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Mistakes People Make When Hiring a Website Designer

November 21, 2019    Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Constantly, we are picking up the pieces from other web designers.

Calls/emails come in all the time from someone who had a horrible experience with their website design project that’s still not complete. It’s months past the original launch date and the website is no where near being complete.

Often, there are red flags that come up when hiring a web designer. 

In this post, we want to go over those red flags so you know what to look for when hiring a website design company.

Hopefully, you’re reading this article before you’ve hired a web designer. If not, this will be an opportunity to have a better chance with your next hire.

#1) Price (Cheap is Cheap)

Many people hire on price. We’ve all gotten accustomed to the low prices we see everywhere from Amazon to Walmart.

I don’t know about you, but from my experience high-quality products and services don’t come with a low price tag. When you purchase something, there is always a cost. Whether that’s time or money. You pay for it one way or another.

For example, my wife and I like to go to yard sales when we get a chance. It’s always fun and you never know what you’ll find. Many times you’ll find that someone has a free bin where all the items inside are “free.” Or sometimes someone will pull you aside and say “hey, would you like this? You can have it for free.” One time a man asked me if I would like this raft that he was holding up. It was deflated of course. I’m sure it had many holes that would need to be patched. Sure, if I had a spare weekend to spend time figuring out where all the holes are in patching them, this would be a great deal. But I don’t have time for that. Plus, I don’t need a raft. But when I do, I’ll buy one in good shape. It’s just not worth the time and effort for me to fix the raft. If I need a raft I want to work.

The same thing happens in the web design industry.

If you call up multiple companies you’ll get prices that are different. They all come with different levels of quality and services.

When you go for the lowest price, it will come at a cost. There will be missed deadlines, corners cut, horrible communication, and balls being dropped everywhere. If your project does magically get completed, it won’t be what you thought it would be. You will spend a lot of time chasing down the company that you hire, stressing out, and being unsatisfied. But hey, you saved money, right?

We’ve seen many low-priced competitors pop up and disappear over the years. They come out with a $499 website special and people are lining up to get the deal. They become overwhelmed, unprofitable, and go out of business. Happens all the time.

This also doesn’t mean picking the highest price just because it’s the highest price. There are companies out there trying to get the top dollar from your project.

A higher priced project will come with a higher level of service, product, communication, and systems. You’ll also find that the higher priced bidders will be detailed, while the lowest price bidder will skip over the details.

The higher priced bidders should have many online reviews, happy customers, and a portfolio that is never ending. The quality of work should be head and shoulders above the lower priced bidder.

On the other hand, the lower priced bidder will have a few reviews (if any), a limited portfolio, and again, will whiz through the details as if they don’t matter.

Finally, you’ll find that the better web design companies out there will ask you many specific questions. They will get into the details before providing any prices or options. They’ll also offer professional opinions and steer the project in the way they think will maximize the benefit of your website. The lower-priced web design company will ask very little questions, and generally just take your order. These lower-priced web design companies are order takers without any real experience or expertise.

Remember, cheap is cheap.

#2) Reviews

An experienced website company will have online reviews. Many of them. Any decent company that’s been around for a few years will have online reviews. They will have reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook and on other online platforms.

I would look for a minimum of 20 online reviews. At that point, you can expect that these reviews aren’t only from their brothers, sisters, friends and mother.

Don’t just look at the reviews, read them. A handful of the reviews should be in depth, explaining details about the project. Ignore the reviews that say “great job” or similar. Also, look to see if the company is replying to those reviews. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s a good sign if the company is paying attention to the reviews.

If you ignore this tip about reviews, you’re bound to have trouble with the company that you hire.

#3) In Business for Longer than 5 Years

This is by much no means a foolproof method of filtering out a good company from bad. Generally, a company that’s been in business for five years or more is doing something right. Plus, if you hire a company that’s been in business for this long, they’ve probably worked out a lot of the kinks from when they first started. Not to mention the providing a better quality product and service than they were in years past.

How do find out how long someone has been in business? Ask them. Pretty easy.

#4) Web Designer Near Me

It’s great to hire local, but don’t force it. Just because a web designer is local, doesn’t mean they are a good solution.

Before we moved to our area in Longview, Washington, there were a couple web designers providing services to all the local businesses here. There are still a couple around. From what we’ve experienced and seen, they all did a horrible job. They had zero competition and owned the market. When that happens, there’s no real reason to provide a quality product or service. People you hire you no matter what.

Make sure you’re still vetting these local web designers in the same way you would if they were not local. Don’t just assume because they are local that it’s a good solution for your business. Don’t get me wrong, I shop local whenever I can. I like supporting our community. What I don’t like to support are companies that provide a bad service or product. It doesn’t matter to me if they are local or not. I recommend you do the same.

#5) Go With Your Gut

I can’t stress this enough. Always go with your gut. It’s there for a reason.

When interviewing different companies, if something doesn’t feel right, eliminate that company from your list. I found when hiring other companies when something feels off, even if it doesn’t make any sense, I go with it. Every time I’ve ignored that, I paid for in the end.

Even if the web design company you’re thinking about hiring, checks all the boxes and plays the part perfectly. If your gut tells you different, move on. You’ll thank me later.

Ready to Hire a Web Designer?

I’d like to help you. Give me a call (360) 450-3711

Written by Shawn Hooghkirk on November 21, 2019

Last updated on May 04, 2020. Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc.

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I work with Shawn and his team on web design and maintenance. I had no idea that web stuff could be this easy from a business owner perspective – they take care of everything! Previously I was involved monthly in dealing with breakdowns and flaws. Not anymore – they diagnosed and fixed the foundational issues with my site, and keep it running smoothly despite the inevitable updates and plugin conflicts. Recently I messed up the site myself and Shawn and his team fixed it ASAP even though it was my fault. All this for way less than I was paying previously! Can’t recommend them strongly enough.

Michael Smart

Michael Smart PR

Salt Lake City, UT

Excellent service in helping us get our 24 websites updated and secure! Thank you, Shawn, for all your efforts. I especially appreciate the explanation videos and animation you provide to explain the work you do. I look forward to many more projects with you and your team.



Modulog, Inc.

Vancouver, Washington