6 Common mistakes when hiring web development services

posted by 4 years ago and updated 4 years ago

The world of the web is exciting. Starting out on a new project or improving a current site is great.

We wrote a full on article to help you understand the common mistakes in the market. How to avoid traps that can lead into tomorrow's headaches.

Mistake #1: Going all out

When we first start something new it is natural to feel excited. If you are not excited about your website then you might need some help.

We are wary of overexcitement and you should be too.

These days it is very easy to get carried away either by yourself or by a service provider. It's very easy for us to sell you the idea that you will be the next big online mogul. But, yeah... it's unethical, hence we don't do it.

What happens when you are too excited?

We make the wrong kind of decisions. We buy more than we need and we spend more than we need. The result is increasing our risk. And making us more vulnerable to failure and financial loss.

Is this something you want to do?

The way we reduce your risk is by building the essentials first and phasing out the rest.

That is why our work gets broken down into stages. We focus on the smallest viable product and the rest can come at later stages.

You don't need bells and whistles. You usually need something to test your idea. We can sell the whistles to you later. When what you are doing works for your you know that you can safely progress.

We help you understand what features will help your business most. We prioritise them these over the flashy gismos.

Mistake #2: Not caring where it get's built or who will build it for you

The digital landscape has definitely changed the way we conduct business. The world might be your oyster. Having access to software engineers and web developers around the globe comes with a cost.

Communication and trust are the two most common problems people face.

Clear communication
We have heard this one over and over. Their communication is not clear.

The developers don't understand what we are telling them. They can't express themselves clearly to tell me what their thoughts are.

We had to spell everything out for them, how and what to do.

But they speak english! Yeah, like that call centre you use when you try to resolve other issues in your life. You know, the ones you can't understand the words on the other side of the telephone.

We like to keep the communication channels open and prompt. We want to understand what it is that you are telling us. We want you to understand what we are telling you.

Can you trust all your keys to your palace?

In a couple of occasions we have heard that

  • "Our server has been hijacked by our developers in X country"
  • "They are asking for more money, holding it as ransom"
  • "They have locked us out"

We all got to stop being so naive. The online world hides a lot of invisible traps. When working with a software development company you are handing out:

  • Passwords, part of our online identity
  • Access to financial apps
  • Access to merchant and payment gateways
  • Access to servers

When you hand over the keys of your business you better be able to trust them. Because developers can do as much good as evil.

We try to mitigate some of that risk. We either pay ourselves and then invoice you. Even better we let you know what service to buy. That way you always have the power to own what is rightfully yours.

One last thing, if you are working across the globe. How can you rely on the law. It becomes very difficult to go after people in a different country.

Trust is our number one priority. We work hard to build it, maintain it and protect. We want you to have what is rightfully yours and we do our best to keep the security of your server up to date. We manage your sensitive information with care in encrypted files.

We make sure to establish a relationship with you. That way we build our trust in a natural way.

Mistake #3: Knowing how you will use your website

Many times we want a website, because we want a website. We often hear:

  • "I need a website" (Do you know why? Who told you?)
  • "Once I go live people will come running to my shop" (How's so? Mr Google?)

Having the right website can make you more professional but why is that important? Are you using your website as an extension to your business card. Is it so you can get more clients? Driving traffic is an art of itself. How will you drive traffic to your platform?

As humans we are constantly selling. Whether you are selling a product, a service or an idea. You are still selling to the world. Yes even if you are blogging for fun expressing your thoughts and feelings. It doesn't always have to be monetary.

Conversion is the name of the game.

Mistake #4: How will your project convert?

Let's suppose we finished your project, you paid all this money to build it and there is nothing happening? What then?

The good news is that you got something to work with and a lot of options to make it work.

We can't guarantee your online success as there are too many variables. What we do guarantee is the quality of our products. And the ability help you identify the things that can make you profitable.

Whether you build something your scratch or refurbish a website it doesn't matter. What matters is that you have an idea of how and what you will get back.

There is no reason to change anything if there will be no benefit.

Before you even get a quote for an e-commerce shop you should have some things in mind:

  • Your budget
  • Time frame - how fast do you want your product build (it affects the price)
  • How much it actually costs? Do you feel your budget is realistic with what you are planning to build
  • How much are you projecting to get back in the next 1/3/5/10 years.
  • How fast can you make your money back (number of sales, time)
  • How much better will this new website convert
  • How will you make your own platform convert even better

The principle is simple, if you give us £12,000 and I give you back £24,000 within a year are you happy? Within 2/3/4 years?

Do you believe in your idea to take the risk?

