The Problems with Freelance Web Designers and One Man Bands

freelance developer spalding

New clients in areas such as Spalding, Holbeach, Peterborough or Boston always come with new stories. Unfortunately, they often sounds quite familiar. Many clients have already worked with a developer before, a freelancer. Perhaps having even worked with a developer they were originally very happy with. In the end, there’s a number of problems that inevitably arise. We’ve tried to narrow it down to just a few:

  1. Poor Quality Work – It’s hardly a surprise that scarcely qualified developers working in their spare time aren’t able to meet the same quality expectations of many potential clients. It’s very often what’s happening behind the scenes that reveals this. For example, one of our new clients had found that their beautifully designed website was not hitting the rankings as they had hoped. After we had moved it onto one of our servers, we quickly discovered that this is because the website was clearly rushed together in the shortest possible time. Often, all of the developer’s effort goes in to the look of the website. This is likely because they are not specialists in the field, but enthusiasts.
  2. Missing Deadlines – Other commitments are a big problem with freelancers and one man band website designers. One might wonder why an expert would not start establish a company on the back of a good reputation. This rarely happens because they are committed to other companies or even entirely different jobs. There are exceptions of course, but in general this tendency of missing deadlines is very common. In the experience of many of our clients, these individuals undercut the competition and start with overwhelming enthusiasm but that rapidly becomes irrelevant as soon as another commitment comes along. Specifically consider the need to upgrade or update a quality website in order to achieve the best possible results, even if the developer does publish the website on time.
  3. The Freelancer Disappears – Yes, this is a horror story you’ve probably heard before. This is commonly known because it is so frequent. The lack of commitment and often poor reputation mean a one man band can do even better by leaving the area without saying a word. This can leave your business in a VERY tricky situation, especially if your website is not yet finished. Now suppose the developer is still very keen and wants to continue to support your business long term, it’s still not what you had bargained for. You can’t drop in or get a quick response, you’re just locked in to a very fragile arrangement.

Exceptions exist and we are confident that you’ll make decisions that are right for your business, but keep the above problems in mind if you’re considering a freelance website developer. If you’re looking to move your website to a local company with a commitment to every client then we would be very happy to help.

How does a Page Builder stack up to a Web Developer?

Free Website Builder

Almost all our clients come to us knowing exactly what they are looking for. Generally, it’s something like this:

  • They want someone to build a website
  • They want someone they know and can trust to build a website
  • They want to be able to drop in and see their chosen web developers when it suits them
  • They want something bespoke for their business, and not a generic template
  • They want to be able to discuss web development options and choose what’s right for them
  • They want the development to continue for years to come and not stop once the website is live

All our clients fit into this list somewhere, but there continues to be new customers that need to be convinced of these benefits first. We don’t push our services on anyone and often I’ll just direct people to where to research the benefits of real web development over a cheap page builder. In some cases, I’ll even recommend that they use a page builder at first and come back to Drive By Websites once they have outgrown it. These cheap page builders on Wix, Godaddy or 123-Reg have their benefits. They’re easy to work on and they aren’t much on the pocket either. But that’s as much as you can expect, the benefits end there.

Website Builder (cheap/free) vs Drive By Websites In Spalding

Our services include optimising websites. From as early as the initial design stage we’re implementing ideas and trying to focus on SEO strategies to enhance the potential reach of the site. Further still, we implement the tools to allow our clients to take SEO into their own hands. Now, there is some training and a learning curve involved but we aren’t working by the hour and we’ll take as much time as it takes to get our clients geared up to make continuous improvements to their websites.

We also put all our website design costs up front. This is where the page builders have gained a very bad reputation. Suppose you’ve got a nice simple website to get you going, you then want to go live. Already you’ll incur costs as they want to throw in a domain cost and a connection cost. Then you’ll find it’s not high enough in Google, so they offer you an SSL certificate for even more cost. Over time these issues will arise and leave you wondering why you had started with the page builder in the first place. It is likely still cheaper in the end, but you’ll certainly not be trusting your host like you should.

The main issue, above all else, is these page builders are missing all the fundamentals named at the top of the page. All the priorities for almost all our clients are missing from the page builder offering. I would still go as far as to say it’s just scratching the surface because the technical advantages of our systems over these page builders are endless. Nonetheless, that isn’t often what matters most for our clients.

For more information on what we offer or the technical benefits of our systems, give us a call on 01775 761512.

