So, you finally got a website. It took you years, but you decided to take the next step with your business, non-profit organization, personal writing, or whatever else you plan to put on a website. Soon you will find that deciding to get a website was the easy part.
Now comes the real decision-making process. Do you take an HTML crash-course and attempt to make a website on your own?
You might not have time for that. Do you look for something pre-packaged, like a $50 template?
Perhaps, but you probably would prefer something original. Do you hire your co-worker’s son Billy to make your site?
Stop! Before you answer that, consider the ramifications.
Hiring people to work on or for your website is probably inevitable for all but the most stubborn do-it-yourself users. Before you do hire a web designer, marketing whiz, or SEO expert, take a look at the guys you definitely do not want to hire.
1. Billy, the teenage web designer
Billy is a genius. His mom knows it, and that’s why she recommended him to you. Still, Billy’s biggest concern at the moment is mustering up the courage to ask out the cheerleader he has been dreaming about for three semesters.
So, you decide to go ahead and hire Billy. He makes an amazing site that is everything you could have dreamed. It is complex, but Billy promises to always lend a hand whenever you need help. Plus, you paid him next to nothing, so you really can’t complain. Then, it happens. He finally asks the cheerleader, and she says no. Suddenly, Billy is not available. He is busy making a new website about that snobby cheerleader. And you are left with a website you don’t understand.
2. The slimy SEO guy
One day, a person with a professional-sounding name emails you from your fancy website that Billy created. This guy is all about business, and he promises you that he can make you rich by turning your website into a cash cow. Soon, your website will be getting more visitors than Oprah’s.
It all sounds good, and he seems to have a lot of technical knowledge about SEO and other web terms you probably do not even understand. Five weeks into the campaign, you start to notice some improvements, but you soon realize that your new visitors care nothing about your site. They are random individuals that the slimy SEO guy somehow got to visit you.
Before long Google drops your site completely for being a known spammer, and you are left with a fat bill and a website that is worse than it was before he messed with it.
3. The mysterious guest blogger
On another day in the no-so-distant future, a young woman emails you with a proposition (No, not that kind). She will write a free article for your blog in exchange for a couple of links to her sites. You have heard of guest blogging and think it sounds like a cool idea, so you happily say yes since you are just thankful someone actually found your site.
Before long, she sends you a short article about something horribly dull like “5 Ways to Tie Your Shoes”. You would feel bad saying yes to her only to back out of the deal after reading it, so you find yourself stuck. Then, there is the text of the article itself. Much of it does not even make sense. You soon realize that this woman barely speaks your language.
To make matters worse, her two links are to sites that look like they might be involved in phishing schemes, malware, or some other type of nefarious activity. At this point, you should run far, far away.
Do Your Homework
Not everyone who promises to do great things for your website actually will, but there are plenty of talented, good-natured people out there who actually will. They will probably not come to you, so you will need to find them.
You likely spent a lot of time choosing the best web host for your site. You should take the same care in hiring other service providers. Do your homework and review their previous work before you hire them. It will save you a lot of time and money in the process.