Beware of Dodgy Web Design and Digital Media Specialists

Understanding the Service you are Outsourcing

As a marketing professional, I have always liked to get at least a basic knowledge of the areas we tend to outsource, just so I know what I am talking about when dealing with contractors, and also so they can’t pull the wool over my eyes.

One of the areas I made a point of really getting a broader understanding (to the extent that it became an absolute passion and is now one of my product / service offerings) is website design and development.

Web Design: A Foreign Language

Many people don’t understand the language used to design or develop a website, and lets be honest, most people don’t want to know. So that leaves with only about 5% of the population that really knows what goes into a website, and that creates an opportunity for many so called web designers and developers to take advantage of businesses and their lack of knowledge. This could end up costing thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Case Study: Producing Low Quality Websites at Premium Costs

Recently, I undertook work for a client who had outsourced their web development to a Gold Coast developer. This so called digital media professional, charged my client through the roof, for an out-dated Joomla website that was only partially finished, and that had no security whatsoever.

As a Result:

  • My client could not update website or plugins – open for bugs and hacks
  • Over 10,000 hackers had registered on their site
  • Over 1,000 articles had been posted without my client’s permission
  • Of which, over 700 of them had been indexed by Google
  • Hundreds of links were then pointed to unrelated and unknown sites
  • Thousands of backlinks from inappropriate sites
  • BIG potential to get penalised by Google

And to really top this off, they had digital specialists (an Australian company) supposedly helping them to optimise their site by refining the site’s architecture, implementing effective link building and assessing the site through frequent reports. They failed to pick up the compromised website or the thousands of backlinks.

Understanding What’s Involved

This article isn’t intended to put distrust in the mouth of business operators towards digital marketing professionals, but rather to encourage business owners to research and at the very least get a basic understanding of what is involved when it comes to your digital media projects.

The Good Digital Media Marketing Specialists

There are some amazing digital media marketing professionals based here in Australia and overseas, and generally, I have found the ones that do offer an exceptional service and product, are usually the ones who have great communication skills and aren’t elusive about what they are actually doing for your business.

What you are Entitled to as a Customer

As a customer, you are entitled to get regular project updates, along with progress reports. Obviously these operators can’t give away all their tactics and techniques, but they can definitely provide you with enough information about what they are doing for your business.

Your Property

In recent years, I have seen a number of web designers and digital media marketing professionals try to restrict their clients from having access to a range of properties that are essentially owned by you. While I understand that in some cases they do this to protect your campaigns, I believe that they often do this to restrict your ability to see what is going on and to hold you at ransom in the future.

What is Rightfully Yours

  • Hosting and domain should be registered under your email address, name and ABN
  • Access to FTP and cPanel
  • Access to Google Webmaster Tools
  • Access to Google Analytics
  • Access to Google AdWords
  • Administration rights to your Social Media Pages