Website Design and Maintenance: Do you know who handles it?
Since I started my business (in 1999!), there seem to be increasing numbers of “white label” agencies offering website design and maintenance services. And even more since 2020, after the start of the pandemic.
Before I dive in, you may wonder what a “white label” agency is. There are companies around the world that offer a range of web services to other companies. For example, ABC company offers website design. If they partner with a “white label” agency, the agency does the website design work. They get paid by ABC company, and ABC company provides the website design to their customers. It will be under their brand and at a higher price than what they paid the agency.
Using a “white label” agency can be helpful to a company because they’re outsourcing some or all the work. Although they usually don’t disclose this. Yet, this might not be the best option for you. Even if you’re okay with this practice, knowing that before you start working with the company is best.
Another variation is a business that offers set-priced packages. They appear to be a small local business, and you can buy from their website. But they’re usually reselling services from a large company. One sign that points to this is if they offer 24/7 support. Another place to look is on the checkout screen, which will have a different phone number than the website (one reseller service I’ve seen has a phone number with a 480 area code.)
In both these examples, I’ve seen companies that present themselves as based in a big city. The ones in big cities often state they have customers worldwide. I’ve also seen companies focusing on being local to a specific region.
A business should be open about who does the work, if it’s outsourced or if they offer services as a reseller. If you don’t want to work with a business that outsources or resells services, consider asking if they do.
I’ve talked with many people who figured out their contact person is a project manager. Or *gasp* their contact person stopped responding and seemed to disappear completely.
They were disappointed because had thought they would be working directly with the website designer. Or they wanted a local business to be taking care of their WordPress website maintenance.
Here are a few questions and tips to help you learn more about a company before you work with them.
Does the website include information about the actual people in the business?
Does the About page include vague text?: “We are a one-stop web services company.” Or “Our team of designers, developers, and project managers partner with you.”
Do all the photos of people working in an office look like stock photos?
Look up the business address on Google Maps. It will help you see if the address exists. You’ll also see if there are any negative Google reviews.
Does this have you wondering who will be (or already is!) working on your website? If you’re ready for the peace of mind that comes with knowing who’s working on your website, get in touch with Debbie today!