Choosing an ethical web designer

Choosing a new digital and creative provider isn’t easy. There is no shortage of horror stories about incompetent ‘web designers’ bungling jobs and causing MORE problems as a result of their loose morals or incompetence. Why is this?

Many web designers, many horror stories

It’s because the web design and creative services industry, along with a lot of other industries, has its own share of incompetent or unethical businesses who will try to take advantage of trusting business owners who simply do not have the ability to determine whether or not they know what they are doing.

Sometimes this is out of greed for your money; but more often it’s simply because they don’t have the skills and competency to do the job right but won’t tell you that up front.

In an unregulated industry like ours it’s important to arm yourself with the right information before you seek out a new supplier. Make sure you ask your new supplier the following questions before you part with your hard earned cash.

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10 Questions to ask your web designer

Q1: Can you actually talk with the people working on your project?

After the sales person has left what relationship will you have with the people working on your project? For example many bigger organisations off-shore their web design work, so the only contact they offer is by email which can be a struggle for many clients.

Q2: Will they take the time to explain everything in Plain English (geek-free)

Some of our competitors will bamboozle you with techno-jargon. The reason they do this is to make their services sound more complicated – and expensive). Web design isn’t rocket science, why do some make it so complicated?

Q3. Will they consistently (and pro actively) work with you to market your business?

Will they conduct regular face-to-face reviews with you to make sure your marketing material is still relevant, or will they simply forget you once they have your completed order form?

Q4. Will they provide you with clear invoices, itemising everything you’ve ordered?

We provide detailed invoices that clearly itemise every product or service you’ve requested. Some competitors lump everything into one total figure, making it difficult to understand what it is you’re actually paying for.

Q5. Do they guarantee to complete on time and on budget?

Most projects we offer are fixed price and guarantee to be completed on time. Many unethical or incompetent providers only estimate a quote, which gives them free reign to hike up the final invoice total.

Q6. Is the service ‘all-inclusive’ or are there ‘gotchas’ hidden in the small print?

When you make your order do you know what the final invoice price will be, or is it likely to be higher than you originally thought? Check out their small print for hidden extras.

Q7. What’s their after support like?

Usually the sales process is a breeze, but what’s their aftercare service like? How easy is it to amend your marketing material, what’s the cost, can you actually meet the people and talk through your ideas?

Q8. What about tech support when things go wrong?

Some creative services such as web-design rely on highly complex technology – and sometimes things can go wrong, but how will your supplier deal with unforeseen technical issues – will you be able to speak to someone fast?

Q9. Where are these web designers based?

We’ve had many clients migrate their services to us once they’ve discovered their ‘local web guy’ is on the other side of the planet. It’s important you meet with the team you’ll be working with – before parting with your cash.

Q10. Can you work with them?

Marketing needs to be a long term strategy not just a short term fad. How personable is their team – can you have a laugh with them, or is communicating with them like pulling teeth?


We offer all local organisations a free no-obligation consultation (or even a free website audit). Please call us on 01942 316 076 or contact us through our website today.