Working in this industry for the past 9 years I saw millions of websites and created (as an agency) thousands of them. Some good, some ugly some great. I learned through out my carrier from different people how design should be and how every single designer views web design. I constantly see many designers make the same mistakes and hope this article will help some web designers and those who are looking to hire a web designer.
First off all a web designer is not a web developer. There are two different things. Web developers have different view on design, they are developers, they are not artistic even if they claim that they can design and code as well. We can get into more depth and discuss Front End, Back End Developers, UX Designers and Web Designers but let’s just stay with this two.
- Your website is under €1,000
If your website costs you less than €1,000, then changes are your web designer is terrible and your website will be terrible as well. I think that we all wish we can spend €1,000 and make millions, but if it was that easy everybody would be doing it right?
You can buy a car for €1,000 but again, you get what you pay for. If you still think your website should be under €1,000 eventually you will come back to the web designer (or agency) that was too expensive. Only now you will have to pay for a good web design + the cost of your really cheap web designer.
How much a website cost? How much does it cost to build a house?
2. The hottie contact us
A Headset Hottie is a joke amongst digital marketers. It’s a stock photo of an attractive girl with a headset ready to take your call. This photo can be found on contact page (or even worst home page). A headset will not increase your sales or phone calls. It will only make your website look cheap and silly. So be careful, because your website could end up featured on headsethotties.com
3. You found them on Craiglist
Well basically Craiglist is where cheap people can find other cheap people. There are exceptions but it’s a very rare thing to find great quality web designers there.
Creating content for your new website is the biggest challenge every client faces. It’s always one of the biggest challenge every client faces. A good web designer will have solutions;
A. Client creates all content
B. Client offers internal resource (a copywriter on their staff)
C. Client hires a freelance copywriter
D. Web designer offers internal solution
E. Web designer offers a freelance copywriter
5. Creativity is not the goal
Creativity should NOT be the #1 goal for your website. In a survey of HubSpot, 76% of users said that the most important factor in the design of a website is that “The website makes it easy for me to find what I want”. Only 10% of users said, “beautiful appearance” was the most important thing to them. Organising content for website should be top priority.
6. Your web designer is your family
You should know better than to hire a relative to work for you in the first place. Let alone build a website for you. However if you decide to hire a family member they will probably give you an “unbelievable” discount and a special offer. If they’re a professional that’s great news; however the bad news is that the project eventually won’t be worth their time and you will eventually end up on the back burner or you will just justify it because it’s your family member.
7. You are the web designer
Peep author at conversionxl.com says, “If you designed your website yourself and you’re not a designer, it sucks”. It takes years of experience to perfect what we do. You can’t learn this trade in a few hours.
8. You know Photoshop
Anyone can learn how to use a cheap web design tool in an hour or so but you can’t learn what a good web designer has learned with years of experience. In other words, learning how to use a website builder won’t teach you how to design a web site that will get targeted traffic, conversions, and sales.
In addition, just because you learned how to use Photoshop doesn’t mean you’re a good web designer. I’ve received so many resumes with people who know the Adobe Suite like the back of their hand, but their work sucks. Again, it takes years of experience to not be a terrible web designer.
I have photoshop and I know the basics but I’m a horrible web designer, Chanel (my dog) can design better than me.
9. Not asking questions
Your web designer should understand your business, he/she should ask you questions before you start working together. No questions asked is a RED FLAG.
A. What your primary goals in business?
B. Who is your target audience?
C. Describe a typical client?
D. What do you want your website to do?
E. Do you have brand guidelines?
F. What kind of content will you provide?
10. They are your IT department
Nothing is more frustrating than someone in IT calling our agency to inquire about a new website. Shouldn’t someone in marketing be calling us? I will never understand why companies associate IT departments with web design. Web design is marketing. NOT IT.
IF you are in an IT department and somebody asks you to help build their website, just decline and recommend they talk to someone in the marketing department.
11. The handshake image
This is a massive RED flag. If you see this on your website, take it down immediately. I’m speaking of course about the infamous hand shake. This is usually a simple of two men shaking hands. It’s cheesy, a waste of space and draws wasteful attention.
19. No CMS (Content Management System)
I can’t think of any good reasons why your web developer wouldn’t build your website on a CMS (content management system). Not using a CMS is not going to save you money. In fact, it could be more expensive because a good CMS like WordPress is built on a framework that has prebuilt functionality saving you time and money.