Everyone wants (and more importantly needs) a website these days. Unfortunately not everyone is comfortable using WordPress, SquareSpace, Wix or another website tool to create their own website.
This leads to a large number of people seeking the services of a website designer or developer. Depending on your budget and requirements may of these designers will just take your requirements and use one of the above mentioned tools anyway.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But when you are paying money for something you need to know exactly what you are paying for. For example:
- Is it easy for you to edit the site at a later date if required (i.e. to change an address or phone number).
- Is there any ongoing cost? If so what? For example if someone creates your site in SquareSpace the cost to keep in up and live is going to be a lot more than if you just buy some shared hosting space and run WordPress.
- Has this person done similar work before and if so how realistic is their quote and timeframe they are allowing for the work.
In addition to that I believe there are two key points to consider when trying to identify web designers to avoid.
#1. A designer who isn’t prepared to thoroughly discuss your goals with you.
If all that is required is a few pages of text, some photos and your credit card, then you’re probably not going to get an accurate reflection of your business. Web site design is more about business consulting than pure technical skill. The latter is important, but is useless unless you purchase services from someone who understands how to market other businesses.
#2. Someone who isn’t ready to work with your comfort level.
Most small businesses find $500, or a thousand, much more of an out-of-pocket expense than larger companies. They generally operate with expenses much more closely related to income, and don’t have the luxury of flexible writeoffs, a lot of good will with creditors, or high-level banking relationships.
The designer must be prepared to deal with your level of comfort with the process, and be able to understand when you may feel hesitant or have unasked questions that need answering. Who among us hasn’t at least once in our lives been a little intimidated by someone who is an expert in their field, and refrained from asking a question in case we sounded ‘stupid’?