Selecting a website developer

I tired, oh did I try designing/developing/managing my own website. I was trying save a Buck that ended costing more than I thought it would. Trying to keep up with SEO was time consuming, taking away from operating the business. As I began to search for a web designer/developer I discovered there are many who claim expertise in SEO. When questioned further I found that the vast majority didn’t have any knowledge of either the NSA or Tax business.

As the economy continues to soften you can bet you’ll see an increase of website ‘experts’ as well. Just like we’ve seen in the NSA business. My advice to you if you’re going to hire a professional website developer make absolutely certain you don’t wast your time and money. There are many website designers/developers, but few who know our business.


Also, remember to NEVER turn over your ADMINISTRATIVE authorization/passcode to the developer.

Why (one might query)?

Well, there are some nefarious and unscrupulous individuals who may take your website hostage and refuse to release the control back to you unless you pay a King’s Ransom to gain the control back . . . even if you do that, how will you know if they’ve included some code to surreptitiously gain access to it once again & repeat the process.

As @RiverpointeTax advises, perform your own due diligence, check references for viability and/or bias, and always think critically before handing over your hard-earned money.

Caveat Emptor.



Totally. I built my own website from the ground up with It’s incredible. It’s best to have control of things yourself, in the end. But, it takes a lot of time and energy. Luckily, I found out I really enjoyed the process of creating it. It was fun and the possibilities are endless.

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I used Squarespace and also enjoyed the process. I had complete control and used my creativity. Alas, I don’t think I ever got even one lead from my website, nice as it is. My GNW all comes from Yelp! and I think I’m going to try Google whatever.

The good news about my website is that I can change things to whatever I want whenever I want. I’ve started another company and I’m gonna re-do my website to promote my new invention. It’ll take a month or so and I’ll report back how it worked.


I discovered a Notary website really doesn’t bring in leads for the business. I got more referrals through Google than anything else. I decided to start a second business, a Tax firm, to compensate when Real Estate started to slow down. I later rolled my Notary services into my Tax business as a value added service. I’m still getting leads from Google.

I decided on a professional web design as people want to see a website for Tax services, not just a google site for a notary.


That’s interesting. At this point, the only reason I have an income is because of my website. Individuals, title companies, lawyers, and banks find it and reach out. I like that because I have a booking system built in. They can choose their own date and time and then pay. I don’t leave my house unless I’ve already been booked and paid. I don’t print anything and I charge for everything lol. It’s very random, though. For example, today, I have nothing on the books and randomly someone reached out for a POA, WILL, and Advanced healthcare directive for 2 people each. I charge $50 per doc. And then travel. They are 16 miles away and I charge $2/mile. So, that’s $332 for the only appointment I have today.

sigh I really want to get out of notary work, but I have no idea what to do next, unfortunately. The idea of working for someone else makes me ill. But the idea of not being able to have a roof over my head or food also makes me ill. Stuck between a rock and a hard place lol…


Now I’m thinking that finding a notary, whether by Website, Google, or ‘other’, may be regionally of locally defined. I built a GoDaddy site that I received multiple compliments on, but had trouble trying to keep up with the ever evolving SEO algorithms. When I setup my next venture, with a new business name, I went with a pro as getting local rankings is much more important.

In Texas, like most States, we’re capped on notary fees, but I can charge for travel, which I bill out by the hour not mileage. If I charge by the mile and I’m stuck in traffic, I’m earning nothing while waiting for traffic to clear.

The vast majority of my non-Real Estate and legal engagements include documents (engagement letters, discovery documents, evidence retrieval, photographs, ect.) in addition to the one’s needing to be notarized. This is where I can charge for a signing engagement fee, which the law firm bills pass through to the client. Some of these Law suits are in the millions. This works only if there are documents in the package that don’t need notarizing.

I get not wanting to go back to work for someone else. This was my motivation for starting a second business.


You’re totally right about this one, OP. There are tons of SEO companies that are lazy, unprofessional, and just want money. It’s hard to find the one that will really help you increase your rankings and revenues.
I think the ultimate goal of any SEO activity is to increase revenues and the number of orders. If the increase doesn’t happen, the strategy doesn’t work, and the company you’ve hired doesn’t know what they are doing.
SEO has changed a lot in the past few years because of Google Algorithm updates. The best strategy now is not to generate as much spam as possible but to create meaningful, high-quality content that’s really useful. The only service I know that does that is this guest posting service; that’s it. There are not so many of them, and that’s a shame.

Do not despair and keep working on your site.


Glad I didn’t overthink website design and kept information to simple one page FAQ. Google is steering customers from review comments by others, people searching on whatever device, etc. Keeping busy this month with past history of clients I have used for years. Previously a lot of work for people buying property in AZ and recently lot of work for selling property in AZ. Interesting how the world changes.

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Sorry to hear about your frustrating experience with website design and development. It’s definitely a challenging field to navigate, especially regarding SEO. It’s good that you’re researching and being cautious about hiring a professional. Finding someone with the right expertise and knowledge for your business needs can be challenging. Have you considered looking into a world-recognized Magento agency like Atwix They have a proven track record of providing top-notch web development services. They can work with you to create a custom solution that meets your unique needs.

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Haven’t decided to try another developer because I’m cheap. If a high school student wants to donate time, will consider. :wink:

I totally feel you on the struggles of trying to DIY your website. Sometimes, trying to save a buck ends up costing more in terms of time and resources. SEO can be a real headache, especially when it takes away from actually running your business.

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I totally get your struggle with website development – been there, done that! It’s a classic case of trying to cut corners and ending up in a maze of expenses and lost time. SEO alone can feel like a full-time gig, right?

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SEO is the digital version of playing Wack-O-Mole while blindfolded.

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