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I recently got a call from a past client. We developed a website for them back in 2012. Last year I contacted them as I hadn’t heard from them since that launch. Took a peek at the site and it was the same site, a good bit stale, and in need (in my opinion of a refresh). So they said, “Sure, send us a budget.”

After doing that I hadn’t heard a peep from them on any of my follow ups… then a few months later, my phone rang. Turned out they went to a cheap source to convert their old html site to wordpress. Well, that cheap source did an awful job. The client said the site was a mess, many of the features didn’t work anymore, they fell off search results, page formatting was messy, etc. “OK,” I said, “pass me the login and I’ll look under the hood.” Well, it’s like one of those home improvement shows when the wall of an old home gets opened up – knob & tube wiring, lead pipes, asbestos – what a mess!

So they asked for a budget to fix the mess (not start fresh). That was almost worse. We gave them that budget, which was almost as much as starting over and as much as our bid to refresh the site. My team went in and fixed what we could without torching the whole thing. Also, when they did the switch to wordpress they moved their hosting to a cheaper provider as well. End result is that they pay less, but don’t get live, domestic phone support for their hosting account, and worse, the load time on the site is now verrrry slow.

And to top it all off, the only logo they had saved on their server was an early 90’s eye-scorching, internet bright blue, pixelated logo. This despite the fact that when we did their site back in 2012 we rebuilt their logo so it would be clean and with more eye-friendly colors. Sent that logo to them back then in multiple formats. During my meeting with them to turn over the triaged site, the owner’s son asked about using a logo for print pieces. The penny-pinching-point man said, “we can use this one on the website.” “No,” said I, “that’s web resolution. Why not use one of the logos I sent over when we did the project in 2012.” I said I’d pull it from my archive and send it over. “Nah…,” said the frugal point man, “I’ll just go out and take a picture of the logo on one of our trucks. That’ll work.” …stomach acid.

Frugal man (who is one of the company’s senior sales people) then said, “You know, give me three hours and I’ll put the site together on Wix. It’ll all be on one page.” This for a site that’s got over 40 pages of content. Lots of scrolling, no? Anyway, at this point I’m cutting bait in my mind. I thought better of it after I left. I did send over the clean hi-res logo and will reach out to the owner’s son who seemed to ‘get it’ regardless of how his co-worker tossed around nickles like they were sewer caps.

OK… so bottom line here is, they’ve spent more in time, money and energy to fix something that still loads slowly and doesn’t reflect well on their brand. Cheap is as cheap does. When it comes to your brand, especially in public spaces like the web where a first impression can make or break you, don’t scrimp. Invest the appropriate amount in it so you look like you care about it. 😉