How Much Horse Is In Your Website?

Narrative IndustriesThoughts

You may have seen a little flurry of activity recently when some horse meat found it’s way into beef ready meals. This happened because manufacturers of ready-meals wanted to sell cheaper products which, in turn, led to squeezing the supply chain and, ultimately, sloppy standards.

Why is this relevant to your online presence? Well, the answer is simply that you get what you pay for. If you want a bargain basement website, the chances are it won’t actually contain the quality or features you’d expect and might even contain a few nasty surprises in there.

You may have seen websites that some places are offering for as little as a few pounds. You may have looked at the feature list and thought that was good value and if we’re honest, like the horse meat scandal, it probably won’t kill you if you do go with one of them. But, like the horse meat scandal, don’t be surprised when the features you were promised, the ingredients, are not quite what it said on the label.

Some of the things we’ve seen go into a website are just as likely to come from a big company as a small firm and might actually be things like:

  • using old code which negatively impacts your SEO
  • Missing sitemaps.xml, robots.txt etc
  • not monitoring to server failures
  • Not using a CMS (every site should use a CMS these days)
  • No support for mobiles & tablets
  • hidden code in footers which publicise other businesses
  • blocking search engines through poor code
  • totally ignoring accessibility laws
  • unlicensed imagery or
  • incredibly common stock imagery / clip art
  • poor or no analytics reporting
  • poor coding structures (e.g. badly nested or missing headline tags)
  • no back-up policy
  • no keyword policy

Of course, the company will tell you you’re getting a search engine friendly, mobile compatible, all-singing website that’s 100% beef, but if it’s cheap then it almost certainly isn’t and you shouldn’t be surprised.

Of course, you can pay top process for rubbish too but if you’re shopping in generally speaking you’re better off paying a reasonable, fair price if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises.