I visited a series of websites recently while sourcing a tradesman to do some roof repairs. Two of them caused me to figuratively scratch my head.
In the first case, I found a local supplier and used their contact form to give my contact details. The absence of any acknowledgement or confirmation message on the screen set off alarm bells. I hadn’t heard anything for 2 days so I rang them. They had not received my email. Most business rarely get two chances to make a first impression. I felt generous.
When I received the quote, they informed me there had been a problem with the form, which had since been fixed. Their web developer didn’t give them any more details than that. I have no idea how many potential customers didn’t give them a second chance. AND NEITHER DO THEY.
I picked a second roofing company and followed a link from there to their developer’s website. It’s in my blood to check out the competition and review websites.
Sometimes I just kick the tyres of forms on my first visit to a website. Without entering any information, I click the submit button to see what happens. The image on the right is the confirmation message displayed on this site. With nothing entered this was a strange result!
This is a case of a web developer not adding validation to his own web form. As it happens, he omitted validation from at least his roofing client’s website and perhaps others. The client’s form doesn’t even have a spam question to limit the junk arriving in their email inbox.
Web Developers aren’t perfect. It is in your interest to test some of the basic functionality of your website. It may seem onerous, but test every few weeks. At the very least, use the contact form to send yourself a message. It’s better for you to find a problem early and get it fixed. You can’t be certain someone else will tell you.
If something doesn’t make sense, talk to the developer. If you can’t get any sense from him / her get a second opinion. I’m happy to answer some questions.
- Checklist to protect your web presence (blog.midboh.com.au)