View Full Version : Frustrations and Kudos!

Aaron Hats
10-11-2008, 11:37 AM
I completely understand Blessed and her Frustration post. The last six to eight weeks has been extremely frustrating and made me completely rethink my "hire a pro" philosophy. Two years ago I paid my webmaster to do a redesign of our site and a bunch of SEO work. Then a year ago I paid them to convert my shopping cart to Volusion. Over the last nine months our web business has been declining. I thought it may be our selection or prices or the functionality of the new shopping cart. After some time of looking into all these things I was convinced our problem was none of those things so I started looking at the "behind the scenes" workings of the site. I found that most of the SEO work I had paid for wasn't transferred when the new shopping cart was implemented, no sitemap was created or submitted to Google and text links on our homepage linked to url's Google doesn't like instead of the search engine friendly url's that already existed. I fixed all these things and almost immediately business started to pick up.

I decided to hire a new, more local webmaster. They would move my blog to a new server and manage my Adwords campaign as they had a certified Adwords pro on staff. Three weeks later and the blog still hadn't been moved. The Adwords changes had resulted in increased sales but had also increased by spend rate by five times with nearly no increase in net profit. When I questioned them about an ad group that wasn't converting at all the response was they thought I wanted to promote that hat style. Yes, I want to promote hats but I also need to SELL them. They also made some other comments that made me realize they have no clue about my business or retail in general. At this point, I'm seriously thinking that there isn't a webmaster out there worth a dime.

Now here come the kudos. I contacted VanGogh about moving my blog because he had done some minor work to my blog in the past. He had my blog moved to the new server within 48 hours of my first message to him. His prices are fair and his work is good.

Kudos to VanGogh! He'll be getting more work from me.


10-11-2008, 01:03 PM
I'm glad you ended with the kudos to vangogh, it was beginning to look like all web people are worthless. For the record, I agree that is all too true in many cases. It probably stems partly from the fact that anyone with money in their checking account can buy Dreamweaver and call themselves a webmaster.

10-11-2008, 01:43 PM
Wow, Aaron, I'm sorry you've been having such problems. It does sound like you are keeping tabs on the people who do the work for you, so that's good. It's just annoying that they're not doing the quality work you have a right to expect.

Working with Vangogh is a great choice. He knows what he's doing, he cares about the quality of his work, and he's quick. He's saved my bacon more than once when it comes to my blogs.

Working with him is a good decision.

Aaron Hats
10-11-2008, 01:59 PM
I'm glad you ended with the kudos to vangogh, it was beginning to look like all web people are worthless.

That's certainly the way I've been thinking until VanGogh restored my confidence in at least a few you web guys. ;)

It's just annoying that they're not doing the quality work you have a right to expect.

That's what I don't get. I'm not asking for anything outrageous or want work done for free. You should've seen the newsletter template one person created. It looked like a high school freshman did it.

Unfortunately, every webmaster or graphic designer I work with from now on will have to deal with me constantly looking over their shoulder to make sure work is getting done the way it should be.

10-11-2008, 03:42 PM
This is one reason why I would recommend people that need a website for business, do a hobby site for themselves. It teaches you a lot of the basics of web design and will help you better manage / hire web designers, hosting companies, etc.

10-11-2008, 08:20 PM
Just imagine Aaron, if you had no idea about any of these things, you would be still there with a question as to what was causing the decline. There is i think a fairly large portion of people that still do not have any idea about how anything on this side of the internet works and are just willing to throw money at people to do things which they don't even know if they are being done.

10-12-2008, 12:21 AM
Aaron I'm glad your story had a happy ending!

Personally - I like a client that is involved in the whole process - that way I know they are getting what they want instead of me working my butt off for a couple weeks to present them with something that they decide they aren't happy with... I had someone do that on a project in December 07-January 08. I showed them proofs, gave them options, hardly any feedback then once I get the project completed and we're a week from deadline with just a few last minute changes and additions they finally really look at the catalog and make some major style changes - it wasn't fun, they were happy with the end product and paid for all of my time but were aggravated because it took right up to deadline to get things done so I haven't gotten any more work from them... I'm not upset about that either-I'd rather not work for clients who stress me out like that!

10-12-2008, 10:51 PM
It probably stems partly from the fact that anyone with money in their checking account can buy Dreamweaver and call themselves a webmaster.

Money isn't even required if you start your shop illegally... But pretty much, you're spot on.

10-13-2008, 01:51 AM
Here is how you select a website designer...

Find a designer that has a portfolio of clients that you like, select three of these clients at random and ask them for a reference on how good the designer is, if the designer has made them money... customer service, etc...

By asking these people you should get straight answers from people who have eperienced it first hand... and this of course should be applied to whatever service or product you buy.

10-13-2008, 08:46 PM
Yeah I agree with the whole "anyone who has dreamweave or photoshop" call them self designers and web masters seems like I notice that a lot I'm no pro but I do have my site up and a shopping cart I did because I know web masters here in my area charge a lot and I wouldn't know if there doing a good job or not.

Its bad when people like that are making a bad name for the industry by their selfs wish there was some sort of test or something to past in order to start being a web master.

10-13-2008, 08:55 PM
Thanks for the kudos Aaron. Just to unswell my head a bit I hadn't intended on moving the blog so fast. Friday night before shutting down for the weekend I wanted to check to make sure all the logins you gave me were working. Then I got the bright idea to just install WordPress since I was already in and move the files and database later. The next thing I knew the blog was moved.

I agree with SteveC when it comes to choosing a designer. Ask their other clients for a reference. Look around the designer's site too. I'd also that you might want to look at serveral designers, narrow your list down to a few and send them all an email with a few questions. See who responds and when. Give them a call too. Your web designer/developer is going to be someone you're going to work with more than once. You're going to have a relationship with this person so talk to him or her.

Don't make the selection lightly. Take your time to evaluate a few people or companies. The extra time you take in making your decision will likely result in a lot of saved time down the road.

10-14-2008, 02:31 AM
I think talking to referrals for website design/creation is even easier then any other industry almost. How hard is it to look at a portfolio, visit the site and the customer details are all their. While cold calling for a reference may not always be the best way to work, it is often going to give a more true reflection of developer, as depending on the portfolio it would be hard for someone to prep and have on side all clients if there was not something to back it up.

Vangogh, i know how easy it is to get carried away like that. Sometimes i will just go to check one little thing and next thing i have made some major change i had randomly jump into my head.

10-14-2008, 03:50 AM
I have a habit of checking just one thing before going to sleep and then finding myself up at 4:00 AM finishing a project. I get lost in the work sometimes, but that's a good thing. Let's me know I chose the right business to go into.

Aaron Hats
10-14-2008, 10:16 AM
Yes, but what about when you do all those things and it still turns out badly? It reminds me of when I used to manage a call center. A job candidate could give the best interview, their references are all good then you hire them and they turn out to be average at best and do nothing but disrupt the harmony of the team.

I think what I'll be doing in the future is giving work to a couple different designers and webmasters. This way, I'll always have a backup go to person in case of emergency.

10-14-2008, 04:01 PM
The reality of the situation is that you can never really know what the relationship will be until you start working with someone. What you have to do is be prepared to end things and move on if the relationship doesn't work out, or if the work isn't up to par. That's where a lot of people go wrong in my opinion. They won't pull the plug when they realize things aren't going in the way they would like them to go.

Dan Furman
10-15-2008, 05:09 PM
That's certainly the way I've been thinking until VanGogh restored my confidence in at least a few you web guys. ;)

Steve is doing some work for me right now, and I agree with the assessment :) Excellent guy to work with - I even switched gears halfway through, and he didn't bat an eye.