Healthy websites take work… but not THAT much work.

When to break up with your Web Designer.

Just because you have been with the one Web Designer for years, doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right fit for you or your business.

A healthy website is critical in educating customers and making it easy for them to engage with your services. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for us to be approached by a business with a website that doesn’t even do that.

A missing SSL certificate (the essential padlock in your browser), broken links, out-of-date information or forms that don’t work… We have seen it all.

Exploitative practises or negative experiences often leave customers feeling trapped by their provider and their website suffers as a result. If your relationship with your Web Designer is affecting your business, it might be time to look at other options.

Let’s look at the six most common web designer red flags:

1. Lack of Communication

Websites are not a set and forget endeavour. Keeping your website’s content up to date is essential for engaging visitors and maintaining your online reputation.

If your web designer has disappeared off the face of the earth, you might struggle to make necessary content updates, such as adding new products, services or offers. Stale, out of date or incorrect content will deter users and can even harm your search engine rankings.

As your business evolves, your website should evolve with it. If you’re going straight to voicemail for weeks at a time, you have an issue.

2. Constant Conflict

Nothing makes managing a website harder than conflict. When you and your web designer are on the same page, you can better articulate your vision, goals, and expectations, leading to a website that reflects YOUR business.

If your website designer makes you feel like an inconvenience, “good enough” unfortunately all too often becomes the easier option.

3. Lack of Trust

If you have asked a web designer to swap a photo on the About page… then received an invoice for six hours work, something isn’t adding up.

Cards on the table, some requests do involve more work than initially thought. That said, a web designer should always be able to justify an expense. If they can’t explain why a simple request took six hours… then chances are they are being dishonest and overcharging.

A good working relationship built on honesty can give you confidence you’re not being ripped off.

4. Neglect

We all have sick days, a flat car battery or an occasional emergency. If your web designer misses a deadline once and offers up a genuine reason, cut them some slack. If they have missed every deadline for months on end, that’s another issue entirely.

When even the simplest request can take months to action, it’s a sign that you are the least of their priorities.

5. Power Imbalance

One of the worst things we encounter is clients who have no control over their own domain or website. They can’t login to it, they can’t update it and they have no idea how to transfer it elsewhere.

Some web designers will go so far as to purchase a clients domain name under their own ABN. Even if you’re the one who paid for it, if it’s registered under their name… they own it.

Always ensure your domain is purchased under your own name and ABN and that you are the primary contact. Always request your websites login and password. Even if you don’t plan to make updates yourself, having this information on file will ensure YOU maintain control over YOUR website and domain name.

6. Emotionally Draining

Marketing a business can take a lot of work. That said, looking at ways to creatively promote your business should be fun!

If marketing your business has become a chore and the red flags are starting to pile up, it might be because you have…

No Future Together

In summary, having synergy with your web designer is crucial for a successful web design project. It leads to effective communication, a shared vision, creative collaboration, and a positive working relationship, all of which contribute to a website that meets your business needs and objectives.

If your out-of-date website is sitting around collecting dust… As the saying goes: There are many more web designers in the sea.