Beware the Bespoke Website
We often come across businesses asking us ‘do you do websites?’
The simple answer of course is yes we make and maintain websites but normally that’s not the end goal. They’ve normally already got a website that they like and are just looking for a few tweaks, contact name changes and the like but can’t get hold of the original designer who was insert: on work experience, temp, or family friend etc
This is very common and should be considered when you are going about getting a new website made, if you are not dealing with more than a one person show then you are opening yourself up to having a lovely site but with no way of controlling it. Indeed at least twice a year we meet people who don’t even know where their site is hosted, who pays for it and how to access it for changes.
Things to bear in mind when you’re getting a site up and running are:
- Who will maintain it
- Is it written in a respected CMS (see below)
- Where is it hosted
- Who pays and how often
- Ask the ‘if the designer was hit by a bus’ question
CMS – Content Management System. This is the best way to ensure that if the worst happens that you have full access to your site (assuming you have the admin credentials) and most web designers will be able to pick up the pieces should the worst happen. Also make sure that you have the programmer build in a website backup script that emails or ftp’s your site to you once a week / month. That way if you do lose the host you’re only left finding a new host and uploading the site – which takes only minutes for most websites.
The best known CMS systems are WordPress, joomla and Drupal. WordPress is the industry leader and is the easiest to find a designer for from our experience.