Struggling Webmasters are Bringing Pain to their Clients

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 19, 2010

Apparently 2010 is not off to a good start for webmasters. Not since 1998 have I heard of so many webmasters baling from their client projects mid-way leaving their clients stranded without a completed website, or even worse, a completely “down” website.

Over the past two weeks alone, my company at HereNextYear that has worked with over 300 client projects over the past 15 years has received 4 new client calls where their webmaster has simply left them in the lurch. One disgruntled webmaster even attempted to discredit his client by getting the client site banned on Google search after a dispute.

Two of the other cases were as a result of fed-up business owners who had been waiting for six months…that’s right “6″ months…for their basic websites to be designed and launched by their webmasters. There was no giant back-end database here folks, we’re talking like 7-page content sites with a PayPal link!

Finally, with no hope of a refund in site, they both bit the bullet and came to us at HereNextYear.com to get the jobs done…in two weeks (our standard turnaround time).

The final example was a volunteer webmaster who did a superb job maintaining a site for a small church and just decided it was time to do something different.

On one side of the fence, this is a big shameless plug for my website implementation team at HereNextYear. We are still in the business of, like, actually completing websites for clients and helping them maintain them for years to come. We just had a record breaking sales month for December 2009 and are completely focused on doubling our client base by the end of 2010.

But, more importantly, I think everyone who has a webmaster should check in with them if it’s been a while. See if you can get a feel for the following so that you don’t get caught broadsided with a down site or a half-baked project:

1. How has the economy impacted his or her business?
2. Is your webmaster getting more clients or less?
3. Will their prices be the same for 2010?
4. How are things at home? Many solo webmasters become friends with their clients and are open to discussing this topic.
5. Does your webmaster still enjoy the work of web design, web development or webmastering?
6. Are you in good standing as a client?
7. Are there plans for the webmaster to grow his/her business, reduce to part-time or leave the industry entirely over the next few months or year?

Some of these are tough questions to get answered. But, I can tell you for sure that your business is on the line if you are aligned with a webmaster that is unsteady, changing their priorities, or can suddenly snap and move to Siberia!

Friends are friends, but business is business. Contact your webmaster immediately (if you have one) and establish a level of comfort that your website is in good hands for 2010. And, if something should happen, know that you have a place to call to get things back on track. Check out HereNextYear.com for all website and Internet marketing services you would ever need.

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Thanks for the comment Ozclicks. Surely a red flag would be if one asked the question about number of employees and the number dropped significantly since last year, but how else might that question be of concern? I know plenty of solo webmasters that can handle a great load of clients while I also know of some high-end agencies with 20+ full-timers that we get business from because they don’t return calls for days at a time.

January 19th, 2010 | 4:38 pm

In times of trouble I always invest in the large companies. I get it right 95 times out of a hundred or I get it wrong 5 times out of 100. However, dont be mistaken the “media hype” around the 5 big ones going down is always greater … sells more adverting space for the competitors left behind! The glass is always half full not half empty.

January 19th, 2010 | 9:14 pm
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