2 min read

How to avoid web design cowboys

Worboy Web Designer
Caution! This article is 8 years old, and our opinions may have changed.

It doesn't take much to find dozens of online agencies promising a completely bespoke website for under £100, industry prices vary from agency to agency but there is usually a ball-park figure which is sure to get your quality for money. I can almost guarantee that if you decide to go with the bargain prices under £100, £500, £1,000 etc. you are more than likely to lose that money in the long run as the website won’t do anything for your business. You may aswell take your hard earned cash and burn it, because these poor quality, ugly looking excuse for a website will not get you any business for your company.

If you try to cut corners and go with the cheapest solution it’s more than likely to lose you money in the long run if the website gets any bugs or fixes, or you need to update it and they insist on doing all the content themselves whilst charging you expensive amounts of money to do so. Use specialists, who win awards for building creative solutions rather than a company who 'also' does web design.

At first glance, any portfolio can look out of this world, you see work which is of a very high standard and like most of their stuff. Make sure you search religiously throughout all of their projects, go to the live sites and see if the functionality is as good as it looks. Is the website as good as you initially thought?

You may even want to contact the owner of the website and ask who designed and built it, you’d be surprised at how many cowboy designers use other peoples work and try to pull it off as their own!

Is their own website good? May sound like a stupid question. But if their own website isn't great, then how will they create a good website for you?

Book a meeting with your chosen designer, meet to have a coffee, go to their studio, invite them to your place.. however you decide to do it, just make sure you do it.

If they refuse to meet in person, and insist it isn't important then they are sure to be a little dodgy, and you should question whether they are legit.

Some web designers have contracts which state the code for your website, meaning they own the website. You are unaware of this until you want to change servers or go with another agency and they hold your website hostage, and then have the cheek to charge you to buy it back, you paid good money for their service and the website still doesn't belong to you.

Do they have testimonials? Have you followed up those testimonials? How did you find them? Did somebody recommend them? If so, why? All questions you should think about before starting a new project with a new agency. It's important to do your research, meet them, discuss the project, and get everything in place before you pay any deposits or invoices.

If you need a website, and are unsure as to what agency to go with don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Give us a Call or Email us for a chat about your projects.

Co-Founder of MadeByShape. Most of my blogs are about business related aspects, not just web design.