Stories about how the web design company they hired made all these grand promises and expectations and then disappeared as soon as their new site was launched, leaving them with a mediocre website and no support in managing it.
And clients aren’t the only ones getting scammed. We have faced situations where competitors have used sites we’ve built to promote their own companies and gain clients. The web industry can be a “scammy” world and we’re not afraid to admit it because we want things to change.
So we’ve compiled a checklist of questions and red flags that we, as experts in the industry, would ask if we were looking for someone to build us a website.
A lot of times in meetings with web design firms, they will bring up other websites that they have built to show as examples of their work. This can be very beneficial for you, as a potential client because it gives you a visual of their capabilities. Especially, if the example website is for an industry that is similar to your own.
But we have found that it’s not uncommon for web design companies to just pull up websites of similar industries that they know you will love and sell them off as their own work. This is very easy to do if the design company’s name is not listed in the footer.
An easy way to solve this problem is to simply ask for proof of design. Every design firm has a login set up on the backend of the website. If their name is not listed as the creator at the bottom of the website, ask them to log into the backend. If they cannot log in, they didn’t build the site.
While looking at example sites, look up the URL on your phone and see how it looks in mobile view. Not all companies are good about making their websites mobile friendly and if a lot of your customers will be using their phones to view your site, this can be a vital detail that many miss.
Search ranking takes at least 30-40 days to register with Google and other platforms. So if they make a promise like this, consider it a Big Red Flag and have your guard up for any more false promises.
A smart thing to do is ask the design firm if they have any software programs that they utilize to measure ranking and keywords. If they do, ask if it would be possible for them to run a test on your site now and then again after the first couple months of your new site being launched. This will allow you to compare your sites ranking accurately after hiring the new design firm, as well as, hold them accountable to deliver.