How to avoid a web design disaster

How to avoid a web design disaster

I would have to say about 80% of people who cross my path looking for web design services have encountered some kind of web design disaster.

They didn’t get what they paid for, their developer disappeared, they outsourced overseas and there were communication problems. Whatever the reason they are left with a dirty taste in their mouth from the experience and overall have this hatred towards web designers which isn’t much fun for those who are around to pick up the pieces.

Here are my top tips to save you stress and money when dealing with a web designer.

Know your requirements

Never Assume. Anything. Ever. This is where people get burnt. Badly. Like a raging bush fire sent from hell.

Be specific.

Whilst a good web designer will ask the right questions to get your requirements, ┬áit’s good to start with a good idea of what you want. So many people come to me with a vague idea which often needs to be fleshed out and locked in.

Write a list of all the things you want your website to do and get specific eg. I want to add blogs to my website, I want to integrate my subscription form with Mailchimp and send them an ebook when they sign up.

Don’t assume that if you choose a particular platform such as WordPress that it will have features that you’ve seen on a site you like that also uses WordPress. It may have been customised for that particular client.

Websites are a lot like building a house, if you decide you want to put a window in a wall after it’s already built, you have to pull it down and rebuild the wall to fit the window, you’ll also get an additional invoice from your builder. Websites are very similar – if you decide you want something to work a certain way after it’s already built, then it’s going to cost you.

Changes post development can often have a knock on effect in terms of testing so it’s best to know what you want before you get started.

Have your assets ready

A lot of people jump into the design process without the content. Content consists of words, images, videos and documents .

When I get a design that has Lorem Ipsum in the concept I often get a little anxious. 9 times out of 10, the content that replaces that place holder text isn’t going to fit.

Now your content does not need to be final, but it needs to be indicative of what the final result will be. There is no point of having a concept designed with a image rich design if the only images you can get a hold of are of poor quality. There is no point of having your website designed with a page that has over 1000 words, to only find you can sum that up in a short paragraph.

Find a reputable web designer

Apparently any old fool can be a web designer. I am sure you’ve got a friend who dables. Everyone has a friend.

Like anything, you get what you pay for. If a deal is too good to be true, it’s likely there are hidden costs – being armed with your requirements can often avoid being hit with hidden costs. If possible use a web designer who comes with recommendations, and double check those testimonials.

Find a web designer who you will actually like working with, who has a portfolio of examples, someone who gets your brand and is actually interested in your business goals. If you need someone who needs to step you through the process, make sure who you hire is going to provide you with that kind of direction. A lot of web designers are just happy to churn out basic websites without getting a real feel for your business and goals.

Read the fine print

Make sure if you have a contract from your web designer that you read the terms and conditions. So many people don’t do this. I know it’s easy to do these days when every way we turn we have to check the ‘I agree’ button. There is too much to read! But when you’re forking over your hard earned cash make sure you read the terms!

If something doesn’t make sense ASK.

You will not have a leg to stand on if you agree to something that you haven’t read or understood.


Have you had a web design disaster? Leave a comment below about your experiences!