Depending on complexity your web design project can be a relatively simple one - or very complex. Many things can go wrong when building a website and dealing with individuals. Here are some things to avoid.
A Family Member Can Do It / Friend of a Friend Knows Someone Who Can Do It For Free or Cheap
It's great if you know someone who can advise you or even get some work done. Just set your expectations properly. If you're looking for a favour or low cost option, don't be surprised if the project moves slowly or not at all. After all these people are getting paid little or in some cases nothing. When faced with a difficult technical problem, motivation of these people often drastically drops - and your project can end up stuck.
Another negative aspect of this approach is that it can create very awkward situations and even ruin relationships. Let's imagine a situation where you need help desperately - and no one responds to you. Are you able to take emotion out of the equation and not hold it against people who created something for you and now decide they wish not to help and leave you hanging?
Do Everything Yourself
Creating website can be anything between lots of fun and extremely stressful. Things are especially fun when you experience success after success and feel nothing can stop you. Often people install WordPress and start installing plug-ins and feel that the sky is the limit. You can truly get anything done with that combo, right? The reality is that while WordPress with right plug-ins can give you wonderful results, it can also create situations where things just don't work for some reason.
On a regular basis we get people contacting us asking us to help with their sluggish WordPress website with numerous plug-ins installed - and in some cases the website entirely breaking. Sometimes WordPress and/or plug-in updates can solve the issue but often that is just not the case. WordPress is a powerful platform when used properly. But since it's given to you for free, no financial incentive exists getting things fixed for your particular setup. Similarly many plug-ins are free as well. When a problem occurs, it's often difficult to tell where to look at and you can find yourself in a situation where you need to find outside technical expertise. In such cases, someone has to learn what you've done and troubleshoot what the issue is and find a fix and implement it. This will obviously cost money that you were not planning to spend.
Abandon Your Web Designer
Let's say you've decided to take a different route and hired a company to help with your web design project. Now the project is over and you don't need your web designer anymore, right? It's a good idea to keep in touch with your web designer - and if you're happy with the work they created for them, verbalize it. Professionalism is expected both ways during any project but at the end of the day we're all human. It feels great when someone tells you you've done a good job. It's nice when someone sends you a greeting for no reason at all. It's better than cutting all communication to your web designer for years and then ask for urgent help when you're having a problem and expect your web designer to drop whatever they're doing.
We are lucky enough to have many wonderful clients and some business relationships have lasted for over a decade. When mutual respect exists it's a pleasure to work together. Another thing to consider is paying your web designer a monthly retainer that will surely make your web designer know that his/her help is appreciated - and often get your requests taken care in priority order. Paying a relatively small amount of money monthly can not only get work done and your website up to date, but also help you immensely in a situation when mission critical component of your website is not working.