The Web Design Company From Hell
We won’t dwell here for long. We’d rather focus on how you can choose a good quality web design company in Australia however, when deciding on the right web designer for you, it’s important to be aware of the horror stories. There are many risks that come with using an inexperienced web designer that can easily be avoided.
The hellish part only becomes apparent when something goes wrong, like a security breach or some out of date software update causes a conflict. It’s usually when a technological issue arises, you realise your SEO is lacking or you can’t get your website edited that you even become aware that something is off.
Generally, the worst kind of web design company is someone who isn’t officially in business or company in the first place.
If going local is of interest, here’s our article on the 3 Reasons Why To Go Local with your web designer.
Cutting Costs with a Dabbler
If someone claims they ‘dabble in web design’, this is your first sign of inexperience. It’s treated more as a hobby and likely that your business is not their priority. We understand, when first starting out in business, it’s idealistic to save money on every aspect of setting up our business. Unfortunately, web design and digital marketing might seem like places we can cut corners in the early days. There’s a BIG difference between simply starting small with your website, vs choosing the cheapest web design company (or ‘dabbler’) out there. A big website for a low price generally indicates a lack of experience and therefore quality. When it comes to putting together a quality website design, Google ranking, and digital marketing, experience matters.
“Time and time again, I hear the horror stories of ‘I had my website built by my brother’s friend, who dabbles in web design over a year ago and it’s never been finished’ or ‘my sister-in-law built my site and now it’s been hacked’. These stories make me cringe. Like you wouldn’t trust a dentist to work on your car, handing your website over to someone without the design, technical and marketing experience to establish and manage the website that you need is super risky and can prove more expensive in the long run.“
~ Karen Ahl
Web Technology is Constantly Changing
If you’re Googling how to choose the right web design company that’s great. It means you’re prepared to invest a little time in making a considered and informed decision about which web design company is right for you. We’re of course advocates of hiring a web design company in Australia, and we also recommend you look for web designers that showcase their experience and knowledge regarding the constant changes in website technology including:
- Security threats – Experienced web designers should know how to protect your website against security threats and alerts. If you opt for an inexperienced designer, you risk website vulnerability including data breaches, spam, malware, viruses, and hacking attempts. Who’s responsible for fixing your website if it’s compromised?
- Software updates – Website Content Management Systems (CMS) routinely issue software updates, but it’s up to web design companies (or website owners) to install these updates. Failure to do so can affect website performance, including page upload speed and site reliability; driving frustrated potential customers away from your site. An experienced, full-service web design company should offer Fully Managed Website Hosting to cover you here.
- Website features + functionality – Need an online shop? A booking calendar? A membership platform? Each of these extra, add-on features require specific technical knowledge. An inexperienced web design company is unlikely aware of the many amazing features available let alone what software will suit your requirements and how to configure it. This could mean your website misses out on convenient, time-saving functionality, limiting your ability to grow your business through your website.
Combining Web Design + SEO is an Art Form
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) sounds simple: you want your website to come up in as many Google searches as possible and to rank at the top of each page when it does. Theoretically, it all sounds pretty straightforward, but SEO is truly an art form!
It can take a web design company in Australia years of experience to finely hone their approach to SEO. Local knowledge, continually tweaking their methods to suit Google and other search engines as they frequently update their search algorithms. To give you an idea of the challenge of doing SEO well; here are some of the factors that need to be taken into account.
- Ensuring your website structure is ‘mobile responsive’ so that it can be indexed quickly for mobile phone searches. Basically this means your site needs to be set up in such a way that search engine crawlers can access it easily.
- Creating ‘Google-friendly’ featured snippets. What is a featured snippet? It’s that singular answer box that shows up on search results pages, above the list of organic search results. If you rank number one on a search engine results page but don’t ‘own’ the featured snippet, you’ll get 30% less traffic than if you also ‘own’ the snippet.
- Building a logical site structure supported by appropriate internal linking. It’s more complicated than this, but as a starting point, key website pages need to be linked to internally, numerous times, to help Google understand that these pages are important.
Key Takeaways // How to Select the Right Web Design Company
Being aware of the risks of choosing an inexperienced web design company will definitely help reduce your risks of being burnt. However, there are other factors you’ll want to consider, beyond experience.
Here’s a couple of questions that might help to make a decision:
- Accessibility | is there a single person I can always contact who is responsible for my site? You need to be able to contact someone directly who understands your business and your website. We suggest that hiring a local web designer can help mitigate many of the risks associated with getting a website built.
- Responsiveness | What’s their approach to customer support? If your site crashes or has issues you need to know you’re going to get the support you need ASAP and that their contact methods are easy.
- Understanding | How are you treated by the web design company? Do they express an interest in understanding your business before preparing a quote? Do they welcome your questions and information?
Finding the right web design company for you is important as your website is a vital business tool for growing and evolving your business. We recommend that you do your research, and ask lots of questions.