What Are the Benefits of a Blog?

blogging

Continuous fresh content will mean Google needs to regularly index your site and is also a consideration when Google decides how to rank your website in search results. If your website doesn’t contain a lot of content, or any fresh content, a blog would be the perfect way to achieve this while also target specific keywords.

While it isn’t easy to commit to a blog, keep in mind that it may only be a weekly or biweekly update that is all you need to start increasing visitors. If don’t know where to start, try creating a list of different content opportunities. We regularly suggest using testimonials as blog posts, as they usually contain excellent keywords but also don’t require any writing time for the blogger. You can also use events, industry news and business changes.

How does this bring a return in visitors? As well as ranking new pages into Google, a good blog psot can also receive social media shares and links from other websites. All of this will also increases your ‘Domain Authority’, where Google considers your site a higher authority than your competition.

If you would like more information or a quote to get set up with a blog, or for us to blog for you, give us a call on 01775 761512.

Google’s been busy. Has your hosting provider?

Google Hosting

Google has been busy in the last year with:

  • 1,653 new search changes
  • 9,800 live traffic experiments
  • 18,015 side-by-side experiments
  • 130,336 search quality tests

What we don’t know is how many of those 1,653 new search changes are algorithmic or ranking changes. Those would be the changes that impact you and your business. There is believed to be over 200 ranking factors working to compare your site with your competitors. When changes are made to these many factors, webmasters are rarely quick to act. In fact, nearly all of the clients that move their website to our hosting servers are out of date in some form.

While you are keeping your content fresh and relevant, we are working all the time on making the most of that content. Upgrades to our systems take place on a weekly basis and allow your site to remain as relevant in two years as it was the day it went live.

Contact us regarding website transfers for a free quote and helpful advice.

Offshore Windfarm & Renewable Energy Website

Drive By Websites was absolutely delighted to be awarded the contract to build the website featuring an offshore wind farm being developed 20 miles off the coast of Lincolnshire and 28 miles from the coast of north Norfolk.

The information website is to keep visitors informed of project news and information to help people take advantage of the opportunities that will become available from this exciting new project.  Suppliers interested in working with Triton Knoll and their contractors can register their interest here.

Offshore Wind FarmTriton Knoll is seeking the best value in respect of all aspects of its delivery with the aim of becoming one of the most cost-competitive offshore wind farm projects, generating some of the lowest cost energy for UK consumers.

When interviewed, Drive By Websites’ Director, Jack McLean had this to say: “It is a privilege to be working on such an exciting project. The Triton Knoll website will demonstrate relatable content and design for anyone, from the local communities to project stakeholders. It is already clear that this partnership is set to be productive.”

Visit here to find out what Project Director, James Cotter had to say.

The Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm has an expected maximum export capacity of up to 900MW.  Once the project has been constructed, it will have the capacity to provide enough electricity to meet the potential energy needs of up to 800,000 average UK households annually.

The construction and operation of the wind farm could also represent a potential investment of over £3billion across the project life-cycle, and an important supply chain opportunity.

Triton KnollYou can keep in touch with Triton Knoll in respect of  what is going on around the project by email: [email protected] or you can write: Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm Ltd, 2 Eastbourne Terrace, London W2 6LG

 

 

Legal Documentation & Insurance Claim Website

Drive By Websites has been busy building a mobile friendly website covering legal documentation and insurance claims for an accident investigator. First Call Documents We particularly like the design of the site and we hope you do too – http://www.firstcalldocuments.co.uk/

David Stearn, the owner of First Call Documents, offers a personal accident investigation service. David has 30 years’ police experience with 27 years working on traffic patrol.  He’s worked for 7 years as a self-employed claims investigator.

With the experience he gained whilst working for the police his qualifications include criminal investigations.

First Call Documents also offers an accident investigation service on behalf of solicitors specialising in all types of personal injury or liability claims. David appreciates how beneficial photographic evidence can be and this is another service he offers.

First Call Documents offers a comprehensive service which also includes providing statements in both criminal and civil format to cover road traffic accidents, public liability, employer liability and personal injury cases.

If you are thinking to yourself, “I’m having trouble with my website designer and I need help” don’t let your business suffer.  Working with over 150 local business owners, Drive By Websites is continually setting the pace for services such as website hosting and mobile friendly design.  If you need assistance to get your business presence on the web, then either call, visit or email us for an easy to understand and affordable solution.

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