Getting help for your business from any professional can be fraught with misunderstandings, problems, and frustration. Certainly dealing with technology providers is no different. There are some things you can keep in mind that will help you get the best service and results when dealing with your web developer.
In some ways, dealing with your web developer might seem to be a daunting challenge – he might sound like he’s speaking Latin with all the technobabble and acronyms tossed around. You might be a bit intimidated and feel stupid or uneducated. Let me assure you that you absolutely ARE capable of having a conversation with your web developer, and it’s actually her job to make sure you understand and feel comfortable. With that in mind, there are some things which will smooth the way.
Web Action Steps
Communicate your needs and problems clearly
When you are trying to describe something to your web developer, be as descriptive and precise as you can. If you have a problem, or see a bug on your website, make sure to tell your developer all the details:
- when exactly do you experience the problem? (on a certain web page, after clicking something, etc)
- what do you see? (if there is an error message, what does it say)
- what browser and operating system are you using?
Provide visuals if you can – screenshots, examples of other websites you like, etc. all help your web developer see what you want
Be responsive to your developer’s requests for information and feedback
During website development and updates, you developer will frequently seek feedback from you – does the design look right, is the final text correct, is the site doing what you want… The sooner you respond, the sooner your developer can finish the project or move on to the next step. Also be sure to report bugs or problems as soon as you notice them. Correcting problems early is easier than dealing with them once dozens of other changes have been made.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
If you don’t understand what your developer is talking about, ask for clarification! If you aren’t sure what your developer needs from you to move forward, ask. Assumptions can be dangerous, and your developer will appreciate your forthrightness.
Have reasonable patience
You shouldn’t expect instantaneous response from your web developer when you send a request. In most cases your web developer has many clients to work with and is often running the business as well. If you have an urgent request, make that clear in the subject line of your email, so your developer will have an easier time prioritizing it. Also recognize that some bugs and problems are very difficult to diagnose, and might take a while to find and correct. Calm gracefulness on your part will help the situation immensely. Also, realize that some things are outside of your web developer’s control – especially if your website relies on external services such as email service providers or shopping cart systems. Your web developer also can’t take responsibility for problems that stem from within your own computer. A good web developer truly wants you to be satisfied, so keep that in mind.
Recognize that your web developer is a person too
Sometimes your developer will make an honest mistake. Please be respectful and kind when dealing with difficult situations.
Take responsibility for your part
When problems arise, take a honest look at your own role – are you communicating clearly about what you really want? Are you giving enough time for changes and fixes to be made? Do you change your mind frequently or act indecisive? You don’t want to be seen as a “high maintenance” client who makes unreasonable demands.
Move on if you are dissatisfied
If you have one problem after many months or years of good service, let it go. If you see a trend developing, it might be time to look for a new web developer. It’s also a good idea to move on if you feel disrespected, or if your developer intentionally makes you look or feel stupid.
The quality of your relationship and communication with your web developer will be reflected in the quality of your website. Putting just a bit of effort into making it a productive relationship will be well-worth your time.
If you are currently in need of a web developer who speaks your language and can deliver a fantastic client-attracting website, contact me for a Get Acquainted call. I’d love to help you out.