4 Easy-to-Avoid Mistakes When Hiring a Web Designer

We’re living in the age of technology. No matter how you bring in revenue, your business will absolutely rise or fall based on the strength of your digital presence.

Why?

Everyone you know is carrying a miniature computer with them everywhere they go. And when it’s not in their hand, you can bet it’s within arms reach.

Your potential clients are online. You better be too.

Don’t Regret Hiring the Wrong Person For The Job

There’s a lot at stake when it comes to finding the right person to take on your website project. Hiring the wrong person could make you waste a lot of time and lose a lot of money. But that’s not even the worst that could happen.

What if the end product you get from your web designer is nothing like what you had imagined?

You might can the project and take the “L”. Or you can launch the site knowing it’s not what you wanted. Either way you’re disappointed or embarrassed. Or both. And that just shouldn’t happen.

The trajectory of your business will be directly impacted by who you hire and whether or not they help you get your website right.

So, when it’s time to make your hiring decision, dodge these 4 Easy-to-Avoid Mistakes and you’re certain to end up with the best person for the job.

Mistake #1: Hiring an Agency to Build Your Website

When an agency gets involved in your business, as a general rule trust that you’re going to pay more for your end product. That is – at least in comparison to a smaller company or “one-man show”. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s par for the course of hiring a big name to handle your project. I mean – they kind of have to charge more for their work. Think about it.

With an agency, your project doesn’t just cost what the work is worth. That’s because a portion of your final cost is determined before the job is even started. And it’s because of this one thing: overhead.

If an agency has office space and employees then part of your final cost will inevitably include markup for overhead to help cover things like rent for office space, employees’ wages, those cone paper cups for the water cooler, etc. You get the point .

This isn’t saying agencies are bad. There are plenty of great ones out there producing great work for a fair price. Two of my personal favorites are Artillery and Monterey Premier. Just remember, agencies aren’t always cost effective for small businesses especially if you’re just starting out.

Mistake #2: Hiring Your Brother-In-Law (or buddy)

I really want to emphasize the importance of hiring someone with whom you can have a professional relationship. Nothing against your brother-in-law. I’m sure he’s a great guy and his momma loves him.

If you hire someone you’re already close to, you run the risk of letting things some things slide that you wouldn’t tolerate from a third-party professional. For example, there may be a tendency to let deadlines lapse without consequences. I mean, this is your brother-in-law we’re talking about. What would your sister think if you confronted him about missing that agreed upon deadline?

Or what if you’re not liking the direction the project is taking? You might be afraid you’ll hurt your relationship if you tell him you’re not happy with his work? You can imagine how quickly personal relationships can become strained if things go south with your business deal.

I’m not saying you can’t grow to be friends with (or be related to) whoever you hire. But having a personal relationship with your web designer before hiring them can sometimes (and often unintentionally) lessen the quality of the customer experience and end product you receive.

Of course this doesn’t apply to every situation. Especially if that situation involves already knowing me before you hire me. Because if that’s the case. Shoot. Whether I know you or not, you already know your website is destined for awesomeness. And you’ll probably get a pony and a girlfriend/boyfriend on the same day you write me a check.

…having a personal relationship with your web designer before hiring them can sometimes (and often unintentionally) lessen the quality of the customer experience and end product you receive.

Mistake #3 Hiring a Complete Beginner

I’m not dissing on beginners. I was one once. And I’m sure some beginners are capable of producing sites that are miles better than what I was able to make starting out. But trust me. You don’t want to be someone’s experiment. Especially if your business depends on having a website that is both aesthetically pleasing and dependable.

If they get a site in their portfolio but you get a site you don’t love – you’re getting the bad end of that deal.

Mistake #4: Only Shopping In Your Local Area

I get it. I like working with local people too. In fact, local clients are some of my favorite to work with. I love meeting clients in person for a caffeinated brainstorming session. But I’ve also come to appreciate the value of working with long distance clients and contractors.

Sometimes the hunt for that special someone takes you beyond reasonable driving distance. And that’s where the beauty of video chatting comes in. It doesn’t have the same “umph” as a face-to-face meeting, but it allows you to get a feel for someone’s personality and warmth (or lack thereof) which is often so crucial in determining whether they’ll be a good fit for you.

Yes, you want your web designer to have the skills required for the job. But it’s also really satisfying when you get to hire someone you genuinely like as a person.

Think about it. Which would you rather have? Someone who can get the job done but sucks the will to live right from your body because they’re such a pain to deal with? Or someone who can crush the job and make the whole process a dream because they’re gosh darn easy to get along with?

Remember: Yes – local people are cool. But they’re not necessarily your only prospects. Don’t settle for working with someone in your local area if they’re not the right person for the job.

Well that’s a wrap. That’s the 4 Easy-to-Avoi… BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! Bonus (Oh Yeah!!!)

2 Questions You Definitely Need to Ask Your Web Designer Before You Hire

It’s good to know what you don’t want in a web designer. But this guide wouldn’t be complete without a a little direction on what you do need to look for in a web designer.

Of course, many questions could be included here. But I’m just going to give you two. The answers you get in response to these questions will be a dead giveaway that you’re either dealing with a “hard no” or your Digital Knight in Shining Armor. 

Definitely Ask This #1: Do you offer a service plan or care plan along with your work?

Unfortunately in the website-building line of work, it’s far too common for designers to disappear after they wrap up a project and get their money. Too frequently I hear how someone’s designer just stopped answering the phone and left them in limbo when they needed help post-launch.

So make sure you and your web designer discuss expectations for how your business relationship will continue after your project is completed. I personally look after every site I build (and some that I didn’t). It’s part of the Matchless Service Agreement.

The Matchless Service Agreement is a turnkey solution where I take care of your site’s security, backups, plugin and theme updates, and minimal content changes so that you can rest easy knowing your site is going to be firing on all cylinders once it’s live.

It’s like having me on-call tending to things behind the scenes so you never have to worry if everything possible is being done to protect and update your site (because it is).

Definitely Ask This #2: What kind of hosting will my site be on?

If the web designer you’re considering tells you they’re planning on putting you on any form of cheap, shared hosting – that’s a red flag. Shared hosting – even if it’s the best shared hosting on the planet – isn’t worth the hassles that come along with it.

In short, out of all the types of hosting out there it’s the most vulnerable to security issues (i.e. getting hacked) and you don’t get your own dedicated resources. Shared hosting means you share resources with the other sites on your server. That means your site can be slowed down when other sites on your server get a spike in traffic.

You also share penalties on shared hosting. You can get penalized if someone else on your server is busted for bad behavior. If they get your server blacklisted, you’re going down with them. Shared hosting is a no go. If you’re serious about your website, you’ve got to be serious about your hosting. 

You want your site to be hosted on managed hosting, a Virtual Private Server, (VPS), or some equivalent. So if your prospective web designer suggests anything other than those – I say, run!

All my client’s sites run on Flywheel Managed Hosting. If you’re with me, you’re with them.

When it comes to finding the right person to take on your website there’s a lot at stake.

I hope this guide spares you the frustration of partnering with the wrong person to handle your website needs. I implore you: do your due diligence when weighing your options and hire the right person the first time.

All the best!

Jon Phillips

Matchless Web Studio, LLC

[email protected]

P.S. If you think you’d be a good fit to work together, go ahead and reach via my contact page.

Submit a Comment

Logged in as Jon Phillips. Log out?

Skip to toolbar Log Out