Monday, March 12, 2007

Web Site Buyers, Beware

How to spot incompetent web designers and web masters.

This article is based on the personal experience of the writer and is aimed primarily at “Newbies “ but can be of value to anyone interested in buying a web site or web site services.

The Internet has spawned a dearth of experts and so called experts. Many of the former are highly competent, dedicated professionals, some of whom dedicate their time to furthering Internet technology.

Unfortunately it has also subjected the uninitiated to the incompetents and in some cases dishonest so called experts.

My concept of a web site is that it’s comprised of two major components. One is the structural component the other is the functional component.

The structural component is the “ Look and Feel “ of the site; this is the easy part, almost anyone can build a good-looking site at very little cost. But many very attractive sites are useless as a business proposition because they don’t get traffic.

The functional component is an entirely different proposition. This is where technical expertise is required and where a lot of the so-called experts fall down. Getting traffic and the right kind of traffic is vital and requires knowledge of keyword usage and a number of other factors.

My web site is built using a very reputable web site builder program with a lot of built in tutorials but when I got into the keyword phase I was overwhelmed by lack of knowledge. So at the recommendation of a very reliable party I hired a web designer to assist me at the cost of $1000.00 he was to provide a fully functional bare-bones web site.

I provided the theme and all the content; he was to provide the technical expertise. Seven months later I still did not have a functional web site. I had the appearance of one but traffic was non-existent.

This will never happen to me again and if you follow my recommendation it won’t happen to you. I stumbled across a program that analyzes web sites. I was looking for a way to detect broken links in my site and this does much more.

I will add at this point I am not an affiliate of this program. I gain nothing but offer a public service and hope that I can prevent others from making the same mistakes that I have made.

This is a free web site and here’s what it does simply by typing in the URL of any web site that you want to analyze. Here is the link:

It checks:
1. Broken links
2. HTML errors
3. Mete tag warnings
4. Misspellings
5. Keywords
6. Search engine inclusions
7. Link popularity
8. Alexia rankings

In less than five minutes you can check the quality of any web site. I have been appalled when I checked the web sites of some highly recommended web masters and consultants. I could not believe how bad some of them are.

I don’t think they are all cheats and charlatans. I think some of them are just egotistical and think they know more than they do.

Our best defense is knowledge and this simple tool that I recommend will go a long way towards identifying and avoiding the incompetents and outright cheats.

You can use this analyzer to check the web sites of others that you are contemplating doing business with but also check the progress of your own work. It also has a lot of advanced features, which I won’t go in to at this time.

This will be one of several articles on how to avoid the pitfalls of acquiring a web site. Visit my web site at for information on this and other subjects

Written by: George W. Cannata Author and publisher of A shopping guide/fraud alert web site