7 mistakes to avoid when selecting a web developer

Choosing the wrong web developer can have a disastrous impact on your business. Not only can you be left high and dry, but even if you do end up with a website if it isn’t made correctly (responsive and SEO friendly being most important), then you are shooting yourself in the foot. You need to choose a web developer who has the experience and the ability to create a first-class website, that will not only be a good use of your marketing funds but also turn out to be a great investment for your business – and isn’t that what it should be?

As a web developer with 20 years of experience, I’ve met many clients who have turned to us only after being disappointed by their previous web developer. In this article, I will share with you some of the mistakes that these people made when choosing a developer. Make sure to avoid these costly mistakes when you set out to make a hire.

1. Will your site be able to withstand heavy visitor inflow?

Too often I’ve had clients turn to us after their website was unable to withstand heavy visitor inflow. Most of these clients had hired an inexpensive web developer to launch their site but had their site go down with heavy traffic. At times like this, inexperienced web developers claim that the problem lies with the hosting company and all that the client is left with is a website which doesn’t work and many lost opportunities. However, you will find none of that here at Ignition Media. We make sure to thoroughly test your website so that it can withstand heavy traffic at any point in time.

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2. Does the web developer demand the entire payment upfront?

If your web developer is demanding for the entire payment upfront, this should serve as a big red flag. I’ve had clients tell me that they hired a developer and paid for the entire job, only to find that their response slowed down with time or stopped altogether. Remember – most reputable web developers, including us, only ask for a percentage of the total payment upfront (around 25-50%) and you can schedule the remaining payments as the project progresses.

3. Does the web developer have any previous clients as referrals?

I’ve seen many web developers with glowing reviews and user testimonials on their websites. However, as a potential client, you must contact these past clients so that you obtain an honest assessment of the developer’s work. If the developer refuses to offer you contact information, it is a good idea to continue searching for a trustworthy developer.

4. Will your site work on mobiles and tablets?

Another mistake that I have seen many make is to invest in web developers who only have the ability to build desktop sites. Don’t make this costly mistake. For the past 3 years or so, any reputable web developer would choose to only make responsive websites to work on both mobiles and tablets. Here, at Ignition Media, every website that I build is mobile friendly and responsive. No matter what device you view your website on, I make sure that it is presented properly so that you do not lose any business.

5. Does your web developer have a background in SEO, Marketing and Social Media?

Many of my clients have turned to me after failing to realise why their beautifully designed website doesn’t offer them conversions. Some even spent thousands of dollars on advertising to drive visitors to their website. The answer to this problem lies in effective SEO, SEM and social media marketing strategies. As web developers, we also have an extensive background in social media, marketing and SEO so that we can build websites that work for a business. It doesn’t matter if you have a great looking website – the trick lies in getting people to your website and converting them into customers. Unless your web developer has a background in online marketing, SEO and social media, your website will suffer.

6. Not using a CMS

Your web developer must use a CMS so that you can make changes to your website down the road yourself. Before starting off, ask your developer if they will be using a CMS. If not, then it is a good idea to look elsewhere. I make use of the WordPress CMS on every website that I build for my clients. Remember – without a CMS in place, you may have a great website, but you will be forced to ask for help from your developer even if you need to make a simple change to your site. Insist that your developers use a CMS platform, such as WordPress to create your website.

7. Paying too little or too much

Remember – with web development, you only get what you pay for. If a web developer offers you a deal that is too good to be true, then it probably is. I’ve heard nightmare stories from clients who found an inexpensive web developer only to never hear from them when problems arose. Also, you must never pay too much for your website. All websites are written in HTML and CSS so don’t be fooled into thinking that by shelling out tens of thousands your website will be better than one half the price. Don’t be fooled by big talk – you should pick a developer that offers you services at a reasonable price.

Also see: 6 epic mistakes to avoid in web design


When it comes to hiring a web developer for building your website, you must avoid some basic mistakes. Make sure that you hire an experienced developer who can build a robust website that can withstand heavy traffic. Avoid developers who demand the entire payment upfront and those that cannot provide past client referrals. Ask the developer if they have experience in SEO, social media and marketing and if they are able to build mobile-friendly sites. Also, make sure that the developer uses a CMS platform a never to pay too little or too much for a web development project.

Here, at Ignition Media, I have helped build hundreds of websites for clients both in Australia as also worldwide. With over 17 years of experience, I certainly know how to build quality websites that can help a business as yours grow. Moreover, I specialise in online marketing so rest assured that the websites I build attract traffic and increase customers.

Talk to me today to find out more about the difference that Ignition Media can bring to your business!