You don't have to be victim to someone else's vacation schedule or knowledge of some esoteric computer software language. The web design and hosting tools available have advanced in the last several years, making it possible for you to do everything in-house.

On top of it all, this good risk management practice is also cost effective!

As I've discussed previously, Doodlekit can provide you full business web building and hosting service for as little as $49 per month. Outside web designers and developers will try to charge you $1000s per month, if they can get away with it. In my opinion, Doodlekit is proof web site technology, software, and applications have changed! They are more user friendly and easy to use than ever. This is why I adamantly argue you don't have to be a programmer to build or maintain your own website any more. Do it yourself. Take control of it!

Give the Free Website Builder a try and see if you agree with me. If you don't like the tools, give the competing web builders/hosts out there a try!

Just don't risk being held hostage by your web designer or developer any more! 

August 16, 2013 footnote: I recently wrote an article titled Website Builder which, in part, re explores the caveats of being held hostage by web developers. In short, if your web site builder offers tools that are user friendly enough, thereby eliminating the coding requirement, the need for a web developer is minimized if not eliminated. You can do it yourself.

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