It makes a difference when you hire a web designer to create your business website rather than do it yourself with a free theme. They can bring your dream website design to life or even create one from scratch that is beyond your imagination. It can be a dream if you find the right web designers to work with, but it can be a nightmare if you become a victim of a web design scam.
This article will help you spot web design scams and how you can get avoid them.
Start With Referrals
If it’s your first time building a website for your business, ask for the referral of a trusted person who knows a reputable website designer or web developer. They may have past clients or a group of business owners who can point you to a specific web designer that they can count on. It’s the safest way to do it because they have prior experience already, and you significantly reduce the risk of hiring an unknown person to design your new website. Ask for their contact details to get started.
Ask For Web Design Portfolio
One way to see their best work is to ask for a designer’s portfolio. Experienced website designers always have a portfolio ready when dealing with potential customers. You can also get familiar with their website design process or their website development experiences.
- Have they designed websites that you find appealing?
- Do they have extensive knowledge of your specific content management system?
- How about WordPress?
- Do they have experience in building online stores?
- Does it look good and perform well on mobile devices?
These are some of the questions that can be answered by probing into someone’s portfolio.
After that, you may go to the websites active on the internet and contact the site owners to ask about their experience working with the designer. Avoid employing this designer if you discover the site doesn’t exist or appears to be a dummy site.
Secure A Contract
Common scams when you outsource your web design project happen when a freelancer or dubious companies ask for upfront payment even without a written agreement and timeline. While this can be their defense mechanism against other exploitative companies, be wary that some fake designers use this tactic to take advantage of their unsuspecting clients.
When in doubt, always secure a signed contract. Having a mutually agreed contract helps you set clear project expectations and the scope of work. It’s a proven way to build trust.
If scammers attempt to damage your company or engage in deceitful acts, you have legal recourse. Many freelancing websites have embedded contracts once you decide to start the project.
Ensure that the design company and their freelancers commit to providing full administrator access to your website in writing. If you don’t have access to your property, including cPanel, make sure you do so for you to change over ownership and access at this level.
Many designers promise a lot of services at a lower cost, like doing your social media graphics, custom logos, SEO, and other paid services. Once you send the money using PayPal or a credit card, some deceitful scammers will disappear in a few weeks. To avoid being a victim, always document your agreements.
On the other hand, some horror stories are circling the internet about how their web designer held their small business site hostage for them to pay extra money.
It happens when they pull it off under the guise that they need to check the backend of your CMS only to find out that they insert spam links to your web pages and put harm to your site visitors.
Backup Your Files
Always save a backup of your site before granting anyone access to your site. Don’t give anyone your cPanel or hosting login information until you’re entirely confident in them.
As a safety precaution, buy your domain name personally and avoid letting anyone purchase it on your behalf. If they buy it in their name, they officially own the domain, and the IP address becomes theirs.
We hope this article gave you tips on how to launch your new beautiful site without being scammed. At Direct Allied Agency, we always remind our clients to do their research and ask us all their concerns before hiring a design partner. We always ensure that anyone who works with us doesn’t need to feel burdened as we keep all things transparent. Still looking for a trusted designer? Let’s have a chat.