Please help - I`m becoming ridicuously stressed out.
Awhile back I made myself a rather simple website for my product. There was no way to buy the product on the site and like I said - it was simple. I got some advice from this forum to have a designer redesign the site. So I set out to find a designer who would redesign the site and set it up for ecommerce such that it would accept credit cards and not require the user to use paypal.
I talked to a number of companies but finally went with one who seemed responsive and like they knew what they were doing. I paid more than others had quoted ($1650) hoping that they would do a really good job.
From the beginning it`s been an uphill battle. I just don`t feel like they get the concept or the store. The first designs were very template like. I had hired another designer to design my labels, and he did an extraordinary job. I ended up requesting that they try to incorporate design features from the label into the site. It still didn`t look good. Eventually I had to design the banner.
I can`t even tell you all of the obvious corrections that I`ve had to tell them, and it`s taken so long for everything to get done. Here it is - April 25 and there`s no way that it will be up any earlier than Tuesday, and initially they told me that the site could be up by April 5. I have customers waiting to buy the product, and - as some of you may know - I have to decide whether to move the business in July and whether to file patents in September.
I have asked them to give me the ftp information so that I can change the site myself this weekend but they said that the earliest that I could get this info would be Monday and then they won`t warranty any of the shopping cart stuff that they`ve installed. They`ve told me that I`ll be top priority next week, but every week they tell me that it`s going to be done and it just isn`t. I feel like I`m going to be settling for a sub-par site, which really upsets me based on the price. So far I`ve paid half of the price.
Here`s the site. Please take a look. Give me any suggestions. I`m so frustrated, and I don`t know what to do. Do I:
- Give them a list of corrections that need to be made and insist that it`s up by Mon/Tues?
- Demand to be given the FTP info and stop dealing with them? In which case - I don`t know whether their store works, and I`m certainly not a professional webdesigner either.
- Other suggestions?
Old Site: www.shapeacakeclay.com
New Site: www.numatekdemo.com/cake/store
A subset of the problems I`ve seen with the site:
- Huge alignment problems when viewed w/ Explorer 6.0
- Loading time is long (and ridiculous for video page; I`ve suggested a redesign of the page where there`s an index initially and then only one video per page)
- Photo gallery looks bad. They intend to make the spacing between pictures regular, but I still think it looks very amateurish the way it`s just two columns. Obviously, it`s just what I did in my site.
- I don`t like the products page. The pictures illustrating the use of the product are lost. For the strip and clay products, the process pictures need to be in a line. For the decorating clay product, there`s no picture of what can be done w/ the product (e.g., a finished cake) at all.
- And there`s been no search engine optimization whatsoever, which they said they would do.
I really wish I had the guy who designed my labels design the website. Look on the product page at how nice they look. Again - thanks for any advice.