Right after I started working professionally as a Web designer, I was talking with an individual about a site that they were interested in for their company and something interesting happened, which kind of surprised me. This individual smirked and remarked, “Yeah, I took a Web design class in high school.” The reason this was kind of surprising to me is because this particular individual works in the field from which I departed and they should be used to what it’s like when a customer, current or potential, tries downplaying their significance in the business relationship. After all, if they hire you, shouldn’t they try to keep things on good terms and on a professional level? This got me thinking about perceptions and the reasons for these perceptions with regard to contractors, whether they be in the white or blue collar arena, which leads us to the topic of this post – some red flags with a Web designer you’re considering hiring.
In our digital age, so many people are familiar with the basics of how websites work that they can sound convincing to the layman but how much have they really done? If it’s someone who is just starting out, that’s alright, but are they forthcoming about that or are they pretending to be a design mogul? Ask them if they’re experienced in the particular application of your website that you’re looking for, whether it’s a blog, a flash site, an ecommerce site, etc. Nobody knows it all, so the designer who claims to be able to do anything is either being actively recruited by Google or isn’t being entirely truthful.
Unfortunately, we all need to make sure that what has been discussed and agreed on is documented in some form or fashion. Here at ALP, we do so using email, primarily, or Etsy messenger, since we do a fair amount of our business in our Etsy shop but we make sure that both sides understand and agree on what is expected from one another. Unfortunately, if you don’t have any hard contact information from your designer such as a physical address, phone number, etc., there’s no way for you to even take this for granted. Make sure that your Web designer is transparent with you about who they are and where they are located.
I’m kind of shocked at how often I talk to people who have tried to make changes to their site, whether those changes involve moving to a different hosting company or content changes, but find (much their dismay) that the registrar or hosting company won’t even talk to them because they aren’t listed as an administrator for the account. So having an on-again, off-again designer set up your site may leave you stranded later, whether it’s intentional or they just didn’t consider that you may need to do something with your site one day.
It’s pretty much the same no matter what, whether you’re hiring a gardener, a painter, a designer, or a nuclear scientist – check their references because there’s a reason for the stereotypes!
This is the part where we make our shameless plug about how we’re completely reliable and you can rest assured that you’ll be safe with us, so …
We aren’t going to pretend to know everything related to Web design or graphic design but we’re pretty good at what we do. If it’s outside of the scope of what we normally offer, we’ll let you know right away and we’ll discuss your needs with you to ensure that you truly do need what you’re considering and, if so, we’ll determine if we can adequately provide your needs. We provide hosting, naming you as the admin POC, so if and when you decide to pick up and take your site elsewhere, you’ll have no issue with doing so. From our premade logo collection to our ecommerce sites, we’re sticklers for detail to ensure maximum benefit for our customers both immediately and in the long term!