If you are a business owner in Hawaii and are looking to hire a Website Developer/Designer for your next website project or revamp you are in the right place reading the right article. But first off who is this article for?

The article that you are about to read is for anyone that does anything related to website marketing. These could be anyone from the owner of the company to the marketing intern or anyone else that has been put in charge of getting some help with your website.

If you are the business owner and you are thinking that your site needs some changes and or an upgrade this article is definitely for you and your company.
This could also be anyone that has anything to do with making website changes at your company. Someone that is familiar with the website content and makes changes regularly is a perfect person to continue reading.

Just a quick FYI. My competitors probably do not want you to be reading this. Most of my competitors are arrogant and like to think of themselves as masters of this domain. That they are special and have superpowers. Or they might try and use a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo to justify what they do and make it seem super hard to do and more complex.

This article will help you put this into perspective in a easy to ready way. What you should be looking for and what to watch out for. So now that we got that out of the way lets get started.

Website Design Mistake #1. Not Paying Enough

One of the calls I get all the time are business owners that have a set specific amount of money that they think their project will cost. They also seem to think that if they spend as little as possible, they will have more money left over to help out with their marketing. They try and DIY it by using SquareSpace or Wix or worst case the Godaddy Builder! They think because they have done it themselves that they are ahead of the game.

Price vs Quality

Have you ever done this? Been walking around at Walmart and needed to purchase a kitchen gadget and buy the cheapest one you can find? Then 3 months later it breaks and you have to buy another one and you go and buy the cheap one again and it happens again? You would have been better off spending 50% more and not have to keep on rebuying it. The other thing to consider is the amount of time it took to go back to the store to buy that thing again and again. It works the same way with Website Design and Development. If you are not a professional at this then A. its going to take you a lot of time and B. the end result will not be as good. I have fixed 100’s of site that started in one direction and then mid way through morph into something else.

Website Design/Development Mistake #2. Paying WAY Too Much Money!

Have you every heard of a designer or developer say the following… WordPress sucks or why would you use Drupal. Don’t you want a real website… I’m going to hire someone that can do custom so that I end up with a custom site! Here is what you might not know. All sites are based on the same things. HTML CSS and JavaScript!

All websites have the same stuff!

How does it work? HTML is basically the framework; CSS is to make it look pretty and JavaScript adds movement or other technical functionality. If you view the source code of a site, Best Buy, eBay, Amazon are all the same.

Some designers use what is called a theme that you can get for say $50. That same $50 theme is the same thing as what Amazon is using on their site.

So as you begin your search for a website designer near me you are not looking for someone that does things differently as they are all the same but you are looking for someone with the experience that will hopefully do it better. What does better mean? Someone that understands how that theme was created. How often is it updated? Does it have the functionality you are looking for? Does it have WAY too many features you do not need. How fast is it? Someone that also understands does that them assist with marketing your products or services? So on and so forth.

Some business owners think that by hiring a large agency they get more group think and thus end up with a better website. You will go to their office and notice that its busy with people walking around and meetings going on and lots of chatter.

I used to work for one of the larger Website Design and Development companies in Hawaii and what they were charging was just nuts. Here is how would go.

Say you are in the middle of developing the site and the client calls with a change. That would mean starting a meeting with the developer, project manger and designer. All charging $85 per hour AT THE SAME TIME! $85 x 3 is $255 PER HOUR! At the end of each and every day you had to log the amount of time you spent and on what client so that at the end of the month you can bill them. It didn’t matter if it was just a 15 min phone call. It was nuts which is one of the reasons I left that and started my own company.

One of the main things I stress to my current clients and potential new ones is to focus on results. Does the person you are potentially hiring have a track record of success? Do you like their portfolio? Do they have a bunch of great reviews? Can you call and talk to any of them?

Mistake #3. Hiring a ‘Web Designer or Web Builder’ to Build Your Website

This part kind of goes back to mistake number one getting a cheap website. What do I mean by this? There are a ton of “Designers” that are basically low end technical artists. All they care about is having a site that looks nice. One that does flashy things like parallax or has advanced JavaScript. Or they just buy a theme and then try and make changes to it. Or worse they took a course online and are now doing Wix or Square Space sites and are then calling themselves website developers. At the end of the day I start with a main question. What is your site for? What is the purpose? Who will be looking at it as a potential customer? All these things matter when it comes to design.

