A new web site has an amazing pull on sales today. Rather than get something just because it “looks good,” it is important to ponder a few other crucial points of condideration as well. Users need to be able to use it, not just you. Search Engine’s need to be able to access main categories, pages, and looking good is not a bad thing either!
If you are considering buying yourself a web site you should carefully examine this post. This post covers a few questions you should ask before you buy a site. This can save you a lot of unnecessary effort and expenses.
A very common problem is when a company buys a web site and ends up with major disappointment. It does not meet the needs, users can not use it, or search engines can not properly categorize/crawl the site, which will probably result in dire consequences for YOU or your business!
In order to avoid disaster, you’ll need to ask, ask and ask.
Inform yourself about the new web site you’re about to buy, don’t you inform yourself about a new game, book, or movie you are going to buy? The best way of informing yourself is to get the information from the seller by asking him a lot of questions, don’t worry he wants you to buy his web site, so he will gladly answer all your questions.
So what should you ask?
Here a quick list of important question that should be asked before you buy a new web site:
1) Do you keep server updated?
An old or outdated server can be a hacker’s haven. The more popular your site becomes, the bigger the risk is for hacker activity. We have seen businesses work very hard to build up a lot of authority to the domain and have it taken over just for links.
2) Do you use Flash or AJAX?
Flash, although it is pretty, it is not always good for search engines. Google announced the ability to crawl & index certain flash sites. If Flash is a requirement with your site, ensure the developers visit Adobe’s Flash Development Center and watch the .SWF-SEO videos. Typically, HTML and CSS are used on many sites today and search engines respond well to the code.
3) Does your coding allow Google to crawl entire site?
Good question. How do you know if Google can reach your entire site? View the previous sites in a browser in a text-based browser like Lynx. And for those who would rather not install anything, a Lynx web based viewer option is available. Ensure all categories and priority pages are viewable in Lynx. Typically if Lynx can view the site — search engine’s can too!
4) What if the site is infected by Malware?
-Do you charge extra to fix and if so how much per hour?
-Do you provide back ups? If so, how far back do the backups go?
Three related questions. Malware is an increasing threat on the web today. Google does have several tools to help spot Malware now, but it is still very much in the hand’s of your hosting provider, webmasters, and the site owner. For this reason, talking about possible scenarios ahead of time can save a lot of headaches. Many hosts don’t provide old backups. In those instances, you HAVE to catch infections early, or else, it could be big trouble. Knowing about it ahead of time would leave you with the option to run your own backups incrementally should an infection sneak past you.
5) Will you install Analytics & Webmaster tools for free?
Absolutely a MUST in today’s “new media” world that we live in. We are now a data-driven business world and not utilizing the data Analytics & Webmaster tools will give us for FREE is like turning customers away at the door.
6) How much do you charge per hour for updates?
This is something everyone should know. Updates are inevitable. Better to not be surprised by outrageous fees.
This list could be a lot longer, depending on what web site it is and the functions it is meant to serve. You will need to individually come up with questions and ask, ask, ask. You don’t want to end up wasting your time and money with a sloppy website that doesn’t fit your needs at all! Many businesses require increased scrutiny in spending. By asking the right questions straight away, you can minimize the potential risks, risks that many do not realize until it is too late!