As web designer my self, I have had the unfortunate luck of speaking to too many of my clients who have been ripped off by a web designer somewhere along the line. Whether it be that the designer never really finished the website, took the deposit and was never heard from again, or finished the website with less than promised quality.
No business, especially a small business, can afford to be taken advantage of by a web designer.
So what can you do? How can you prevent this from happening?
- Get everything in writing! You should never turn over a dime without a contract. Make sure to include a detailed list of deliverables as well as completion date.
- Never pay more than 50% of your project cost upfront! Never! Make them work for the rest of their money, if they are expecting a pay day upon completion of the website they will move to finish it much quicker.
- Beware of prices that are just too low. If your project has been receiving bids in the $ 1,200 range and then out of the blue you receive one for $ 300, it might be too good to be true.
- Ask for a reference, most reputable design firms will put you in touch with a recent client without hesitation.
- Make sure the designer agreements to show you mock ups of your website before the project is complete. This way if you do not like the look or need anything changed it can be taken care of before the website is live.
- As obvious as this one sounds, check the portfolio! If you are looking to develop a full web based application check if they have done this sort of thing before! If not, there is a chance the designer might get in over his or her head.
- Ask about the business, find out as much as you can! How many employees, where are they based out of, how long have then been in business, etc.
- If you can, get a referral from a friend, family member, or colleague who has had a great experience.
- Lastly, Google the business! Search for the business name in quotes on Google.com, you may just come across a forum post some where from someone telling you to beware!
Overall, you just need to be cautious when selecting your web designer. There are millions of design firms and freelancers who are willing to take on your project, the problem is finding the right one for you. Designing a website is a very fun and exciting time for a business and if you follow the tips above you will not have anyrets!