When I am asked to review a website, I sometimes get a little annoyed. The number of times I’ve seen a web designer make basic, fundamental mistakes on a website, yet pass it off as a complete package is astonishing. The trouble is, too many people trust their web designer to do a good job.
Within the last year, here are some of the mistakes I’ve seen made on websites:
- Website content left in Latin.
- Contact forms still sending content to the web designer, not to the client.
- Incorrect internal and external links.
- Incorrect setup of social media accounts.
- Too many plugins installed.
- Improper SEO setup.
- Poorly optimised images.
Some of these mistakes are major issues. The majority will impact the site’s search engine ranking while others will lower the customer’s perception of the brand and their experience on the website.
So why is this? There are many reasons why this might happen.
The first issue is the quality of the web designer. Just because their services cost a lot of money, doesn’t guarantee they will provide a quality service. Two years ago, we took on a client with a website that had many issues. The monthly price they were paying for the site was astronomical and their original fees were ridiculous.
The service provider also breached several aspects of the contract.
There were numerous mistakes on the website and the client had no idea how they could make basic changes. This was a major money sink. If they wanted to add a product, page, or review – they had to pay for the web designer to do it. They simply refused to train the client how to use their site.
When we built them a new website, we immediately taught them how to use it. It freed up my time and gave them control of their website.
Now, this is a rare example of how a web designer can hold your website hostage. However, I don’t think it should exist at all in the industry. As a little bit of perspective – our client took the owner of the company to court where they found out he had four court orders held against him for similar issues.
The Unqualified Web Designer
There are no formal qualifications to becoming a web designer. You can learn on the job with WordPress or Joomla and not receive any qualification. The issue with this is that attractive sites can be created – but they don’t always equate to good websites.
They could leave hidden page errors that can damage your website’s performance, while being invisible to you.
However, you can’t just blame these types of mistakes on an unqualified web designer. Instead, they might be lazy or have been so cheap that they only do part of the job for the price.
The Greedy Web Designer
Another issue is that some web designers are greedy. Trying to earn as much as they can as quickly as they can. This isn’t totally unexpected. Some web designers work from project to project – and don’t have long-term revenue expectations. Some might have some residual income, but it isn’t enough to sustain them if there are no new projects in the pipework.
Therefore, they try to overcharge their clients and do as little work as possible. The hope is the client will then rely on the web designer for maintenance – such as new pages, error fixes, etc.
However, this can backfire. A poorly designed website can mean the client switches their supplier or has a new website developed.
A Web Designer Should Build Quality Websites
There are few web designers I know that will always develop quality websites from the get-go. If I don’t have the capacity at the time, these are the people I refer clients to. Why? Because my reputation is also on the line with their work. And I know I can trust them to deliver the same quality I would.
And from these initial successes, long-term business relationships are formed.
This is how a good web designer should be. They should think of their client’s long-term success and the quality of their output. If they think of this, then their own income should grow effectively.
A Tainted Perspective
As a note, I must admit, my views are often biased. I don’t actively advertise our web design services and generally, my web design clients are referrals when others haven’t delivered. Therefore, I see more bad work than I should.
Therefore, there might be more decent web designers out there than I know. But as my job is often to fix the errors of others, I tend to see the worst.
Does your website have secret errors hidden in it? Have you had a rogue web designer build your website?
Let us know in the comments below.