Why so much bad web design?

Most of my clients come to me with valid complaints of being unable to get in touch with their web designer. Lots of clients feel their web designer did a sloppy job, didn’t finish the website, or didn’t listen to what they had to say. Sometimes it seems that I get the clients I do because someone else messed up. So why are there so many bad web designers?


There are a few good explanations for this:


Web Design is too easy to get into

Just about anyone could watch some online training videos (for free), get familiar with WordPress or Squarespace and go looking for web design work on any job search website. The problem is that this entry point often attracts unreliable or inexperienced web designers. Some of them might be looking for an easy career (it’s not), some of them try it for a time then drop off for whatever reason leaving their clients hanging. Many of these people are better at selling than they are at making websites which is why they get clients in the first place.

Web Designers Don’t Know Their Limitations

Another misconception we have to overcome is that web design is simple. What’s worse is that some web designers think this way as well, forgetting other projects that went on for months. We look at a project that looks easier than the last one, and we assume we can do it in a shorter amount of time. I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past and have paid for it.

Consideration of things they have no control over

• When it takes clients longer than usual to send text or images,
• When the theme breaks and you need to troubleshoot,
• When the client doesn’t like your 1st, 2nd, 3rd draft and you need to redesign
• When you need to make or find custom artwork or images
• Integration problems

The point is that when a one day project turns into a two month project, many inexperienced web designers get sloppy or simply drop everything and run. Web design is complicated, this is why I put so much effort into educating my clients so they can make better website decisions.

Web Designers Are Bad At Setting Boundaries

Many web designers promise the world to their clients without actually knowing if they can deliver. I can understand this, it’s tempting to try and handle everything for a client that doesn’t know what they’re doing or what they’re looking for. On top of this, many designers will make grand customer service promises that they couldn’t possibly achieve. It all sounds great when it’s being promised, but when it comes to delivering there is often no way to consistently keep up that level of support and customer service suffers as a result.

This is a difficult problem to approach because many small business owners don’t know what they’re looking for when they hire a designer. I’d like to say the answer is better web designers, but there will always be web designers in way over their heads.

Unfortunately, I think the answer sits squarely with the clients – you small business owners. I know you have a mountain of work to do and there’s an even bigger mountain of misinformation on the internet. But there are ways to effectively hire a web designer. See if they’re established and have a strong history. Look at who they’ve done work for, ask yourself if you think they’re promising more than they can deliver. I know it’s not your fault that there are so many bad web designers out there, but it is your responsibility to hire correctly. It’s not easy.

Actually, stop reading this and just hire me!