SwissLinked.com is finally live! Everything we have learnt during the process…

We really had a hard time to get our website up and running. We made a few mistakes, read this post to avoid them if you ever plan to build a website!

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Have you ever heard a webiste-building horror story?

I’m sure you have. As I have learnt, they are pretty common. I’m also sure that your story is not even close to ours!

 

 

Consider only 2 facts, 2 very objective dates, nobody can question:

-The deadline for the website was June 2012

-We went online on the 4th of February 2013

Add to this picture the little detail that we are running an on- and offline business networking platform…can you imagine doing this without a website? For more than a year? There you go.

We had the best guys ever for the design, in their portfolio of references they have National Geographic, Ebay..the big ones. How complicated it can be for those guys a simple forum site??? I can tell you: VERY complicated. The designing part proceeded as planned and the designers had a programmer team they usually work with.

This is where our story went wrong. The site is based on vBulletin forum program, which turned out to be the nightmare of programmers. Apparently it is very user-friendly and the users love it, but only very few experts are willing to program it. This first team of ours accepted to job, as we later (much later) realised without knowing this program. Weeks were passing by at first, then weeks became months. We still did not have a website. In June they promised July, in July September. In September October and so on.url-1

Starting from October I was looking for another programmer. I first contacted vBulletin but they do not give out contact of programmers. When I gave up every hope I couldn’t think of any other solution, I simply googled “programming crowdsourcing”. This is how I landed on elance.com. What did I have to loose at that point?

I posted a job “vBulletin developer” and out of thousands of programmers who work through Elance 2 (two) said they were willing to give it a try. That gives you a good idea about the popularity of vBulletin amongst programmers.

I picked the guy with 100% positive feedback and off we started. This boy (26 years old, South Korean, living in China, loving classical music and wine) finished the job in 3 weeks. The same job what an entire team of Russian programmers didn’t manage in 9 months.

This is our happy ending, or rather the real beginning of an adventure. With a good website we’ll be able to give more spotlight to the events we organize, to not mention the safe online networking part.

 

urlThe key points I have learnt are:

Do not trust the programmer when he says that he can do the job. Check his references and make sure that he had already worked with the program you need.

-Delay can happen. ONCE. When he misses the second deadline you need to be firm and change programmer. No matter who recommends this first one.

Crowdsource. Elance.com is not the only crowdsourcing platform, there are many others. Most of them are safe, there is a rating system of contractors, you can check the progress and pay AFTER the work is done. To not mention the prices, which are a fraction of Swiss or European prices. You can crwodsource basically anything; logo or other design, editing, programming.

Share your experience. There are others out there who are in your situation!

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