- Avoid choosing a web designer who is still using old HTML code to build websites. Today, in order for your website to show up uniformly on newer versions of internet browsers, computer operating systems, and mobile devices, your website should be built with the most up-to-date coding: HTML5 or newer. It would be a major pain in the neck (and wallet) to have to re-design your website after you’ve worked hard to develop a new site with a designer who has used outdated code.
- Avoid choosing a web designer who suggests using a lot of flash content on your site. Since Apple computers and mobile devices do not support Flash, your Flash website will not display fully when Apple users pull up your website on their devices. It is unwise for any web designer to suggest using significant amounts of Flash.
- Avoid using a template for your website. Most of us have tried our best to come up with a unique name for our organization to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. So it makes sense to do the same and create a unique website to establish your online web presence. It is not a wise move to choose a website template for your organization’s online identity that has been duplicated and re-sold thousands of times online.
- Avoid using your cousin’s friend, or your friend’s cousin, to design your site. I have encountered a number of clients who started out their web design project with someone they knew personally or through family. Usually the idea is that working with someone you know will save you money. This situation often ends up with a half-baked website that doesn’t meet the client’s expectations, or the project drags on for way too long. I am a big believer in the power of referrals, but you should research carefully to make sure you hire a web designer who can handle your project. Research includes viewing the designer’s work portfolio, reading their past clients’ testimonials, and reviewing their web design prices. Referrals are great, but you need to do your homework to choose a qualified website designer.
- Avoid choosing the cheapest web designer. If you are looking for website designers that can meet your expectations, do not let price be the only criteria in your selection process, no matter how tight your budget. It would be better for you to work out a payment plan with a qualified web designer or wait until you can save up enough money to design your site professionally. Paying money for a poorly designed and developed site will undoubtedly cost you more time and money in the long run. When a designer says that s/he will take on your project for 1/5 the price of other web design quotes, you should question whether that designer really understands the details of the project and the results that are expected.
- Avoid choosing a web designer who does not have a service agreement contract in place. Quite often new clients come to us frustrated because their previous designer told them that they do not own the domain and/or the website which they had paid for a number of years ago when the site was developed. Apparently when that designer built the website and registered the domain for the client, there was no service agreement contract in place that stated that the client owns these properties. Now, when the client decides to leave, the designer claims that the client merely rented everything and that client does not own anything. You can avoid this by asking whether your prospective web designer has a service agreement contract in place for you, as the client. Most importantly, ask if the contract states that you own a copyright of your website design and your selected website domain name. Only when you have a copy of the signed contract in your hands should you go forward with the project.
There are other “red flags” you should watch out for when choosing a web designer, but the six listed above are some of the most common mistakes that you will be happy to avoid. If you find this article helpful, please share it with others so they can benefit from it as well. Thank you!