Ok. What I’m about to say is not sexy, but I’m gonna just go ahead and say it:
I want you to be an informed buyer.
Any time I’ve made a big purchase in my life, my dad has always asked me “Did you check Consumer Reports?” and I roll my eyes. Partly because I’d rather scratch my eyes out than read Consumer Reports, and partly because I know he’s right. (Ugh, but it’s so boring!)
I know that when I bought my first house, I just wanted to get to the fun stuff –Paint! Rugs! Furniture!!! I didn’t care how many BTUs the new AC unit used. (Do they even use BTUs? I honestly don’t know.) But, when we made a smart, well-informed purchase, and we were saving all that money with the (boring!) energy-efficient air conditioner, I was SO happy I took the time to read boring, old Consumer Reports. (Thanks Dad!)
I see this happen with clients and their websites. I cannot tell you how many people I speak to who, in their excitement to get their businesses up and running, have hired a web designer, paid them tons of money, and then were completely disappointed in their website because they didn’t really know what they were buying. The worst example I heard of this was someone who paid his friend $25,000 to build a website and ended up with just a homepage that linked to none of the other pages that were built on the site. That guy was not just out $25,000, but also a friend, which is even more sad.
Why this matters:
This is an extreme example, but I can see how it happens. The combination of being so excited about your business and just wanting to get started, paired with the lack of understanding terminology can put business owners in a risky situation. You take the leap, invest a fair amount of your money in a website, and then when it’s not what you expect, you don’t have any more money to spend to fix the situation you’re in. I’ve seen this happen with large companies and with solo business owners alike.
Now, I’m a big believer that when you hire a professional, you should trust their expertise, and basically get out of their way when they’re doing their work. But, when you are in the hiring process, you should be knowledgeable about the service you’re purchasing. No matter how much you pay, you never really purchase the right to bury your head in the sand and not know what’s going on, especially with an asset as important as your website.
Having said all of that, I have good news. I’ve created a glossary of web design terms to help you understand what (or, if you’re really fed up–WTF?!?!?) all of this stuff is, so that you’re not completely in the dark when it comes to your website. I hope this will make you feel more comfortable when working with a web designer, and avoid some of the mistakes I’ve seen others make in the past. You can download the guide here: GET THE GUIDE