The severed head of a bad web designer

Phony Designers Could Cost You a Fortune

Any business that wants to succeed today will want to put their business on the Internet. Some think that if you’re not on the Internet by now you’re likely to go out of business.

This may be true but many business owners don’t know the first thing about building a website.

If you have an understanding of HTML5, PHP, Javascript, MySql; have the ability to write great sales copy and create graphics; you know how to use FTP, cPanel, and phpMyAdmin; have a computer dedicated to Internet hosting (or reliable hosting service); and if you have some free time, you can create your own website. If not, you will want to hire someone to design a website for you.

There are several options available for the business owner to have a website created. In fact, there are so many companies “designing” websites that it can be difficult to choose one.

There will be a lot of “pitches”

If you registered your business anywhere you’ll likely receive mail from a variety of designers offering to create a website for you. There will be a lot of “pitches” to entice you to chose one company over another for your website design.

There are other companies that provide “self-service” web design where you can build your own site, for a fee. These types of sites are built with simple templates and are often referred to as “cookie-cutter” websites because they are not at all unique.

“Cookie-cutter” websites often look cheap and unprofessional and they don’t allow you to stand out from the crowd. After all, You wouldn’t want your website to look just like your competitor’s website, would you?

Beware of companies that offer business websites for a small monthly fee. Some of the biggest companies around will offer you great deals (especially if you “bundle”). Many of these companies don’t specialize in design and just want to add a high-profit, low-maintenance income stream to increase their bottom line.

Their customer support can be slim to none and they will likely sell you more than you need (especially if you “bundle”).

“If you like it you will be billed”

You’ll hear from companies offering you a free website with the purchase of other advertising or you may be offered 30 trial website. “If you like it you will be billed” on a monthly basis. I am aware of one company that made this offer:

“All you pay is a one-time design and setup fee of just $59.95. After your free, 30 day trial period of website hosting, you will be billed just $29.95 per month to keep your website and e-mail accounts.”

I visited one of these sites only to see that any high-school boy could have created this site in about 15 minutes. That works out to almost $240.00 per hour and the web address wouldn’t even fit on a business card.

I spoke with a business owner that used this service and he informed me that he would not be keeping the site after his 30-day trial.

His web address was

The company doesn’t build websites anymore and the domain name they were using is no longer registered.

Websites designed by real professionals

If you’ve been on the Internet for any length of time you’ve probably seen websites designed by real professionals. These designers are innovative, creative and talented.

They create sites that are visually appealing, interactive and well organized. If you view their sites on your mobile device they will look as good (or better) than the computer versions. They optimize their sites for search engines and they will be secure.

Web designers can charge from $45 per hour up to as much as $150 per hour. Some charge even more and a few of them are worth every penny. If you’re paying less than that then you either “know someone” or your designer is subpar.

Professional designers get paid well for their talent. However, many small businesses don’t have an advertising budget that can cover the costs of a high-end web development company. So what can a business owner do?

The first step is to shop around

As a business owner, the most obvious first step is to shop around. There are a variety of sites, available on the Internet, that list web design companies. Beware of the fact that some of these sites will list anyone claiming to be a designer.

Next, check their credentials. If a designer is good and has been around a while they will likely have a portfolio. Follow the links to sites that their company has designed and see if they look professional.

Check the address of the “clients sites” to see if they are on the same server. (,, etc). Some designers will put links to examples of bogus businesses to give the impression they have designed many good sites.

Also, look at the bottom of the “client sites” to see if there is a link to the designer. If not, do you know who really designed the site?

The best web designers may not have large portfolios

Keep in mind though, some of the best web designers may not have large portfolios. Businesses owners retire, businesses get sold, and often times a professional website can encourage phenomenal financial growth. That growth can allow business owners to hire in-house designers and developers.

If a designer does have a portfolio, visit some of their “client” sites. Do they all look the same? Some amateur designers use free templates to create multiple sites.

These websites have the same unprofessional look as cookie-cutter websites and won’t do anything to improve your image. Your business is unique. Your website should be too.

Avoid designers that use “under construction” or “coming soon” pages. Links to empty pages waste your visitors time.

If you are properly maintaining your website it will always be “under construction”. The “Coming soon” label may give the impression that you can’t meet deadlines or finish what you’ve started.

Look at the available payment options. Do they accept major credit cards? Do they accept online payments? Do they require you to pay in advance?

Some will charge your business for a year of hosting and setup fees before they start on your website. Will they be around six months from now? Requiring a down payment is reasonalbe but full payment in advance is a bit suspicious.

What kind of support and maintenance can you expect from them? Will you have access to your site to make changes yourself? Do they offer classes or on-site training for your staff?

You can find a professional web design company

There are a lot of things to consider before spending money on a website. With a bit of research, you can find a professional web design company with satisfied customers, great looking pages and reasonable costs. The time you spend now can help you avoid a lot of aggravation in the future.

So when you’re planning your website you’ll want to avoid the phony designers and do a lot of research to find the right web design company. There is another option, though. You could just contact TC Design and let us design your website. Then you could spend the time you save doing something else. . . like relaxing.

You won’t find phony designers at TC Design, only professionals. We will never sell you anything you don’t want or need and we do what we say we’ll do. Click the button below to get started.

Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. That’s TC Design!