Choosing a contractor from the web
Bear in mind that there are different types of Paving Contractor . Not all contractors carry out all types of work.
See separate page for more information.
Many contractors now have websites which range from pretty bloody impressive portfolios of some mighty fine work maintained by professionally managed businesses all the way down to a jumble of slightly out-of-focus cameraphone images literally dumped onto FaceBook or Flickr.
Don't let presentation dazzle perception. Sometimes, there are gems in the raw out there, paviors with paving skills rather than web skills, but always bear in mind that a professional-looking site costs good money, so someone willing to spend that money has to have the budget to pay for the site. It can be a good indicator of how professional the contractor considers their skills to be. Good websites usually, not always, but usually indicate good contractors.
Customers increasingly find a contractor by using a search engine. They put in “paving” alongside the name of their town, city, county or local area and see which lucky sod gets to be at or near the top of the page.
Ask yourself: how did they get to be at or near the top? Did they get there because they have a good website, because they're a good contractor, or because they paid to be there?
Increasingly, paving contractors and landscapers are paying for links and ads to appear on sites, including this one. A link costs money but what does that money lead you to? A webpage or a website?
Single Page Sites
A webpage is little more than a contact page. It's technically a web presence but it's rarely high in the ranking. Might have cost a hundred quid.
A website is a more reasonable filtering system. It does often give a fair impression of the business behind the photies. Bear in mind that it's an "impression", not an "idiot-proof guarantee of complete and total reliability".
Websites for all small businesses are often bought 'off the shelf' from a web designer business for a grand or two. They are formulaic, factual and functional.
The better sites may have separate pages for each of these topics. The best sites will have a gallery of decent looking work and it might even have been updated this year!
Points To Note:
Some Contractors belonging to one of the various manufacture sponsored schemes get a basic web-presence as part of their membership package.
A few websites are run as a celebration of one contractor's pride in their work. They are paviors with a passion. They want everyone to see how damned good they are! They have text to go with the photies.
A website can say a lot about a contractor but talking to the people who will actually be laying your paving is still the best indicator of all. Attitude, manners and on-the-spot knowledge will always be the most reliable indicators of the better contractors.