Thursday, August 28, 2008

How To Avoid A Disastrous Relationship With Your New Web Designer

by Joseph Cozens

As a long running owner of a successful Website design and Ecommerce solutions company, we are regularly approached by people who are so disillusioned with their new website that they are practically tearing their hair out. The problems appear to break down in to a few main areas:

The Web designer makes lots of promises and assurances because he or she is eager to secure the job. However either the new website never materialises, the designer simply takes the deposit and vanishes, failing to reply to your emails


The Web designer makes the same promises, and then subsequently builds you a website that is nothing like what you had been promised.


You had tried to explain to the web designer what you wanted, but he or she just didn't seem to understand. When they spoke to you they used words and phrases relating to programming or web design that you didn't understand. When you said that you didn't understand what they meant, they didn't explain themselves any better, they either made you feel foolish, or else just continued to say things that didn't make very much sense to you.

These are very common problems in the website design industry, and there are a couple of main reasons why these problems occur, and there are also some simple steps you can take to avoid these problems.

The Reasons Why:

Due to the availability of programs on the internet that can be downloaded, or may have come free on the front of a magazine that offer to allow you to build your own website, many people think they can build websites. They have a play with the free program and think "Hey this is easy I can do this..." They then start to advertise themselves as a website designer and try to sell "their services". They may have heard that there is a lot of easy money to be made in Website Design, and while this may have been true 12 - 15 years ago, it is certainly not so any longer. This may be why you have experienced one or other of the first problems I mentioned.

Alternatively the person that you hired may in fact be a genuinely good programmer. However most programmers, while exceptionally good at programming have very little, if any design skills what so ever. Additionally, communication is often a problem. While this is not true in every case, it is certainly true in a great many cases: Programmers often are very intelligent but socially awkward personalities. In my experience, they often find communication difficult, they often fail to ask the questions necessary to understand clearly what you require, and if you try to ask them anything they resort to using terms and phrases that are exclusive to the environment that they work in, and therefore you would have no reason to understand, they get frustrated and so do you.

Sound familiar? Well there are simple steps that you can take to avoid these problems from the start, as I will now explain.

The way to avoid these problems:

Make sure that your website designer has their own website, and that this website is well designed and demonstrates ability in their field.

Next make sure that the website designer has an online portfolio that you can view. If the quality of the websites in their portfolio is shabby, there is no reason why the website that they will build for you will be any better. Next make sure that the websites in the portfolio are live and real and not just images of templates that were not designed by this person at all. You should be able to click on a link to view any websites that are offered in a portfolio. If the website comes up, but the actual text on it is all rubbish or is in Latin then you have been duped, and this isn't the work of this web designer at all. It is a template that was designed by someone else and a copy has been purchased for a few pounds. The chances are that if they haven't even edited the template to make it unique then the reason is that they are either lazy or unable to. In either case the likelihood is, you will not get a quality website from such a person.

If their portfolio is of good quality and you would like a website that is of a similar standard to those you have seen, the next step is to speak to the designer. You want to ask them questions and then listen to how they answer them. Do they use programming or internet related words that you don't understand, ok, well tell them, see if they attempt to explain things in a way you can easily understand. If they do, chances are you might well come out of this with the website that you want. If not, you would be well advised to walk away and find another designer, one that makes an effort to understand what you want and to explain things clearly to you.

Next step is the contract, make sure that you are provided with a written contract that clearly states what they will do, how long it will take them, and what they expect from you. It should state exactly how much the job will cost, how much is due as a deposit, and when the remainder of the balance is due. If you have a contract you are legally protected should things go wrong, and you wont have any problems of the designer saying they didn't say this or that, it will all be down in black and white. We wish you a long and successful internet future.

About the Author are a London and Essex based web design company who specialize in building Ecommerce and attractive websites that are easy to navigate and use.

Why not contact us on 0800 634 92 92 for a quote or visit our website.