Deciding on a website developer

Make an informed decision

Reasons to choose Cataluma

  • Although Cataluma is a startup, we have experience developing business websites for over 15 years.
  • Our experience includes developing high volume, secure, transactional systems for Fortune 100 companies.
  • You get a fast, secure website that proudly serves your brand quality and message.
  • Tested custom-delivered solutions. See the description of our process for more information.
  • Our subscription model means you don’t have to pay a “one-time setup fee” to get started. The website design is free. We are clear about which items are add-ons. There are no hidden charges, no surprises.
  • We innovate around our development process so that we are delivering websites quickly and with quality. You are involved in the development process, and you are able to see your website as it is being built.
  • Your satisfaction is guaranteed. Our subscription model makes online marketing risk free.
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None of the information you provide will be sold. Ever!

Avoid making common mistakes

Here are some misconceptions, and some mistakes that people make when choosing a website developer for their next project. Make sure you don't make the same mistakes!

Misconceptions

  • SEO is automatic and immediate
    Some approach the topic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with the misguided view that simply adding a WordPress plug-in and following its instructions will result in good page ranks. If that was truly the case, Google would have to have more than 10 slots on their first pages of results.
    The reality: SEO takes research, strategy and the appropriate time and attention to build the site. It impacts how the site is constructed, and the questions it answers. Done correctly the process still takes six months to a year before you see sustainable results.
  • Free websites come with everything you need
    There is a lot of investment in television advertising for companies that offer free websites. The promise is that you will be able to generate an amazing site with no experience at all.
    The reality: No doubt, these sites deliver stunning layouts and easy-to-use tools. But there is no “free lunch,” as the saying goes. Someone has to pay for the developers and computer hardware your site runs on. These companies offer you a free site knowing full well that you will quickly outgrow it. And when you do, they will be ready to bring costs back in line with reality. You are also largely on your own when it comes to search engine optimization.
  • I must be able to change content when I want to
    The self-service option has a lot of draw because it offers extensive control over one's website. The text, images, video, etc. can be managed via a set of password-protected screens that only you have access to.
    The reality: While you don't want an agency that responds slowly or is obstructive, uncontrolled changes to one's website presents a danger: the changes may have a negative impact on user engagement, conversion rates and/or SEO. You want to make changes in a way that enables you to measure the impact of those changes. If you have the time to make and measure, then the content management path is good from the start. Otherwise, if you don't have the time to become a publisher when you are already spending long hours running your business, why pay for capability you won't use. Consider this capability later when your organization is more mature and you have the ability to invest appropriately.

Mistakes

  • Starting a project without clear, measurable goals
    This is true of any project, but is especially true of web design projects. If you don't have clear, measurable goals, you won't have a good way to ensure that the project was worth the investment.
  • Website design project is not supported by strategy
    You want your website to be more than an exercise. It is the digital extension of your brand, and an important way to engage your customers. Your website is too important to make choices that don't tie back to your core strategies. That doesn't mean the process has to take a long time. It just has to have good roots.
  • No privacy policy
    One quick way to erode trust with clients and customers is to use their information without declaring one's intent, or without requesting their permission. Check the portfolio sites of the agency to ensure that they are complying with the legal requirements for privacy disclosure. Regardless of whom you choose, remember that you are responsible for posting the required declarations, and requesting the appropriate permissions. Otherwise you open yourself to unnecessary risk.

Decoding the lingo

Here’s some information to help you understand where developers hide costs, or leave you on your own to figure things out.

  • One time setup-fee
    A one-time setup fee covers the initial cost of developing the site. This can run thousands of dollars and does not reduce your overall cost.
  • Get you set up… and then you are on your own
    The developer is likely charging you to implement a template that you could have obtained for free or for a minimal charge. You are then left mostly on your own to implement the site. The vendor has helped you through the easy part, giving you a quick introduction. If that’s all you need, fine.
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