How to Avoid Shady Website Developers

As a web development & marketing agency, we’ve had so many people come to us with heart wrenching stories of how they had a poor experience with a web developer, that we decided we needed to say something about it. Here’s our best practice tips of choosing a company to develop your website.

Demand Similar Project Work on Live Sites.

If you’re looking to develop a special project within a site or want custom elements, make sure you’re talking to a crew that has experience with your requested work. Companies that have examples of work they have done for other clients means that they are experienced in the project type you are requesting.

  • Special hint: New projects with no experience = Higher Cost. Why? Because when a development team works on a new challenge, they have to do the initial research to understand the problem. This research time is part of your bill. If they’ve done it before, it can be easier to replicate and customize for someone else.

Request References & Look at Testimonials.

Any company worth their weight should have a plethora of happy clients waiting to back them up. It’s good to ask for references that you can talk with about their web development experience. Check out their Google business listing, Facebook page, and Yelp reviews to see what other people are saying about them.

  • Special hint: If they aren’t utilizing these platforms at all, then it might be a clear sign they aren’t staying ahead of the digital curve when it comes to development either!

Receive a Specific Time Frame.

Some companies are really excited to get your business started with a web development project, but they’re a little gun shy on getting to the finish line. This is a common problem when the development team is given so much work, they can’t keep up.

A sales team can be saying, “YES WE CAN!” while the developers are saying, “There’s not enough time.” This can lead to your project dragging along and will cause you to lose the vision and inspiration you had for creating the website. Ask for the how long an average project takes to be completed and ask if they can achieve the project in the timeline that is needed for your business.

  • Note: Any project that you request revisions to contract is going to take more time. Your availability and willingness to get requests done for a development team is vital to your timeline. Any web development project is a two way street, so make sure that you do some self reflection when evaluating how fast the project will be able to be accomplished.

Know Your Point of Contact.

It’s important to know the type of team and size that you will be working with.

Many sales teams can promise you the moon, without ever talking with their development team to make sure that the moon is attainable. Knowing who the individuals are that will be working on your project ensures that you’ll be able to get ahold of someone and know their name if you a question about your web build project. Some companies even outsource the entire project to a different country, which can create a whole host of additional communication and quality problems.

Don’t Pay It All Up Front.

Every company will require a bit of capital to get the project going. You should, however, be getting check-ins along the journey of your project to ensure you’re getting what you pay for. This is an accountability benefit for both of you. It ensures you are happy with the quality of work before moving to the next stage, and that a development company can trust you to pay them for the time and effort they put into your project.

Own All Your Information.

Sometimes companies pull a fast trick where they will give you a great price to put something together, but they did it buy locking you into a contract with them. This means that once your site is built you might not own your domain name, the content on your site, or the images. This will make your heart drop if you decide you want to part ways.

Leaving them could mean that you will have to pay large fees to purchase your information, or you might have to start again from scratch because they just won’t give it up. Be up front in your development questions. Ask them if you will own all of your website including the platform, url, content, and images. Doing so can save you a lot of grief down the road.


This information was provided to you because we care about your web development experience. If you have additional questions regarding web development, please feel free to contact Art Unlimited.