How to find a web designer you love

A few of my clients have opened up about the bad experiences they have had with their previous web designer/developer.

The top complaints I’ve heard:

The web developer was unprofessional and rude. (I was helping a new client move their hosting from their old web developer to a new account. The client tried to phone to get their hosting logins and the web developer responded in a text message – www.pleasedontcallme.com. I’m not joking! ).

  • The web developer took a long time to build their website (over a year) despite having all the required content and information.
    The web developer left them with a half-finished website and stopped responding to emails and calls.
  • The web developer built them a website that was completely unlike the original design brief and refused to work on it further.
  • The web developer always used technical jargon, refusing to explain things in a way they could understand, leaving them feeling stupid and powerless.
  • The web developer abandoned them after their website went live. Leaving them to manage and maintain their own website with no guidance whatsoever.

So how do you find a website designer or developer that will look after you, listen to you and build a website you love?

In this industry, referrals are like gold dust. So if you know someone who has worked with a great web designer and loved the experience for all the right reasons, it’s likely that you will too. So reach out to your social and professional networks and ask if they have anyone to recommend – this is the best way to find a good web designer.

There are also many Facebook networking groups where you could ask about web designers. Make sure to ask for personal recommendations from the people who’ve actually worked with the designer.

If you’re on a website that you really love, check to see if the web designer has left their credits at the bottom of the site.

Create a list of possible web designers you’d like to work with, and research more about each. Visit their websites, look at their social media and carefully check out the websites they’ve designed to see if their vibe and work resonates with you.

Make a shortlist of your top 2 or 3. Reach out and contact them. Arrange a consultation where you get to speak to them face-to-face or over a meetings app like Zoom. Ask them questions. Trust your gut. If something feels off, it usually is. Don’t settle for less – a website is your business’s most important digital marketing asset. Remember – you generally get what you pay for. So if you are after dirt cheap rates, you’re going to get a cheap, hastily-put-together website that won’t really work for your unique business needs.

I am always happy to give potential clients the contact details of my previous or current clients (with their permission of course). They can then contact them to find out a bit more about my service standards.

What about using Google to find a web designer? In my opinion, it’s better to work with a web designer/developer who has worked with someone you know or who has done work that you love and respect. So yes – if you find them via Google, love their work and love the reviews from previous clients, then they could be a great fit for your business.

But be aware that some of the best web designers for your business will not necessarily appear at the top of Google search results. This is because they know that Google is not where they find their best / ideal clients – so getting to the top of Google using SEO won’t be their digital marketing priority. They find their best clients through referrals from current clients or by building a relationship with them over social media channels like Instagram and Facebook and email marketing, blogging and newsletters.

Have you had a bad or good experience with a web designer/developer? How do you think they could improve? What do you want from a web designer? Post your comments in the box below – I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights.

Hi - I'm Megan Hodson

I’m a Shopify + WordPress web designer with 16+ years communications, marketing and digital design experience, including working in eCommerce since 2010.

Our studio collaborates with brave-hearted small businesses around the world, helping them create beautifully-functional websites that convert.

We specialise in:

Shopify Stores: We help you plan and design stunning, user-friendly online shops that are easy to manage and scale alongside your business. Learn more.

Website Transformations: Is your website feeling outdated? We’ll work with you to create a fresh, modern space that reflects your brand and delivers a seamless user experience. Learn more.

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