In a previously published article we discussed some critical questions to ask when you hire a web designer. In this post I want to take a slightly different approach and share some red flags to watch for during this important decision making process.
If you come across the following scenarios while selecting a partner for your web design or online marketing needs, you may want to walk the other way:
1. They quickly agree to work together without first getting to know you or learn about your business.
This should be a concern because there is no guarantee that your businesses will work well together. They are most likely interested in getting a signed contract and not ensuring that your relationship will be smooth, enjoyable, and ultimately successful.
2. They only seem interested in discussing design elements like color, font, and style rather than high level business objectives like generating leads and conversion metrics.
The reason this is concerning should be self explanatory — while you want your website to look great, that won’t matter if it doesn’t cover information your prospects want to see, reflect the personality of your company, and guide users to the actions you want them to take.
Good design is important, but it should be one piece of a much bigger strategy
3. They are uncomfortable providing contact information of current or past clients for referral purposes. A great firm will have plenty of clients that want to shout their praises from the rooftops.
4. They avoid discussing project specifics such as timeline. Vague expectations and unclear guidelines on the front end of a project are a good representation of what the rest of the process will look like.
5. They’re hesitant to let you meet or communicate with others that will be working on your project. Successful teams want to promote each other, not hide individuals from the public eye.
6. They take more than 3 days to get in touch after you’ve reached out and expressed interest. If this is their level of responsiveness when you’re considering giving them business, what will happen after the payment is made?
You don’t want your project to move at a snail’s pace
7. They repeatedly insist on communicating via email when you would prefer a meeting or phone call. A website build or marketing services can be overwhelming for many people; as such, steps should be taken to make the process more intuitive and enjoyable for you.
8. They don’t have an organized system for receiving and processing support requests that are submitted after the website has launched. As we’ve discussed in the past, your website will break. When that happens, it can either be a minor frustration or a big problem.
9. Their online content, such as a blog or social media accounts, has not been updated in weeks or months.
10. They speak primarily in buzzwords and three-letter acronyms rather than having an in-depth conversation about your needs and their services. Don’t assume they know what they’re talking about — dig into some tougher questions and push them to give insightful answers.
11. They make big promises like “we will get you to the #1 position on Google’s organic search results” with little evidence to back up their claims. Nothing is guaranteed, least of all a top spot on Google. If the promise sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
12. Their contract includes confusing and complicated language which they aren’t willing to discuss with you.
13. They are quick to offer discounts and seem desperate for work. This could be a sign of a struggling company or a low quality product. A website and marketing services are an investment; when done well, they can provide huge returns for your company. Make sure the price reflects that potential.
14. They are not willing to teach you how to make basic content updates once your new website is live. While a support system is important, it should be easy for you to make simple changes on the fly. You shouldn’t be charged every time you want to post a new blog, update your events, or add a semicolon to a sentence.
Watch For These Red Flags When Your Hire a Web Designer
As web design and online marketing services become more common for small businesses to outsource, we will continue to see a rise in providers. Unfortunately not all of them will be reputable, value-based businesses that have your best interests in mind.
When you’re ready to hire a web designer and want to weigh your options, make sure to watch out for these red flags. They’ll paint a picture of what the web design process looks like with different agencies, and ultimately help you choose one that is right for you.
If you’d like to learn about how Engenius can help you promote your business online, reach out! We’re dedicated to helping consumers find high-quality businesses, and to helping businesses understand the best way to reach their target demographics.