We have all had a bad experience or two when it comes to customer service. Just as there are good auto mechanics and bad auto mechanics, good barbers and bad barbers, there are good Web Developers and Bad Web Developers out there. This can be said for any service industry. Obviously, we all want the best, but how can we tell when we are working with someone who is inadequate in their skill? Luckily, we are about to go over some warning signs and red flags to help you spot all of the bad web developers lurking out there.
Now, when we mention the term “Bad Web Developers”, we are not looking to throw anyone under the bus. We understand that developers out there have skillsets of all ranges, and just want to point out what to look for if the skill required to complete your job are higher than the skillset of the developer you may be working with. The last thing that you want is to have a developer over promise and under deliver.
Lets See What to Look for so That This Does Not Happen to You.
1. Your Designer tells you that Certain things You Want Implemented are “Impossible”
It is always crucial to ask good questions during the initial probing stage. You want to be a specific and and thorough as possible in these questions, to weed out some developers that you many not “click” well with right from the start. Hearing that something is “impossible” to do is one of the earliest signs you may be getting involved with the wrong guy.
If you have seen something on a different website that you want included on yours, it certainly is not impossible, because it has clearly been done before. Now, what you want to ask, is if A. It is impossible to do because your developer does not know how to implement your desired functionality? or B. It is impossible to do because it would take too much development time, and is too intense for your proposed budget. Getting a clear answer here is crucial. Anything is possible, however, one cannot expect to get a Maserati or Ferrari for the price of a Ford Focus.
2. You are Hiring the Designer that offers you the Cheapest Rate
When looking for a developer, one must remember that there is a huge difference between a developer still in school versus a developer who has a proven portfolio and has been designing for years. Do you think that the developer who has experience is going to quote you the same price as the developer still in school? Most definitely not! When shopping around for price, particularly on Craigslist, one must understand that you are most surely going to get what you pay for. No experienced developer is going to build you a web site for 200 dollars, and if you are expecting a custom coded, unique site for this price, you best think again. Being cost effective is one thing, and you should surely shop around, but make sure that your developer knows his stuff. Ask to see his portfolio and ask for references. Odds are if he cannot offer this information, you want to look elsewhere. If a price is too good to be true, it usually is. Experienced developers usually can get stuff done for you fast and correctly, and if you are serious about your website, it would be beneficial to pay the little more and work with someone who you know you can trust. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the old quote “Buyer Beware”.
3. The Developer Does Not Provide Updates for Your Site, or He Specifically Tells You Not To Update Anything
This is a sign that the developer is not going to be there for you in the long term. With technology moving at such a fast rate, you want to make sure your site and plug-ins are fully updated at all times. Imagine if you never had updated your PC from the year 2000- You would likely be struggling to even get online. You do not want your users struggling on your website.
Now Here is the main reason for this. In many CMS (Content Management systems) Platforms, updates to certain plug-ins can make your site go haywire. If everything is not in perfect alignment, something on your site may not function as it should. Sometimes, the newest updates to such aspects may not be compatible with other active components, and issues arise. If your developer is telling you not to update anything, it is likely that he does not want to deal with the task of fixing anything, and would rather see your site age and become dated. This is not the developer you want to work with.
4. He Can Only Work With What is Available to Edit in the Platform or Theme Options
All to often, certain platforms do not allow for you to make edits to everything that you may want to change in the back end. This does not mean that these changes are not possible, rather, it means that the changes have to be made and applied directly into the code of the website. This is where many so called “developers” fail. They do not know how to work with the code, or are scared to tweak it because one wrong character could throw off the functionality and design of the whole entire website. You want to make sure that your developer is used to such code like HTML 5, and CSS 3, and is capable of working with its best practices.
5. The Developer Does Not Give You Guidance or Instruction on How to Use The Finished Site
You would not expect your new computer to come without a user guide, so why would you expect your website to? You want to make sure that the developer can give you all of the necessary knowledge needed to run the website. This can be through phone training, or even a walk-through document- Just make sure he give you some kind of guidance or instruction!
The Conclusion on Bad Web Developers?
If you follow these pointers, hopefully you will not end up with one of the many bad web developers out there. If you happen to read this and notice some of these characteristics are true about your developer, get out while you can! As mentioned, it is always best to check out your developers portfolio and references beforehand to see what he is capable of and what his past clients think of their experience. Remember too, that the cheapest quote, or a quote that is too good to be true, usually is not always the best one!