The best websites evolve over time. These days, if your site isn’t fast, responsive, and rife with current content, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Oh, yeah, and Google will punish you. Odds are you’re not a proper developer. You’re too busy writing books, running your restaurant, or playing music.
As such, you rely on an individual or small firm to keep your website up and running. But is your developer any good? Is the squeeze worth the juice? And when is it time to part ways? In this post, I’ll provide some advice for making this difficult decision.
Even Simple Requests Are Expensive, Customs Jobs
Make no mistake: you can do a great deal with WordPress and I’ve seen some very complex, highly customized sites in my day. Needs for realtors and highly interactive e-commerce sites are hardly the same as straightforward blogs. Still, WordPress makes many things so simple to do that even laypersons (read: non-developers) can tackle them.
Let’s say that you want to add sharing icons to your WordPress site or embed a YouTube video in your sidebar. Tasks such as these are hardly rocket surgery. You ask your developer for this and he tells you that they are going to take a great deal of time and money. These should be major red flags.
Your Site Is Frequently Broken And/Or Down
WordPress is an incredibly powerful and stable content management system, but all sites experience downtime. Yes, even Facebook. That goes double if you’re not paying attention to updates. (You take your car in for regular maintenance — or at least you should. Why would your website be any different?)
Reputable developers build their sites on stable frameworks and avoid superfluous customizations and complexity. What’s more, they build sites using tested methods and simple, reliable code. If your site is down every day or every week through no fault of your hosting company, then something’s wrong.
Response And Development Time Seem Excessive
Your developer probably isn’t your full-time employee. They serve a number of different clients and, at any given time, can be juggling a bunch of different projects. It’s unfair to routinely ask your developer to drop everything they’re doing because you want to make a tweak.
By the same token, though, it shouldn’t be that hard to get on your developer’s calendar. If you’re looking at a minimum of six months before your developer can be bothered with even looking at your site, it might be time to move on.
Your Developer Lacks Basic Communication Skills
Developers and other techies possess critical skills and knowledge that their clients do not. After all, that’s why they are hired in the first place. Still, are they so technical that you can’t understand them? Contrary to what you may think, not every developer speaks like Milton from Office Space.
Ask yourself if your current developer’s skills are up to snuff.
There’s no formula or comprehensive checklist, but sometimes it’s best to cut the cord and break up with your developer. Fortunately, you don’t have to tolerate poor customer service. WordPress sports the most vibrant developer ecosystem in the world. In the next article, I’ll provide advice on how to find your new developer.
What say you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!