When choosing the “cheap” designer costs you – a lot.

When people look for someone to build a website, their budget is an important factor. That’s perfectly understandable. However, people often make the mistake of going for the lowest bidder. They don’t realize that choosing the guy or girl that’s the cheapest could cost them a lot of money.

I’ve said this before, and I said this again. This time, I’m motivated to repeat my “rant” because of an experience I had last week.

Site was hacked! Help!

Earler this week, my boss walked into my office. Someone found us in Google and contacted us because his website was hacked. Of course he wanted to have his website fixed. I was handed over the job. Since I’m both a pro at destroying and rebuilding sites, it was straight up my alley.

And boy, had they been hacked. The website was offline because it couldn’t connect to the database. Apparently, he got hacked in three different ways:

  • The front page got defaced
  • One of the templates got hacked
  • The server got hacked.

Anyhow… Sites can be hacked. It happens to the best of us.

No back-up

When I started on the project, I first noticed there was no back-up, whatsoever. No cron jobs in DirectAdmin, no Joomlapack installed… Which brings me to point two.

Remember Joomlapack? It’s AkeebaBackup’s grand father, for Joomla 1.0

Yup. The hacked site was a Joomla 1.0 site. But not only was it a Joomla 1.0 website, it was a poorly built website, at that. Here’s some things that were terribly wrong with the site:

  • None of the extensions were up to date (Of course that’s relative, considering it was a Joomla 1.0 site)
  • All menu items were linking to a Section Blog. Which contained one article
  • They had created a section / category for each single article. Huzzah!
  • Components had been installed, but weren’t being used. Did I mention they were out of date? Woohoo!
  • The logo was an epic “let’s type their name in Trebuchet MS” logo.
  • The order form didn’t work. It was supposed to be retrieve information from Community Builder, butt that “never worked”. Resulting in a form where you could enter names of products and their amounts, which you’d send. Anonymously.
  • The hosting was of questionable quality at best.

I took the liberty to look up the designer that created this hack job, and looked at their prices. They were definitely cheaper than us. Unfortunately, we had to ask him 150% of his “purchase” price to rebuild his website. 

This poor guy ended up paying twice (and a half) for his website, because he chose the cheapest solution. While I feel sorry for him, I can’t help but using him as an example. Don’t choose the “cheapest” web designer. Wonder why they might charge less than the average. Maybe their ability to build a proper website is below average?

(They also weren’t available until after regular office hours. I guess the “Don’t quit your day job sneer comes into play here).

My fellow site builders, if someone asks you “Why do you charge x when Y does it for Z?”, feel free to borrow this comment from me: “You get what you pay for.”


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