I began the site as a place for Canadian parents to buy and sell their new and used kids' stuff and connect with other parents. At the time, there was no other site like Kidswap, and it took off like gang busters, receiving anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 unique visitors per month.
Although I have no desire to reshash the entire fiasco that took it down in the first place and resulted in my decision to close permanently, I would like to share some tips for those with web sites or those who are thinking of upgrading/changing their sites.
- Tip #1 - Purchase a template, don't hire a web designer - Apologies to those web designers who are legitimate, but in all of my years running Kidswap I did not meet one honest, reliable person who called themselves a web designer. There was one individual in Chilliwack who was so swarmy he wanted his money through Western Union. Yet another who I hired on RentaCoder.com who was such a con artist that he physically threatened myself and my family if I didn't hand over money for the project that looked like crap but that he 'worked really hard on.' When I finally did my research, hired a lawyer, and signed a contract with a legitimate Vancouver web design firm, I got SCAMMED again. This time, by two unscrupulous, conniving, greedy individuals who didn't produce a site at all. Bottom line: There are many, many, web sites that will sell you site templates. Having a new site done for you isn't just expensive, it's sort of silly. If you don't know coding or have no knowledge of how to build a site, hire someone to edit the template for you and have them work hourly. Then at the very least, you will know what you are paying for your web site.
- Tip #2 - If you must hire a coder/person to help you build you site, hire them from a legitimate company or a site like Odesk.com, which tracks people and their work for you. I've never been burned by Odesk in the two years I've been taking jobs on their site, but I have been burnt twice on Craigslist.
- Tip #3 - Be wary of who you hire, and don't let them soak you with computer tech speak. As I said before, not everyone is as shifty as some of the people I have encountered. That being said, if they talk down to you, don't explain things properly, or ask you for a ton of money upfront: run away.
I am always happy to help you if you have a question about web sites, design, programming, etc, so feel free to comment if you have a question and I will do my best to answer it.