Two fictional examples to illustrate:

Service Website Scenario:

  • Aquire 10 new customers in the next year with an average sale of £500
  • 3 of them buy an extra services of £600

How much would you be happy to spend to make £6,800 on the first year?


When do you expect to break even? From day one, in few years? Are you being realistic? Too greedy? Too risky?

Year 1: 6800:1000 Year 1: 6800:3000 Year 1: 6800:12000

Year 2: 13600:1000 Year 2: 13600:3000 Year 2: 13600:12000

The numbers always tell a story. When you get the same number of clients your return on your investment grows year after year.

What's great is that you have great control on a few variables that can scale your platform to great profits. Instead of 10 new customers you get 15. You see what can happen now?

E-shop Scenario:

  • Sell 50 products at £24 per product (£1,200)
  • Sell 100 products at £24 per product (£2,400)
  • Sell 1000 products at £12.99 per product (£12,990)

How long it will take me to make my money back? How much more will I be making once I break even?

There are many other costs to consider when calculating your return on investment. Including the cost of production, acquiring, time and all other things. Are all your other investments generating the same returns?

Think about it for a moment.

We can't make promises on what you will make because there are way too many variables to your online success. What we do know is that you are walking away with a money printing machine.

If you spend £2,000 and get 500 back per year - are you happy? Can your bank match these figures? You will get £26 on an ISA with 1.3% return at the moment.

It's not so much what it costs but what you can get back in relationship to what you give. Your online presence has the potential to multiply your investment.

Mistake #5: Buying based on price alone

We have all grown into being more sophisticated buyers. We all have this tendency trying to get the best that our money can afford. We do research and compare.

As we mentioned earlier knowing your budget is crucial. Minimising your investment cost can be helpful to the longevity of your business.

Don't fall into the trap of the false economy that you can buy something on the cheap. Basing your buying decision on price alone will not work to your benefit.

The probability of regret rises as you make a decision based on price alone. Your expenses rise when you have to go back and fix things with a different developer.

What is more expensive to you? Losing 2 clients every month that could pay you £200 each or spending £600 more on your website?

We all want a bang for the buck. We want to get the best at the most reasonable price. Our expectations have changed these days. We all feel entitled to the world.

We get it and we are doing our best to take your budget under considerations. Remember that we want to get paid for our time and for the value we give. We have worked hard for years to get educated and understand technology. Like you, we have bills to pay.

Price is a factor not the only factor.

Why are there some cheaper alternative service providers?

  • They rely on volume - sell to many people the same product
  • They give little engagement to their customers
  • They Make money with hidden costs and transaction fees
  • They got lower costs of labor, living and premises
  • They sell one size product approach
  • Their code base is of inferior quality

One size fits all approach

  • You are being sold an off the self product
  • You get functionality you will never use or need. Clunky, heavy software that slows your site down and drives your customers away

We take our time to understand our clients and their needs. We take care to tailor our approach to what you need and not what we want to sell. We work hard to optimise for speed, efficiency. Balancing utility with functionality.

We do use frameworks and platforms but we don't shove everything under the moon.

When it comes to the web, that less is more.

We focus on quality
When it comes to the web it is easy to focus on the design of a page. Does it look great, check. Don't get us wrong it is important but if your site is not working as expected it usually isn't because of the design.

Mistake #6: Not understanding on going costs and future work involved

When we walk out of a dealership with a new car we know that there will be more costs involved. We don't know exactly how much petrol we will use or how much a service will cost. But we do know that there is more to it.

Some companies focus on getting the customers through the door with a low hanging fruit. Then they do the best to keep up-selling and making the lives of their clients hard. We all want to know what the true cost of something is.

We focus on fixed scope and phases. We plan before we write a single line of code. A change of scope is natural and so is the change of price if you change the scope.

We love transparency, it is part of our recipe. Building trust and relationships. We make these clear from the beginning.

  • Transaction fees
  • Domain costs
  • Hosting costs
  • External Service costs
  • Cost of project or phase
  • Cost of extra work (improvements and other functionality)

It might be hard to predict the future but there are certain things that are part of ongoing costs.

In summary

There are many traps we can fall on our journey to get a website or an e-commerce site.

To avoid them with our customers, we focus on:

  • Being open and transparent
  • Building trust and a strong relationship
  • Clear Communication
  • Phasing approach
  • Balancing your budget against the value provided, price and quality
  • Reducing your risk by phasing approach and making you aware of the dangers
  • Building only what you need even if that means we leave some money on the table
  • Help you understand how you will use your site to your benefit

If you like what you read and want to work with use, contact us with your project idea.

Do you need help? Sometimes it is just easier to ask

In case you need that little extra push with your project. We are always happy to collaborate with new people in the industry.

Contact us for help