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One of our recent clients told us that they had been the victims of fraud twice in a row at the hands of people posing as web designers. The first was a man who asked for a deposit and then disappeared, the second was a man who was unable to complete the work due to a complete lack of technical skill. The following are some red flags that could mean you need to seek out a better designer:
  1. They don't have a website or the website is "under construction."
  2. They are not active in the web development community.
  3. They don't use social media.
  4. They have no address or use a PO Box.
  5. They ask for 55% to 100% of contract fee upfront.
  6. They offer prices that sound too good to be true.
  7. They don't accept credit cards, they demand cash or PayPal.
  8. Check their code. Does it use the <font> tag? if so, they're amateurs.
  9. Ask what program they'll use to code your site. This is a trick question. If the answer is anything other than "by hand," they're a hack.
Since there is no barrier to entry to web design, it's very easy to declare oneself a designer or developer. You need only access to CraigsList to post an ad and begin building awful websites or scamming unsuspecting clients. Don't let bad web design happen to you. Your website is the 24/7 face of your company online.