It’s that time - you’ve started a new business, you need a digital home for your personal portfolio or you want a fresh start with your existing website - and you begin the hunt to find a new developer to build your new website.
When our consultants are talking with key decision-makers about the new website they desire, it eventually ends up with them telling us about their previous website designer and how their current site is ineffective as a sales tool and/or doesn’t represent their business.
If you are looking for a professional website designer that will give you professional support, you want to avoid any individuals who fit into these 4 warning signs:
- Doesn't discuss the aim of the website
- They don't have a corporate email address
- No terms and conditions
- He'll submit your website to [inflated number here] search engines
- BONUS: How to choose a designer who doesn’t suck
- So what next?
Doesn't discuss the aim of the website
Every website project should begin with determining the website aim. It sounds obvious but without it, your website will become a ship lost out at sea without a rudder directing it.
A website needs to have a main aim known as a call to action (CTA). Yes, you have smaller CTAs on certain pages but you'll want an overall CTA that'll define and direct all of what you do.
In order to effectively design a customer journey for a website visitor, your web designer needs to begin by determining what it is with you. If he doesn’t, it's because he doesn’t consider this when building a website, and your site will inevitably share contradicting messages to those who visit it.
When discussing the Project Brief with our clients (a 15-minute initial meeting to determine the project specs), understanding the website aim is one of the first questions we ask. Not to blow our own trumpets.
They don't have a corporate email address
If a website designer is contacting you from a "@hotmail.com" or "@aol.com" email address, there's a problem. Why don't they have a corporate email address (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org)?
This should go without saying, but we've had clients come to us from web designers who “do it on the side.” When we try to reach out to them, we quickly find out what's going on and if often begins by seeing their email address.
A website designer should be a demonstration of their best foot forward. All their knowledge and experience in one place in the hope to pick you up as a client and as simple as it sounds, without a professional corporate email address, it shows they don't take what they're doing seriously.
Based on the ease and the simplicity of creating a personalised corporate email address, there's no excuse for not having one.
No terms and conditions
Terms and conditions are there to protect you, as much as they are they to protect the website designer.
They inform you of what you're entitled to and what you’re covered against. Signing up with a website designer without any of these means you potentially have no coverage, even when it comes to payment.
You want to make completely sure that your website designer has steps in place, so you both can have a healthy working partnership. When it comes to website development, it's a basic step in clear communication. It's like that good old advice of always getting everything in writing.
He'll submit your website to [inflated number here] search engines
Being seen on Google and other search engines is vitally important to growth and exposure. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an approach to making sure your website ranks as highly as possible on Google and the like.
Submitting your website to hundreds of search engines (one method of optimising your SEO) would be great...10 years ago. Websites are indexed by relevant search engines by how rich their content is and the keywords that are used. SEO is big business and submitting sites to search engines simply isn't the way to get to the top of Google. The likelihood is that the individual is hoping you don't know much about SEO.
BONUS: How to choose a designer who doesn’t suck
If you’re in the market for a website designer, we can’t stress enough how important it is to ask questions. Lots of them! Make sure you have a good understanding of how the person works, what skills they have, and who controls what once the project is completed.
If your main consideration in choosing a website designer is the price, you’re in trouble. We know everyone wants a great design at the lowest possible cost, but cheaper is not always better. Ask yourself how much you’re really saving if your website doesn’t meet your needs or expectations.
Most importantly, talk to the designer’s former clients. We promise, no one will mind telling you if they had a great experience (and they won’t mind warning you if they had a really bad one, either). Ask what they wish they’d have done differently and whether they would hire that person again. Don’t blindly trust testimonials – contact real people instead. Every minute you spend doing your homework ahead of time will save you hours of headache down the road.
So what's next?
So there it is - 4 steps on how to avoid a bad website designer and some guidance on how to find the right one.
We don't like to blow our own trumpet but we believe we meet all of the above criteria and more. We offer the opportunity to pay monthly for a new website or to build something completely bespoke to your needs.
Get in touch with our team today and learn more about how we can grow your business sales.