As a web design company that has been in business for over 30 years, we have been thrown many different types of clients. A surprisingly large number of them have come to us for the same reason: lack of communication with their previous web designer.
We have also worked with a number of web design companies from all necks of the woods. We have seen the template designers—those who use the same design, and often the same content, for different companies. We have witnessed the one-man-show that works out of his basement. And we’ve seen the larger companies who seem to care only about quick turnaround times and taking your site live to get a paycheck in their hands.
There are a number of red flags to look for when deciding on a web design company.
If your current designer shows several (or all) —it’s time to switch web design companies ASAP!
1. They offer poor communication.
Is it hard to get a hold of your current web designer? Do your emails go unanswered? Have voicemails gone unreturned? Do deadlines keep getting pushed back? Being busy is no excuse for not keeping consistent communication lines open with your clients. You deserve to be assured and updated on the progress of the project.
2. They frequently make you feel like your requests are a hassle.
Does your web designer ever look at you like you are crazy for wanting to add a special feature to your site? Sometimes what poor web design companies mean by “No, that is not necessary to have” is “No, that is not worth my time to figure out how to do for you.” While you should value the opinion of your web design company and their expertise, ultimately it is your website. You are giving this person, or company, a paycheck. You should not feel that you are annoying them by giving them a call. (NOTE: Some requests, features, modifications, etc. DO take time. It is normal for an up-charge for certain features. It is not normal to make you feel like you have a cap on the possibilities of your website. Especially if your budget is not an issue).
3. They have a habit of brushing aside your concerns.
It’s easy for someone to be told (or fooled) by what is and isn’t important in an industry they are unfamiliar with. After all, if we can’t trust our web designer to tell us what is important and what is not for our website—who can we? Do your homework. There is plenty of information on the internet to give you a general idea of what a decent designer should be providing you with. Search engine marketing and social media marketing, for example, should be offered. Which brings us to our next red flag…
4. Web Design is their only specialty.
There are some really great web designers who only offer web design. But if you want your website to be found, you need to go with one that also offers SEO and SMM. At this day in technology, you really shouldn’t have one without the other.
5. They seem to only focus on the aesthetic look of the site’s design.
Obviously, the overall design is a top priority for your web designer. But it should most definitely NOT be their only concern. It is important to look pretty, or unique, or whatever kind of feel you are going for, but it is also essential that a person can find what they are looking for when they arrive. The more relevant your content is to what they are looking for, the longer they are going to stay on your site and, in turn, the more likely they are to make a purchase. One of the most important parts of effective web design is making sure the site is easy to navigate.
Web designers are busy people. No one understands that better than we do. But if you are not making time for your clients—what’s the point? While designing is a large part of what we do here at Strategic Media, we also know that without happy customers, there is no company—which is why we make sure communication is always at the forefront of our employee—client relationships.
The bottom line is that although web design is difficult and an extremely hectic industry, not having constant contact and making you feel confident about your web design project is inexcusable.
It is, after all, your company and your online presence.