Hiring one of those giant website design firms
If you search online you’ll come across many of these huge, generic looking design firms who claim to give you a custom website for under $1,000.
Here’s the ugly truth. They’re really selling you a template, which they might just adjust the colors on. The actual designer is probably a guy in India or Bangladesh who you’ll never talk to once.
The site itself will probably have a pretty generic look to it.
And worst of all, after all the up-sells they give you for extra pages, and email account, a CMS, contact form and all the other stuff, you’ll probably end up paying way more than the advertised price.
Takeaway: Don’t just think of the immediate result of saving yourself a few bucks up front. Think of the long-term impact to your business by having an unprofessional site.
2. Paying Too Much
People can often be superstitious and easily intimidated into believing that website designers have magical powers when they don’t.
Here’s a little secret about website design. There are no secret or advanced programs for design.
Whether you pay $1,000 or $100,000 for a site, as far as the design goes, for the most part they’re all just made up of CSS and HTML.
Paying an extra $10,000 on your site won’t change the fact that you will still be getting a page marked up with HTML and styled using CSS.
Don’t let a fancy high-end design firm fool you on this point.
If you go to a site like Apple.com which is a gorgeous website, it’s still just CSS and HTML for the design. (Yes of course they use a lot of other scripts as far as the functionality, but in terms of the design there’s nothing special going on.)
Takeaway: Don’t make the mistake of paying too much for your website when don’t have to. And don’t let complex website terminology intimidate you into thinking the designer is a wizard!
3. Hiring a Designer to build your website
Designers, whether they be website designers or graphic designers, are essentially artists by nature.
By this I mean that they mainly concern themselves with how things look, and whether something is aesthetically pleasing and beautiful.
Which is great!
A lot of designers fail to really understand the purpose of having a website.
HINT: It’s not just to be pretty.
No, the purpose of a website is to sell something, either your services or your product.
And typically the purpose of a website is to provoke the visitor to contact you so they can one day end up giving you money.
The problem with working with someone who is too focused on design is they lose sight of this.
Am I saying you should have an ugly website?
Of course not! I’m all for having a beautiful, elegant looking site.
But it’s important to remember that you can’t deposit beauty into a bank account at the end of the month.
Takeaway: Here’s how you know you’ve visited a great site. Not when you think, Wow! What a great looking site! but when you think to yourself, Wow! I need to get that product or service!
4. Not Getting a CMS
CMS stands for Content Management System, and basically what it is, is a program that allows you to easily manage and update your website on your own.
Back in the day the only way anyone could update a website was by manually editing the individual pages of code.
With a CMS you can change the content of your site, add images, or even add pages on your own without having to be a website developer.
Without a CMS you’re basically hand cuffed to a website developer whenever you need to update or change your site.
Not only is this an extra cost, but it can also be a nightmare when you need to quickly change something, only to be unable to reach your website designer to make the updates.
Takeaway: Make sure your designer works with a CMS and hopefully one that is commonly used such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal.
5. Not Being on the Lookout for Hidden Fees
Many website designers will lure you in with an attractive rate, only to surprise you with an endless barrage of up-sells and additional fees.
The best way to avoid this nightmare when hiring a designer is to be very clear about what your project needs are, and to put them in writing in a contract agreement that outlines the exact fee.
Two red flags to look out for are designers who don’ts offer a money-back guarantee or don’t have many or any reviews.
A money back guarantee, written into the contract, shows that the designer is serious about what they do and not in the business of ripping people off.
Having lots of quality reviews, with direct links to their websites, shows that the designer is genuinely doing good work and have people willing to stand behind them.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to some of the website designer’s past clients to see how they really felt about their experience.
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to kick the tires of your website designer and make sure they aren’t out to rip you off with a bunch of hidden up-sells.
6. Not Well Versed in SEO and Social Media
There’s no point in having a great website if no one goes to it.
I’ve heard so many people bemoan having spent good money on a website, only to have no one visit.
The two best sources of traffic you’ll have to your site are through people you know, which is Social Media, and through Google, which is SEO.
SEO stand for Search Engine Optimization, and has to do with how people find you in the organic (free) Google search results.
Social Media include such sites as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Yelp where people gather together and share experiences together through word of mouth.
It’s key to work with a website designer who has a firm grasp in SEO and Social Media and develops a strategy to integrate both into your site from the beginning.
Takeaway: Be sure to find a designer who will help you integrate Social Media and SEO into your overall website designer plan.
Free Custom Mockup of Your New Website
If you’re looking for a new website, I’d like to make you an offer you can’t refuse.
I will design an Custom Mockup of your new website for Free, before you sign or pay anything.
If you like it, we can move forward working together.
If not, there are no hard feelings and no further obligations.