I have a habit of browsing through the websites of other entrepreneurs for research purposes. It’s for a combination of competitive research, ideas or inspiration, or simply what not to do.
My list of what not to do and how to spot a bad Squarespace designer seems to be growing. Any time I visit a website, I view it in the eyes of being a potential customer. Even if I may not be a part of their target demographic. I should be able to complete the intended action (once I figure out what that is) and understand the purpose of the website. If I can’t, the website has failed.
So for my fellow entrepreneurs who may be shopping around for a Squarespace designer, I decided to create a list of red flags fo watch out for. These tips will also be true if you are looking for a web designer that specializes in another platform such as WordPress, Wix, Showit, etc.
Red Flag #1: They Rely Heavily on Images And Graphics
For starters, let me add that there is nothing wrong with using images and graphics. However, they should be used to enhance the design, not be the foundation. I’ve noticed a trend where web designers are creating entire sections of the website using graphics. This is a bit problematic because it creates a few issues related to 1-device responsiveness, 2-accessibility, and 3-SEO. These 3 problem areas are actually very important to the functionality of the website. Every website should be mobile/device responsive. Every website should be accessible – for example, screen readers should be able to decipher the content of the website accurately. Every website should be SEO friendly, which also leads to higher organic search presence (cha-ching). A web designer should be designed with those elements in mind at all times, as well as the important goals and functionalities the website will need.
Red Flag #2: Hard to Navigate Through Their Own Site
I get it. As a web designer, my own website is the perfect place to flex my creative muscle without consequence. But, all the cool stuff is for nothing if my potential clients can’t view my portfolio, learn about my services or book a consultation. Functionality is key. Your website can be cool but will it convert or complete the functions you need it to. You have a very short period of time to gain the attention of your visitors, make it meaningful!
Red Flag #3: They Deliver a Website in a Short Amount of Time with Minimal Contact
There are a lot more designers offering “fast” websites. As an entrepreneur, this can be really appealing. You get a brand new website, in a short amount of time, and probably for a lower price compared to other web designers. But, a strong and effective website takes time and collaboration. It shouldn’t all be left up to the designer. The website should be a reflection of the business’s goals. How can the goals be achieved without talking to the business or taking the time to craft the right website strategy?
When you are first starting your business, every element should be treated as an investment. And, you should be making smart and effective investments. Your website will probably be one of the biggest investments you make in the beginning (taking into account time and cost). If you are going to hire a Squarespace designer to design a new website for your business, be sure to avoid these red flags. There are great web designers out there that will be able to design a beautiful and functional website within your means. But, it is better to start off on the right track then living with regrets days after the website is live…or worse during the web design process.
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