July 19, 2009
1. He Calls Himself a “Webmaster”
Any web guy that calls himself a “webmaster” isn’t a master of anything. The term “webmaster” has become a translation for the word “I suck and need to cover my suckage with flashy pre-2000 internet terms.” The web has diversified into so many different realms that webmaster is no longer meaningful. Nor will it ever be.
2. He’s a FrontPage Expert
Any developer / designer with 2 ions of brain power knows that Microsoft FrontPage most definitely isn’t a professional tool.First off its Microsoft, (jokes!) but FrontPage will pass for Mom and Dad who want to create a website to their dogs and balls of yarn, not for someone who’s trying to do business. I’d argue that a solid Web Developer should work at code level or can easily edit exisiting code after a look.
3. He’ll Submit Your Website to [x # of] Search Engines
Submitting your website to hundreds of search engines would be great…before 1997. Websites are indexed by relevant search engines by how rich their content and keywords are. Search engine optimization is big business and submitting sites to search engines simply isn’t the way to get to the top of Google… at all.
4. He Wants a “Designed By ….” on the Bottom of Every Page
You’ve paid this person to create a marketing tool for you — not a billboard for him. Your website is a launch pad for your business and Dufus McProgrammer is simply the man behind the curtain — keep him there. You wouldn’t have a “Made at Kinkos” on your business card would you?
5. He Created a Cool Website for [Insert Family Member / Friend Here]
Your business needs someone who’s been there before. The most common answer to my “Who was he and what business did they work for?” question is “Oh, he did a website for the CEO’s daughter’s [insert lame organization here].” I honestly hear that friend-of-a-friend story all the time. Choose someone with a sizable portfolio that can provide references.
6. He Can Make You a Great Splash Page Flash Animation
Really means: “I can spend dozens of hours wasting your money to create something that will take too long to load and will be skipped.” Harsh, but true. Consistency and website flow are important to web design — not meaningless animations that waste visitors’ time and your money or lower your webpage ranking.
7. He Mentions He’s a HTML Expert
Who the hell isn’t? I would argue that dropping any language acronym on a customer (PHP, Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion, etc.) unless they ask is meaningless fluff. I would hope you’re an HTML expert. Thats like saying to your olympic swimming coatch you can kick your arms and legs real good. I SHOULD FUCKING HOPE SO.
8. He’ll Fit a Cool Counter on Your Site
You’ll add an ugly relic of the early 1995 on my site so that my competitors have an idea of my web stats? Sweet! Counters make a website look as unprofessional as possible — don’t use them, ever. Or I will hunt you down.
9. He’ll Place a “Best If Viewed in…” Message on Your Website
Any real Web Developer knows that he doesn’t make the rules you follow them. Following standards in the initial build and then fix it in Internet Explorer — that’s the flow. No responsible programmer would place a “best if view in…” message on the front-end of a website unless they legitamity use that sorry excuse for a web browser IE6.