In today’s competitive market, almost everyone is searching for the best deal. Why not? It seems perfectly logical to get the best “bang for your buck.” The old adage, “You get what you pay for.” is especially true when it comes to website development. Moreover, you’re taking a huge risk when you do business with someone you don’t know.  Although they offer you a deal you can’t refuse, the cheapest price is not always the best option for your company or your brand.  Here are three reasons why you should work with website developers you know; loyalty, quality and motive.

What happened to loyalty in business relationships? Some of the top business experts will advise you to avoid doing business with your family or friends; but in many cases these experts fail to address the importance of doing business with people who are loyal.  I agree that doing business with family and friends may not be the best choice, but only in the absence of loyalty. I would, however, choose to engage in business with a family member or friend who is loyal rather than hope for loyalty from someone who doesn’t really know me. Usually, people who are not familiar with your brand—which comprises your core values and beliefs—have no incentive to be loyal to you.

Loyalty plays an integral role in the relationship you have with your website developer. Some companies offer cheap prices to bait you. Once you’re on the hook, they steal your content, repackage it to avoid being black-listed and sell it to the next buyer. You should look for a developer who asks the right questions in an effort to thoroughly understand your business model.  In addition, look beyond the portfolio and ask for testimonials from clients who have worked with the developer on similar projects.  You should ask for contact information and speak with the client for first-hand information that allows you to determine the developer’s loyalty to his or her clients.

The quality of work is another reason why you should work with a website developer you know. Since your website is the heartbeat of your brand, quality is important and should never be compromised. The Latin phrase, caveat emptor, which means buyer beware, is the first rule of buying something that appears too good to be true. Once again, look beyond the portfolio. Speak with the developer’s clients to learn about their experience with the developer. Don’t be afraid to ask about the budget so you can evaluate the quality of the completed website as it relates to pricing.

When developers don’t really know you, some may attempt to sell you a website template that you could easily purchase yourself. The point of working with a website developer is to create a unique site based on your brand, not a template. If the developer understands your product or service, he or she can create meaningful content that is unique to your industry. Your developer should select the best graphics to bring life to your site. A developer who truly knows who you are will develop a website indicative of his or her knowledge about what you do and the best way to showcase your product or service.

The final and most important reason why you should work with a website developer you know is his or her motive for taking on your project. It’s always a good idea to question the intent behind every action. If the developer is willing to give you “inside” information and trade secrets, you should not hesitate to question his or her motive. Why is the developer motivated to share excessive information with you? Sharing information opens the door for the developer to ascertain how much you know about web development.  It is easy to embed fraudulent links that can lead your buyers to another site for another client or project the developer is working on. In some cases, they prey on your website visitors in an attempt to sell to your potential or existing clients. Beware of the developer’s motives. Make an effort to build a relationship with your developer throughout the creative process. Ask questions like why they do what they do? What are their goals and aspirations? How long have they designed websites? What do they like most about their relationships with their clients? Which of their clients can you speak with to get a feel for the developer’s work ethic?

You have the right to decide who you will trust with your brand. You should never feel compelled to engage in business with people who don’t know you or those who don’t have a desire to get to know you. Do business with people you know and trust.