10 Telltale Signs Your Web Designer Sucks - And That You Need To Find A New One

Last Updated on February 21, 2019 by Fabrizio Van Marciano

Is your current web designer letting you down with your web design project? Do you feel as if you have no hope in getting your website finished in time? Keep reading.

So you've got a new business idea that you want to turn into an online project! That's great...

After careful planning, you decide you need a website.

You head straight over to Craigslist in search of the perfect web designer!

Whoops! You've just failed right there... Come on, Craigslist? Are you serious?

Anyway, after finding the right designer for the job (so you think), you set about getting him or her to work on your project...

If you've gotten this far and even beyond, and have been left bitterly disappointed because you made the wrong choice in web designer's, my heart bleeds for you, it really does.

You really should have done your homework first! But, I'm not here to lecture you on what you should have done before hiring a designer, so don't sweat it.

Now, let's rewind the scenario back to the part where "you decide you need a website".

Before you go in search of a reliable and competent web designer for the task you have, keep in mind the following 10 criteria.

Oh, and please, avoid Craigslist...

lady coffee laptop
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10 ways to tell if your web designer sucks at his job!

That's a pretty harsh headline, I know, but the last thing you want is a cowboy coder for your website project.

#1. The price is dirt, dirt cheap

I'm all for keeping costs down. I love finding great deals and buying things that don't cost the earth. I mean who doesn't like a bargain?

But when it comes to the finer things in life, or moreover, in your business, you've got to forget about "cheap" and be prepared to invest properly.

"Well, how cheap is cheap, Fabrizio?" I hear you say!

If you're planning on spending no more than $1,000 for a custom website, then expect to get what you pay for, it's as simple as that.

No, really, I was kidding, because the price greatly depends on the scope of the project you have in mind.

However, it's a pretty safe bet that if you've been quoted just a few hundred dollars for a 10-page e-commerce website from your designer, then you're probably going to get exactly what you pay for.

Not sure what I mean?

Well, let's say you end up with a website that looks something like this...

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That's exactly what you'd get for a few hundred bucks.

We're in 2019 for goodness sake, so paying for a website that looks like it was built in 2006 is not a good investment.

Or, if your newly designed website has graphics and images that look like they were picked from a 90s clipart library, then this is not going to do much for your brand either.

Your website should not just be modern and clean, but more importantly, it should help your business improve communication with your audience and potential customers.

Cheap is not always a good thing, so be prepared to invest your hard earned cash on a decent design job.

#2. The designer's website looks like crap!

This should be the first telltale sign that you're about to hire the worst web designer ever.

Just take a look at their website from top to toe.

Analyze every single element of the design, layout, and branding.

Is the website mobile responsive? Does it load quickly or does it take a month of Sundays?

Look at the header and menu section. Scroll down to the content layout and check the alignment of all the elements. Check the footer section even. If any part of their site looks shabby and distinctively mediocre in any way, then ask yourself this:

Do you want your website to look something like this too?

If you answered a big fat no, then avoid like the plague...

#3. Their web design service landing page looks like it was put together by a five-year-old

No offense intended to any smart five-year-olds out there, because I have a five-year-old who is incredibly smart.

But, if you've landed on an amateurish looking sales page offering web design services, just think twice before committing.

The sales page should welcome you as an individual person with an individual problem or idea. It should demand your complete attention.

It should communicate with you, empathize with you, all while educating you about the services provided by the designer.

There should be some powerful testimonials, and give clear reasons with solid proof outlining why their services work!

All of this should be presented in a nicely designed sales page, accompanied by some beautiful visual content that leaves you saying: "Wow I need this web designer for my next project".

If the sales page you've landed on is just filled with bloated, salesy, bullsh*t content, then you know the drill... Avoid at all costs.

#4. Their communication with you is poor

Communication is super critical when it comes to working with a web designer, especially when you need them to clearly understand your visions and goals with your new website project.

If you find a designer that sends you an email once a fortnight, then you're one unlucky individual, that is all I can say.


Ditch immediately and find another one as fast as you can!

#5. They ask you no questions

A good web designer will always arrange a consultation over the phone or Skype when you first make contact with them. And, most importantly, a good designer will listen to you and have a lot of questions to ask you as well.

If you feel as if your web designer isn't interested in hearing about your ideas, goals, visions, etc. Then drop them fast and run like your life depends on it...

#6. They won't provide copywriting

Now, respectfully, not all web designers will offer copywriting services. However, if you're asking them to build you a website in an industry they might be familiar with, they may well be able to provide copywriting services.

From a client's point of view, not every client will want their designer to create copy for their site. Often, if it's niche specific, they'll want to create copy themselves or hire someone who knows the industry well enough to write compelling copy for them.

#7. They won't produce a wireframe for you

What? No wireframing? Just jump straight into designing the site? That's ludicrous!

Wireframing is the first step in designing and building a launchpad website, after the initial strategy meeting.

All it requires is the designer to come up with a few mockups and layouts of how the site will be organized based on your ideas.

Sometimes the client will provide a rough sketch for the designer to work from.

If your designer is just jumping straight into the design stage without creating a wireframe, then the project could end up costing you more time and money, as you will forever be requesting for multiple design revisions.

#8. They lack diversification

If your designer has a portfolio, which they should have, look and make sure that they have a diversified flare for design creativity.

Ensure that each and every website they've ever created doesn't look almost identical, asides some customized graphics and icons and, of course, content.

A good web designer will be competent and experienced in using a wide range of design tools, styles, and techniques.

#9. They simply don't understand your goals and objectives well enough

This is very important. Your designer has to understand exactly what you're looking for with your new website project, so he or she should be very familiar with your goals and objectives from the initial strategy meeting.

If they're not then there's going to be a problem later down the line.

It all boils down to what we already talked about earlier, the importance of communication, and your designer asking relevant questions about your project right off the bat.

#10. They offer every other service you can possibly imagine

Lastly, but not least is this... I'm sure you've heard the saying "Jack of all trades" and "master of none".

Well, this may not be the case always, because there are some genuine folks out there that are great at providing services in many areas.

But if you find that your web designer is offering literally everything you can imagine under the sun on their services menu, then sometimes it can feel as if there's no exclusivity with them. I mean there's no specialty involved.

In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, bespoke web design is a specialty, it shouldn't part of a package or deal or whatever bull$h*t that might be going on. It should be a unique service provided at the highest level possible.

It's a bit like hiring out a freelancer who specializes in writing health and fitness copy, to write content for a family law website!

It's possible to do that, of course, it's possible to hire a jack of all trades, but it just doesn't make sense in my opinion.

Maybe you think differently, I don't know.

If you're looking for someone who specializes in designing beautiful, clean, modern, mobile-responsive, and conversion-focused websites. And, if you're looking for someone who will listen, advise, and communicate with you during your entire web design project, then avoid the 'jack of all trades' where ever possible, and find yourself a 'specialist'.

Final words of wisdom to YOU...

Finding the right web designer for your web projects is something that you should take your time in doing.

If you find web design service that is dirt cheap, and one that is part of an online package deal of some kind, among many other questionable attributes, just be aware that you'll get exactly what you pay for.

Do your research carefully and take your time with it.

There are some great sites you can visit to start doing research, or even find a great design. Sites like UpWork and Elance (An UpWork company), PeoplePerHour or my personal favorite Freelancer.com.

Best of luck to you!

People ignore design that ignores people... If you want to make sure that doesn't happen with your next web design project, click here to see how I can help you bring your web design ideas to life.

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