Why Not to Hire a College Kid to Build Your Website

Because it will not be done correctly, waste time, and waste money.

Most people who seek business web/data providers on cl expect to pay fast food wages. They are shocked to discover that the college student is not, in fact, as good as a seasoned professional.

We usually offer to be the “second company” they hire after the college student/$10-per-hour-Indian-outsourcing-company botches the job.

– Brian Begy, Founder, Chicago Data Solutions

You may remember Brian from the earlier post about should your company use Craigslist? We had gotten to talking and he had a great anecdote about a client who hired a college kid that progressed something like this:

  1. Kid made a crappy site.
  2. Chicago Data Systems was hired to supervise the student.
  3. Brian uncovered basic, yet very serious security flaws in the e-commerce section of the site.
  4. Chicago Data Systems was hired to replace the kid.

My anecdote runs similarly:

  1. A business owner hires his nephew to build a website.
  2. Nephew builds a site that was technically flawed and received no visitors.
  3. The uncle realizes that the only reason to have a website is positive ROI and hires Charlotte Web development to attract.
  4. I create an Adwords campaign attracting hundreds of visitors and propose that a website redesign be done to convert all of the new visitors to paying customers.
  5. The uncle asks Charlotte Web Development to tutor his nephew.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

college kid May 18, 2009 at 2:24 pm

jealous that people with out degrees can do your job, go to school full time, and have two more part time jobs? that’s cool.


CWD May 31, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Not really. Most of my business comes from companies asking untrained designers to build a site. I don’t blame college kids from coding as a way to earn beer money – I did it myself through undergraduate and graduate school. It is just unrealistic to expect college kids to be able to build a website that will have a positive return on investment – they just don’t have the experience in trying to be professionals. If anything, I am grateful for when small business owners contract non-professionals. They soon come to realize the value of having a site done right.


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