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Meet the author:
Jill Olkoski

Jill has a MA in Clinical Psychology, a BS in Computer Science, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

She currently owns Aldebaran Web Design in Edmonds (near Seattle WA) and enjoys educating her clients on topics related to small business website design.

In Jill's previous life, she spent 17 years in the engineering and quality organizations of a Fortune 100 tech company.


Why Do Web Designers Disappear After Your Website is Done?

November 13th, 2012

Frequently I received phone calls and emails from small business owners who need updates done to their websites. I ask them what happened to their website’s original designer, and answer is always the same: “they disappeared, I tried to reach them but they won’t answer my email/phone calls and I need changes to my website”.

Why do so many web designers and developers abandon their clients after finishing their websites? What happens to them?

If you’re small business owner who needs their website updated and your original web developer has gone AWOL on you, you’re not alone. Here are some of the possible reasons why web designers seemingly lose interest in supporting websites they created:

Money Made Upfront

Generally speaking, the majority of money a web designer makes on a website is for the original design work. Once that work is done, web designers may become uninterested in doing the very small piecemeal work that is required to maintain a small business website. A web developer may be asked to make changes once every few months or even years. Many are not interested in taking small jobs.

Not Creative Enough

Web designers, especially those folks who are artistically inclined, may view websites more as works of art and not as functional creations that need upkeep. Making routine content changes to a website may be viewed as boring or mundane – they want sexy work.

Short Timers

Web developers may be thinking only of the short term – perhaps they are still in school or this is a part time job. These designers may have no interest in having clients over the long haul because they don’t plan to be in business long term.

Before You Hire A Web Developer, Keep Website Maintenance in Mind

For many reasons, web developers may be much more motivated in creating your small business website than they are in keeping it updated as time goes by. Before you hire someone to design your website, check with their clients who have used them for several years – assuming they have clients for this long – if not: big red flag! Check out how they treat maintenance requests AFTER a website has been launched. How long does it take them to respond and complete update requests? Find out before you hire someone if you want to make sure your website is easy to keep in sync as your business grows and changes. Your website does you no good if your contact information is outdated and you can’t get anyone to change it!

If you have a website and need updates done, contact me to see if I can help. I will review your current website’s structure and coding to see if I can take over maintenance responsibility. I can usually respond to maintenance requests in 2-7 days.

J. Olkoski
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.

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