Another big issue is hiring a Developer to make your site and expecting it to look good. A couple of my competitors just don’t care about design at all. They spend literally zero time on it which is why all of their sites look exactly the same.

Here are some questions to ask yourself.

What is the main thing you are trying to accomplish with your new website or updating your existing one?
Does it need to look fancy nice? Not really, no. It’s not the primary purpose.
Is it to improve user experience? Perhaps as it needs to work better but, no, that’s not the primary purpose.
How about to win awards? Ha no way Jose!

If you are running a website and the goal is to bring in more customers and then get more sales. If that is not happening what’s the point of even redoing or doing it to begin with. Making money and getting leads is ALL redoing or creating a website is about.

Most designers don’t think about this. They just want it pretty. I have worked on a ton of sites that look fantastic and generate zero business. I have also worked on sites that look AWFUL and generate a ton of leads.

I do all my designs starting with a marketing angle and with who will be viewing the site. Who is your target audience? What are they expecting to see when they get to the site.
I also ask for my new clients to paint me a picture of who their customers are. What do they look like? What is their age range? What are their interests?

Coming up with those questions and answers is the basis of our marketing approach. Thus we start with marketing and then put design ideas to that end goal.

Web Design Mistake #4. Not Using WordPress!

So what is WordPress? WordPress is a content management system also called a CMS. A CMS takes all the backend code that would be needed to be created out of your hands and allows you to easily make changes the site without knowing any technical code. SquareSpace, Wix, Shopify and WordPress are the most well known. There are a ton of others but those are the main ones and not all are created equal. I do most of my sites using WordPress and below will explain why.

I have been in sales and marketing all my life and one thing I learned early on is to under promise and over deliver. I do this by giving my clients all of the tools needed in order to keep their sites updated easily.

One of the ways we do this is to give our clients an easy to manage back-end of the website. Most of my clients don’t even ask about this but they should. They usually only think about what it looks like and not how it works. One of my clients that I built a website for decided one weekend that she was an expert now and was going to redo it herself. She purchased a new theme and installed it and couldn’t believe how difficult it was to modify and or update it. 

I have probably worked on the back end of over 500 websites at this point and the difference between a good backend and a difficult one is night and day. Some of them like the Genesis Theme you actually need to know how to code in order to make even the most simple change to the page structure.

Versus, this is a site from our backend where the image, the title, the description, every little thing is easy to edit and update, just like updating your Facebook profile.

We do things differently. We make sure that the backend is easy to use for the client and for us. If I get a request to make a change, I don’t want to spend an hour I would rather spend 5 min. Its much more profitable for me and for my clients as they can make these changes themselves.

As mentioned, before I would ask the potential website designer to show you how the back-end works and to take a quick test drive. 

Local Website Designer Mistake #5. Not Doing Your Due Diligence

Some basic simple things could be to check out to see if they have any reviews. So look them up on Yelp, Google Reviews, and LinkedIn. See if people are saying nice things about them, or if anyone is saying anything particularly bad.

A few easy things to do are looking to social media such as Yelp! Or LinkedIn or Google reviews. If they have a ton of reviews that is a good sign. Hopefully, most are current and not just older ones. Yeah, I have a 4.7 rating on Google due to 1 bad client who is crazy and her friend that gave us a bad review that I never even met and or talked to.

Is design important to you? If so, do you like the design they create? Some of my competitors do not care about design at all. As mentioned, design isn’t AS important as how the site works but it DOES mean something. A nicer looking site that WORKS well is a win for both of us!

Don’t only look on the desktop version look at their mobile version as well. Does it look good? Is it easy to read and navigate? Sometimes desktop and mobile information is different which is fine but can you still find what you are looking for?

Web Site Designer Mistake #6. They don’t rank themselves so how can you trust them?

Just as you wouldn’t trust an overweight personal trainer or a skinny chef, you should probably never trust a designer with an ugly looking website or an SEO specialist who doesn’t rank well on Google or an “internet marketer” who uses direct outreach to generate leads. And by that I mean, if someone is selling you the idea of getting traffic through Google or Pay Per Click or Social Media, but they’re using cold outreach, like, they’re direct emailing you or they’re using word of mouth to get in contact with you, they’re really not practicing what they preach.

Have you every heard the term don’t trust a skinny chef? Or what about a personal trainer that is over weight? If they say they can help you rank but cant rank themselves what’s the point? Yes some companies only do pay per click but we do as well but only as a hedge before getting ranked organically.

For example, we rank number one on Google for “Honolulu Web Design.”