Web Design Nightmares are more common than we think.

Here are some Web Design Nightmares that have been experienced by consumers who have shelled out thousands of dollars to web designers who, for one reason or another, completely failed.

Lacking the technical savvy and a legal recourse, a lot of consumers are left feeling taken advantage of.

Unfortunately, good web designers are saddled with having to “redeem” these unscrupulous web designers because the adage “once bitten, twice shy” now applies to the poor customer who still needs the work done, and now has shell out money again.

thiefWeb Designers who take the deposit money and are never heard from again.

This one is a heart-breaker because I know how it feels to be ripped off.  It’s not that the web designer is a crook but for some reason, the following circumstances leads to crookish behavior.

a)  Six thousand dollars deposit for a website that will feature art for sale.  The web designer said, “Send me the content.”  Client does not even know how to get started.  Nothing got done.

b)  Three thousand dollars deposit and the same sad story, client is expected to take care of content and is unable to get anything done.  Months later, client asks for a refund and web designer said, “No.”  Client said, “I will take you to court” and web designer says “Go for it.”  Client didn’t know what to do so she just shrugged off the money.

c)  Just recently I met an electrician whose website was down because “a friend of his nephew” started the project and said, “I will give you a good deal because you are a friend.”.

Website never got finished and it was left offline for two months.

dumb-web-designerWeb Designers who let their client’s websites get hacked for several years.

This one was hilariously shocking because the web designer left a huge clue what the admin login would be at the footer of the website.

You know these web designers who like to put their credentials at the footer of every website they work on?

Well, this one put an email address/login at the footer of the site.

So the hackers had no issues brute forcing the login.

Three years passed by and the website had been showing a “This site may be hacked” on Google search results but if you go directly to the website URL, you don’t notice that anything fishy was going on.

To be fair to the web designer, this issue is really a shared responsibility with the site owner.  In this day and age of rampant hacking everywhere, we can’t blame everything on the web designer.

hackedWebsites with NO Backups and NO clean copies of themes.

This is a major problem when a website gets hacked!

This problem is so easily solved that it fries my brain to even think that someone does not keep a copy of the original theme.

When pieces of the theme gets hacked, all it means is that the CODE has been modified to include malware in it.  The easiest way to fix it is to replace the theme with a clean copy.

unsupportedUsing Themes that get discontinued and unsupported

This is the problem with using free themes or themes from solo theme designers that do not have a track record of good support.

When this happens, security leaks are never fixed, setting you up for failure.

Another problem related to this is web designers who don’t use Parent->Child Themes and modify the theme files directly.

This is a problem because updates to the Theme can break the website.

This is a technical issue and very difficult for the website owner to understand (because it really does not concern them.)

In the case of one of my clients, it was no longer possible to even buy a clean copy of the theme.  The website had to be re-designed from scratch.

unfinishedUnfinished websites

When a web designer says to a client, “I will take care of the design but you have to be responsible for the content” – this should raise a red flag with the client.

Most web design clients are not tech-savvy enough to generate content for a website.  This is why are paying good money to a web designer in the first place!

I still bristle at the thought of someone I know who put down six thousand dollars and never got anything done because of this exact reason.

Since she was not technically savvy, she was not able to collect the images and content needed to get the project started.  No help at all from the web designer.

More shocking than this was the fact that the web designer never followed up with the client.  Even more shocking that the client never got a refund.

uglyWebsites that are deemed “Complete” but look ugly.

A completed website that looked horrible such that the owner and I had a good laugh at it.

In her case, she even paid more than six thousand dollars for the supposed marketing training plus website deal she bought from a famous mentor.

Summary

Apparently, there’s no amount of money that one can spend on a website to get some sort of assurance that the project will get done and get done properly.

It is my intention as the author of this website to address these “holes” in the current way web design is being performed in the industry by doing the following:

  1. Educating the Client in the important concepts she must know before she puts any kind of money down on a website project
  2. Informing the Client of the typical pitfalls that both the web designer and the website owner can fall into that will jeopardize the project.
  3. Enlightening the Client on behavior and requests that can frustrate the web designer causing abandonment of a project

Doing good Web Design is not as easy as what the sales agencies and the outsourcing agents like to harp about. 

Building a website is both an artistic and a technical process.  Creating good content needs a good artist and a good writer.

Websites are never any good without good content.  This is a fact as true as the sun rising from the east.

On the other hand, it is indeed true that it is easy to build a bad website.

Anyone can deploy a free website on the various free servers out there.

As a consumer, just make sure that you are not paying one of these rookies to experiment on you.

If you have any similar experiences you would like to share, put in the comments section below.