Cheap websites can end up a nightmare

I've dealt with a few website owners, over the years, who had their original website built by different Indian website designers/developers. Although the original website was cheap enough, they mistakenly agreed to have only the original developer do any changes on the site in the future or the site warrantee would be void.

One site was a comprehensive community website that originally cost only $6000 USD. Great price for the site, so no problems there, however a year down the line, and the site wanted to add a feature they wrote to the developer, and they wanted, $25,000USD that's twenty five thousand dollars USD for what was a relatively easy job even if the coding had to be written from scratch.

This is outrageous, yet sadly enough commonplace. For a new website owner really daunting.

Looking at the website warrantee or guarantee it actually only lasted for a month after the site was built, so I advised the owner of this, much to their relief.

I found a coder, and had the job done for a total of $350. The killer was that the feature the owner actually wanted added, was actually in the code all the time, and had been hidden, so all that was required was to find it, and take out the code that was hiding it. It took me longer to find a coder that actually coded in that particular coding language than it did to have the work done.

It is vital that if you get a cheap site made you don't agree to anything like this, for this very reason. I have heard story after story from owners of how these "Cheap websites" end up costing the owner a bundle of money.

Another story was a website, that at first look, seemed to be a nice website, and as long as any members joined, and did everything correctly the site worked well. And in the testing stage of the website, since the owner wasn't an experienced beta tester, he didn't realize there were no correct error controls within the site.

I went to the site, actually to become a member, I filled out the membership form, and when I submitted it, my password didn't have enough characters, when the page refreshed after the error message it was blank, so I filled it in again, this time my dyslexia kicked in and my password didn't match, again I was faced with filling in the form. After 4 tries I eventually got the form to accept, and wrote to the owner, explaining that it was a simple change in coding to make the form keep the information, when something like that happened. And told him what to ask his developers to do in geek speak.

The owner wrote back and thanked me, and said that he hadn't known of the problem, and would get it fixed. All was well. I started writing to the owner just on a friendly basis about the site, and how things were going, his idea was a good one, and I have an inquisitive nature, like hobit our hedgehog mascot.

A month later the site owner wrote to me and said he hadn't had a reply from the company, after several emails on his part, and was sick and tired of their lousy after sales service.

He told me about a couple of other issues that had been reported, and asked if our webdesign/development company would be willing to fix these issues. I by that time had found another 3 problems with the site.

I said that we'd be happy to do the work, and carry on as his developer. I suggested that I beta test the site, which he was happy for me to do. I found 24 different issues, nothing major but things that should have been found and fixed during the building and testing stage.

While looking at the code to fix a couple of small issues, I noticed that some of the code was familiar, and actually turned out to be open source code, free to use, and just had a couple of minor customizations made to it, and should never have cost the $4000 that he was charged in the first place, so even though initially he was happy with the cheap price, he was actually overcharged.

That was over 3 years ago now, and now the site works well, has had several changes made, and features added, the owner is a happy camper.

The moral of the story is, you often get what you pay for, especially when it comes to very cheap websites. And paying for someone to explain the options you have can often save you a lot in the long run.

Regards Lynny

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