Like everywhere else, the internet continues to open windows for Africa to the rest of the world. Internet has been developed fairly late in Africa in comparison to Europe and America due to some incompetent governance and the work of some network companies.
Nevertheless it’s here, and now building a bridge between our beautiful culture and the wider world. And next to social media owning a website is a public platform for a hub of all necessary information, and affirmation of how serious one takes their business.
Therefore in this growing age of social media and internet, so is business for webdesigners, but there is more to it than meets the ear. Last year in creating our designer section of the directory, our aim was to also attach contact details including social media to all published designers.
Over 90 percent of Designers published from South Africa had registered on almost all well known social media platforms with a supporting website. As far as Ghana and Nigeria goes, there was hardly any online reference to over half the designers we had published via shows. In fact, less than 5% had websites, and even lesser kept the website updates.
The after querying from designers why this is in the past two months, of the 16 designers we questioned in Ghana, all 16 designers at some point had been scammed or lost money to a former designers. 3 who didn’t have websites stated they are still waiting on their designer to produce the website, the shortest wait amongst them was 3 months. Another 2 of the 3 of them that actually had websites now were facing issues where their webdesigner had lost touch with them.
To cut a long story short, web designers, or people posing as web designers are really having a field trip with this growing internet wave in Africa and creatives, businessmen, artists and more are going to have to be very careful with their decision.
Here is some careful advice you can take when entering this field.
1/ Do not follow recommendations from friends unless you have seen quality results and proof of their capabilities of creating a website. Ie. acknowledgement on a site, or the ability to edit one.
2/ Always buy your own domain. Owning a www. domain or webname is different from owning the website which it actually shows, and is much cheaper. One can have a domain name without a web site and can even point the domain name to a facebook page, twitter account or a blogspot.com site which is free. Most clients are at default when they allow the web designer or designing company to buy their desired domain name. Ie. www.AzontoDesigns.com. By doing so you put yourself in a disadvantage allowing the designer to charge more at anytime he/she/they feel as they know you have more at stake.
By buy owning your own domain ie. www.AzontoDesigns.com if your designer becomes incompetent you can always forward or divert the name to your social media page ie www.facebook.com/azontodesigns which will open when people visit it, and you can keep it as such until you develop a website that is to your satisfaction.
3/ Never pay the web designer upfront, or atleast not all. A web designer is nothing like a fashion designer. Once the product is finished it’s not out their hands, they always have password access if you are not savvy enough to change it. Meaning they have the upperhand of the deal, in this case if you do not pay up they are capable of taking it down or even doing worst by publishing wrong information on it. Being that they have the upperhand they should never request the full amount until they’ve completed the job.
4/ Get to know your webdesigner before paying and not just discussion. Always obtain some form of proof of i.d. before paying. Or make an attempt to visit him at his/her house or office. And whilst you are there ensure it’s his. Make sure you make contact with a family member of some sort. Such will help you or the police track him/her if they do attempt to scam you.
With that said, FashionGHANA.com will also be prepared to help out designers who have been scammed or wish to avoid being scammed with websites. Depending on our schedule we can either point you in the right direction or create it for you, this way you can be sure your money won’t go down the drain. Simply scroll to the bottom of the website and reach us with any of the contact details below. And remember to be careful when parting with your money. And if you do get scam, do remember to publish as much information of the scammer as you can, it might be a little embarrassing but it might alert the next victim.