So you’ve got a new online business idea that you want to turn into a project! That’s great….
After careful planning, you decide you need a website. You head straight over to Craigslist in search for the perfect web designer!
Whoops! You’ve just failed right there… Come on man, 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 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 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 for a reliable and competent web designer for the task you have, keep in mind the following 10 ‘critical’ things.
Oh, and avoid Craigslist…
10 ways to tell if your web designer sucks at his job…
#1. Their price is dirt cheap
I’m all for keeping costs down. I love buying things that doesn’t cost the earth. I mean who doesn’t like a bargain?
But when it comes to the finer things in life, or indeed in business, you’ve got to forget about “cheap” and be prepared to invest properly.
Well how cheap is cheap? I hear you say!
If you’re planning on spending anything less than $1,000 for a custom website, then expect to get what you pay for, it’s as simple as that.
If you end up with a website that looks like this… Well that’s exactly what you paid for right?
This is 2016 for goodness sake, paying for a website that has nothing more but a bunch of fancy texts and headlines, badly unaligned design elements that look amateurish. Or poor quality graphics and images that look like they were picked from a clipart library, is not going to do much for your brand.
Your design should not just be modern and clean, but more importantly it should connect and communicate with your audience. It should stand out yet offer impeccable user experience.
Cheap is not always a good thing, so be prepared to invest good money for an epic design job.
#2. Their website looks like crap for starters…
That should be the first telltale sign that you’re about to hire the worst web designer possible.
Just take a look at their own site from top to toe. Analyse every single element of the design, layout and branding.
Look at the header and menu section. Scroll down to the content layout and check the alignment of elements. Check the footer section even. If any part of their site looks shabby and distinctively mediocre, then ask yourself this:
Do you want your website to look something like this too?
If you answered a big fat no, then keep avoid like the plague…
[clickToTweet tweet=”If your web designer’s website looks lame, expect the same result for yours” quote=”If your web designer’s website looks lame, expects the same result for yours”]
#3. Their sales page looks like it was put together by a five year old
No offence intended to any smart five year olds out there, but if you’ve landed on an amateurish looking sales page offering web design services, just think twice before committing.
A sales page should welcome you as an individual person with an individual problem. It should demand your attention.
It should communicate with you, and understand right off the bat what it is you’re looking for in a bespoke website design.
It should reinforce your trust with credible testimonials, and give clear reasons and proof as to why your service works.
All of this should be presented in a nicely designed page, accompanied by some great visual content that leaves you saying: “Wow I need this web designer”.
If the sales page you’ve landed on is just filled with bloated chunks of text’s that’s filled with egocentric bullsh*t, then avoid at all costs.
#4. Their communication with you is shameless
Communication is absolute critical when it comes to working with a web designer, especially when you need them to clearly understand your goals, visions and strategies with your new website project.
If you find a designer that sends you an email once a fortnight, then you’re one unlucky individual is all I can say.
Solution? Ditch immediately and find another one as fast as you can!
#5. They ask no questions
A good web designer will always arrange a consultation over the phone or Skype when you first make contact with them. And they’ll have a lot of questions to ask you as well.
If not, they’ll almost always have a link to a new client questionnaire from their web design information page, a little bit like this one.
If you feel as if your web designer isn’t remotely interested in asking you questions, or learning more about your goals, visions and ideas, then you know the drill…
Drop them fast and run like your life depends on it…
#6. They won’t create copy for you
Now respectfully not all web designers will offer copywriting. However if you’re asking them to build you a website in an industry they might be familiar in, they may well include copywriting in their design service.
And again, 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 wire framing? That’s ludicrous!
Wire framing is the first critical step in designing and building a great website. All it requires is the designer to come up with a few mockups and layouts of how the site will be organised. 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 wire frame for you, kindly email him or her, and ask them what the heck is going on?
#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 creativity.
Ensure that each and every website they’ve ever created doesn’t look almost identical, asides some customised graphics and icons and of course content.
A great web designer will be competent in using a wide range of design tools from graphic design softwares, code editors, programming softwares, sketching and drawing tools, testing engines, project management tools and a whole lot more.
#9. They simply don’t understand your goals and objectives well enough
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. If they’re not then there’s a problem.
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 services 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 that 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 speciality involved.
In my opinion, and this is just my opinion. Bespoke web design is a speciality, it shouldn’t part of a package or deal or what ever 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 specialises 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, do let me know.
If you’re looking for someone who specialises in creating great looking and conversion focused websites. And if you’re looking for someone that will meet your goals and objectives with your website design project’s, then avoid the ‘jack of all trades’ where ever possible, and find yourself a ‘specialist’.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Don’t find a jack of all trades web designer, find yourself a specialist.” quote=”Don’t find a jack of all trades web designer, 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, 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 favourite 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.