When it comes to hiring a web designer, you need to be aware of the potential issues that could arise. Don’t get scammed by your website designer, and learn about some of the red flags that should alert you to avoid them.
One important thing to look out for is software-as-a-service (SAAS) contracts in small print—if you sign up for these services, you won’t actually own your site, you’re simply renting it from the service provider. This method is used to generate ongoing revenue for the designer and keep their customers coming back. While it’s a legitimate way of conducting business, some untrustworthy web designers will not tell you about its drawbacks. If any modifications must be made, you are at the mercy of the platform owner who can overcharge knowing that you don’t have another option. Sadly, when leaving this model most times your design cannot come with you. Additionally, if they go bankrupt or modify their terms of service without forewarning then access to your website may no longer be available – something which could prove catastrophic in certain cases!
Be wary of high fees associated with visual website builders like Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace. Many amateur web designers might try to take advantage of those who don’t know any better by charging exorbitant prices for basic services and simple customization tasks. These platforms offer a variety of templates and are known for their drag-and-drop capabilities. You don’t need any special knowledge to create great-looking sites on these platforms, so you shouldn’t be expected to pay thousands of dollars to have a site created on one. While we believe people should get paid for their work, be careful when hiring a web designer who can only work in these platforms.
Another red flag to look out for is when a web designer offers you pre-built generic templates from websites like ThemeForest. Don’t be fooled by their flashy designs, as these themes are often clunky and difficult to modify. They also tend to be full of security vulnerabilities and outdated coding practices, leaving your website vulnerable to hackers and malicious attacks. A professional web designer should create custom sites tailored specifically to the customer’s needs rather than relying on third parties or using pre-made templates.
Be wary if your web designer refuses to provide back-end login credentials such as FTP access, cPanel control panel access, WordPress admin logins, or other credentials. If a web designer doesn’t provide you with these credentials, it’s likely that they’re trying to lock you into using their own services for ongoing website maintenance and updates. Don’t be fooled by promises of “free hosting” or “ongoing support.” These usually come at a high price and can leave you feeling trapped if you need to make any changes in the future.
Finally, watch out for web designers who charge exorbitant fees for hosting your website on their server. Web hosting is relatively inexpensive these days, so there’s no reason why a professional web designer should be charging hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month to host your site. Many times they will also use what is called shared hosting, as a way to keep their costs down. Shared hosting is great for a small business that doesn’t need a big web footprint, but can be a nightmare for a larger business that needs good page load speed and security. We are big fans of businesses setting up their own hosting through Cloudways. This gives our clients full access to their site, as well as their backups, their SSL certificates, and more.
Don’t Get Scammed by Your Web Designer
When hiring a web designer, it pays to do your research and be aware of the potential pitfalls. Don’t be taken advantage of by unscrupulous designers who may try to scam you out of your money, use generic templates, lock you into their services, or charge exorbitant fees for hosting. Ask questions and do your due diligence to make sure you get the best value for your money!
By: Darrin DeTorres
Darrin DeTorres is the founder and main contributor to the Market My Own website. As an expert marketer with 13 years of experience, he noticed that new businesses were at a huge disadvantage when it came to marketing and advertising against competitors with seemingly unlimited budgets. The site was built as a way to help these small businesses get a jump start so they might have a chance of succeeding in this highly competitive environment.