For many of you small business owners, your business is your baby: you carried the idea around for months before bringing it into reality. You’ve invested all of your time and energy into its growth and success. You knew eventually that your “baby” would need a website so, now, it’s time to leave it in the care of someone else–a web design company. With that being said, you’ll need to do your research before choosing the best candidate. Just as you wouldn’t leave your child in the care of a babysitter without a thorough background check, you should apply the same caution for your business website. Because web designing is a growing industry, unfortunately many scammers have jumped on the bandwagon. Here are 5 common indicators to help you identify those scam web design companies:

Promises Immediate Search Results

It takes a while for websites to show up in top page ranks on search engines like Google (about 1-3 months), even when SEO is performed well. More importantly, there’s no guarantee that your website will show up first on Google. If a “web design company” promises this or your website’s immediate search ranking, as in less than a week, kindly decline.

Wants Ownership of your Site

Seriously, some scammers have this type of audacity. Your site belongs to YOU. You bought the domain, paid for the hosting, and paid for the design services . . . it’s YOURS. If a web design company insists on their “full control,” opt-out.

Requests a Full, Up-front Payment

Many people don’t go for this, but some are desperate enough to do so. Scammers who request payment up-front before any work is done can easily take all of your money and run. The best payment agreement, which is what our firm offers, would be an initial deposit, followed by paid installments after each design process is completed and approved by YOU. Also, make sure a contract with them is offered, thoroughly read, and signed. Contracts are legally binding for the company as well as for yourself. If there isn’t a contract, don’t work with them.

Questionable Portfolio

The proof is in the pudding. Review the company’s work and check if it was actually done by them. Visit the websites of their previous clients and contact those companies for their experience with them. You might discover that the “listed” client has never worked with or even heard of that web design company (yikes)!

Unreliable Contact

We’ve all dealt with horrible customer service at least once in our lives–not receiving prompt responses or thorough answers to your questions can be frustrating. If you’re experiencing this frustration with a web designer you’re working with, don’t assume it’s horrible customer service. It can be scammers intentionally avoiding you.

 

We know the “scammer alert” may sound a bit frightening, but your small business is too much of an investment for you not to be informed. Analyze our portfolio page, schedule an in-person consultation with us, and take a tour through our office . . . we’re the real deal.

If you need more convincing on why it’s safer to hire a local web design firm like ours, check out this blog post from our parent company, Key Web Concepts.