Before you hire a website designer, get it in writing

A client just emailed me her horror story with a web designer who took many months, charged her thousands and left her with no notes and a lot of unanswered questions. I referred the designer to her and was promised he knew what he was doing. He’s a friend I love but cannot refer anyone else to him. If anyone asks me for a reference about him, I have to tell them my experience.

The bottom line is, do not over commit yourself. Do not take on the karma of charging someone for something you are just learning yourself. I could have done her a site for about $300. This is a client on disability with very little income. Don’t take on the karma of that. It will come back to you 20 years down the road when you can least afford it.   No, I am not suggesting you hire me to design your website, I’m saying get it in writing what they will do for you and what it will cost before you begin.  Have a schedule of what will be paid upon completion of what stage of the work.  Make sure you ALSO get all instructions in writing, so when this person disappears, you can do the work yourself.  Make sure the site is fully operational before you pay the last payment. I have had a dozen well meaning friends over the past 10 years advertise to be website designers because they paired up with someone who told them they’d do the work, and it was a horror each time – overcharging – not getting work done – friendships lost.  It’s not worth it.  You either do what you know or you do something else.  Please.

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