It is a not-so-well-known fact that many website freelancers, agencies, and website developers cut corners when creating websites.

It is very disappointing that soo many in my industry do this, but that is exactly what we see time and again when new customers come to us with a pre-existing website that has been created by a 3rd party.

Some of these shortcuts are actually detrimental to the success and survival of the website.

I talk more about broken functionality, website security, and website backups in this article,… along with many other things.

This article is for business owners seeking a new website team and want to find a team that don’t take shortcuts, actually care about the websites, businesses and people they work for,… and are reliable and available (those who actually offer good support).

Over 40% of new customers that are referred to us (or find us on Google, Facebook, etc) come to us with a website they have not long had created.

Typically they explain something like the following, “We got our website created by [insert business name here]. We were unhappy with their service during the project. We found they did not listen to us, kept us in the dark, took way longer than they told us the project would take and they didn’t provide the website we wanted.”

They then ask us if we can help.

We are then provided with login access to the website. Nine times out of ten we find that when we login to their website, many MANY important parts of the website are missing. Most of these are related to the functionality of the website and its security.

Here is what we typically find:

1/ The enquiry form(s) within the website do not work:

About 60% of the time the website owner doesn’t even know it is not working. Why? Because the person who created the website simply did not care enough about the client to test it to make sure the form(s) actually work (that or they forgot). Either way, the website owner has paid for a feature in the website that does not even work!

You would not believe how often we come across 3rd party website developers who neglect to make forms work within websites.

2/ No backup system set up within the website:

Imagine you’ve paid someone your hard-earned money to create a website for you but then it gets hacked.

Once you find out your site has been backed, you then ask your website person to fix it. He/ she says it is going to cost thousands of dollars to fix it and may actually be a write-off. You then ask them if they can restore a backup of the website instead. They then let you know that there is no recent backup.

You’re left with no choice but to either go without having a website, or you ask someone to create a new site from scratch (and you’re left footing the bill).

We have lost count of the times over the last 18 years where people have come to us explaining their website that was created by some random 3rd party website developer (or agency) was hacked and there was no backup.

Here’s what you need to know: ON EVERY single website we create, we set up a piece of software (called a plugin) that we then configure so it creates a FULL weekly backup of your website. This backup is done automatically usually at around 2pm (AUD time for Australian clients). The backup file is automatically sent to a secure 3rd party cloud storage hosting account we have with Amazon S3 hosting. All weekly backups are stored there. If the worst should ever happen, we have a backup.

3/ 60% of new customers who already have a website have not been told it needs to be securely updated semi-regularly:

A website that is not security updated semi-regularly, is a website that is going to get hacked.

We provide security maintenance care plans for all our clients. Preventative care to avoid a hack is FAR more desirable than getting hacked, AND WAY less costly.

Website security maintenance is an investment.

4/ Website developers who take additional short-cuts and don’t set up security systems within the website:

We find this a LOT! We’ve even had to create a package to provide to those who’s website is lacking all the fundamentally necessary items required. We call this package: ‘website security hardening’. Some of the items in the package include:

  • Installing and configuring the WordFence Plugin (or a good alternative). It needs to be installed and configured to fight botnet attacks
  • Your email addresses on your website need to be encrypted so you don’t end up with masses of spam in your email each week
  • A backup system needs to be set up (as I have mentioned in #2 above)
  • A firewall needs to be setup
  • All the plugins and themes used in your website need to be security updated, professionally and tested before updating them in your live site, else your site may fully break.

Please note: we set up all these things by default in any website we create from scratch.

5/ The website has not been set up so it is ‘search-engine-friendly’

There are right ways to code websites and there are wrong ways. It takes years to learn how to code a website correctly so it is search engine friendly (eg. Google and/or Bing friendly). A website that is not coded correctly, will be a liability, especially if you want traffic from Google and Bing.

Typically freelancers (and some agencies) who are either green within the industry, or don’t know how to code, or are simply wanting to take short-cuts because they gave you a low-ball cheap quote will not code a website correctly.

We ONLY code websites the right way, so they are search engine friendly.

6/ No Google Analytics setup in the website:

Without Google Analytics or some other similar tool set up in your website, there is no way for your website to track:

  1. How many visitors it receives each month
  2. Where your visitors are located
  3. All the other data that Google Analytics tracks.

Every single website we create has Google Analytics setup unless the clients request a similar but different tool – eg. oribi.io

7/ No SSL Certificate setup (https):

Ever been to a website in the Google Chrome web browser and see a message saying this website is not secure? This is because a SSL Certificate has not been setup (or configured correctly). Google has cracked down on websites that don’t have a SSL Certificate setup; We setup a SSL Certificate on every single website we create.

Side note:

We even had a client come to us years ago saying their online shop was not generating any orders. When we investigated, we actually found that the person who created the website did not set up the payment gateway system. There was literally no way for anyone to be able to successfully place a product order/ purchase within the website.

Several other new clients have come to us over the years with ‘lorem’ text in their website. This means whoever created the website did not care enough to replace ‘lorem temp text’ with actual real text.

Time and again we also have new customers coming to us saying, “Our website person has disappeared. We cannot get ahold of them. Can you help?”

People in this industry disappear a lot. The most common reason is that they were not quoting enough money when doing website projects. After about 12 months of continually making a loss in their business and not even being able to pay themselves a weekly wage (that they can actually live on) they go bust. They then disappear (feeling ashamed) and go back to the workforce as an employee.

Please note; We will never be the cheapest. But we will also provide excellent value for money… and we will never disappear on our clients. We are highly competitive in our prices but we are not the cheapest. If we were, our business would have collapsed years ago.

It really, REALLY does pay to have your website created by actual professionals who don’t take shortcuts and are ethical… and actually care about the success of your website and your business.

These people (and I include us in this) actually care about your website and your business success.

We exist to help you, instead of ‘help ourselves to your hip pocket’.

I am certainly not a greedy person, nor did I start and grow Green Valley Digital to rob people. I am fair and treat others with respect, fairness, consideration and compassion. I also vet anyone who works for my business to ensure they have the same values.

If you have any questions about anything mentioned in this blog post or would like more information about what we do, please let me know.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Hope you have a great day! 🙂

Kind Regards,
Jay Daniells
(Owner of Green Valley Digital)

Jay Daniells

About the Author: Jay Daniells

Jay Daniells has been doing advanced Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) work for clients since 2010. He is an SEO specialist. He first started doing SEO work in 2005. He has also been creating websites full-time since 2003. Amongst things Jay is also a graphic designer, digital marketing consultant and creative person. His focus is helping businesses, community groups, clubs, charities, organisations and other entities achieve their goals. He is the owner of Green Valley Digital.