7 Signs Your WordPress Designer Is Garbage

December 28, 2015

When you’re on the lookout for a WordPress designer, the temptation can be strong to make a choice that’s as economical as possible. What this often leads to is hiring a designer who is inexperienced or just plain garbage. How can you tell how to filter out the wheat from the chaff and not break the bank? Believe it or not, it’s possible to do, you just have to pay attention to some telltale signs. These signs go beyond the obvious of hiring your college cousin, doing it yourself, and using a “free” (or even a paid) website building tool. With that in mind, here are seven signs your WordPress designer (or the WordPress designer you’re thinking about hiring) is garbage.


1. Their quoted price is less than $ 2,000

This is the first and most important sign of a terrible WordPress designer, even though I know you’re thinking that much money will break the bank. Think, though, about buying a car or building a house: would you try to cut financial corners on those purchases? No, you wouldn’t, because you know that you get what you pay for.


The same holds true for web design: you get what you pay for. If your quoted price is under a grand, chances are good that you’re dealing with a WordPress designer who is absolute garbage. High quality designers can demand steeper price tags, because they produce a product that gets results. Don’t try to cut corners on the cost of your website, or you’ll endup paying for a good design later on down the road on top of the money you paid for the terrible site.


2. You hired A Web Designer from a Craigslist ad

Craigslist is great for finding a bargain, but looking for that in your web design violates rule number one above. There are always exceptions to every rule, but by and large, Craigslist is amateur hour. You don’t want an amateur developing your website; you want a professional. Go where the professionals go, not where the amateurs hang out. Better options for finding non-garbage WordPress designers abound, including the site you’re reading this article on. Trust me, a Craigslist-stalking WordPress designer is probably going to be garbage.


3. They state that their main goal is a creative site

This sounds really great, doesn’t it? After all, you want your website to look distinctive and reflect your brand image, and that requires creativity, right? Well, yes and no. A website can be distinctive and reflect your brand image, and can even be beautiful, without that being the main goal of the designer.


The fact of the matter is, a HubSpot survey found that 76 percent of web users said the most important factor in the design of a website was for it to make it easy for them to find what they want. In fact, only 10 percent of those users said “beautiful appearance” was the most important thing. So, you tell me … do you want a website that meets the main criteria for 10 percent of your potential customers, or 76 percent of them?


4. They don’t offer a solution for writing content

The biggest challenge you’ll face in generating a new website is creating quality content. In fact, one of my clients had to put his entire project on hold simply because his WordPress designers, a group of college students, couldn’t create quality content to save their lives. That was, in fact, how he ended up my client. The challenge of creating quality content is the primary cause for delays in website design projects, so it’s something a good WordPress designer will have a solution for. There are several options for copywriting:



  • You (the client) creates all the content. This takes time and dedication, so it might not be the best option.
  • You (the client) offers an internal resource, like a copywriter you already have on staff.
  • You (the client) hires a freelance copywriter (please don’t use Craigslist for this, either.)
  • The WordPress designer offers an internal solution (a copywriter on their staff)
  • The WordPress designer offers a freelance copywriter

Which option is best will clearly depend on the scenario, but typically a resource offered by the designer is an excellent sign that they are professional, capable, and most importantly, not garbage.


5. They don’t ask enough questions

WordPress Designer


You should be prepared for lots of questions being fired at you by your WordPress designer. In fact, if they don’t ask you a ton of questions, that’s pretty much a flag on the play and a sign of a garbage designer. Questions should begin during the initial sales meeting and project kickoff meeting, and continue through the strategy phase of your project. These questions should cover everything about your company, competitors, and clients. Here are just some examples of what you should be prepared to answer right off the bat, and be concerned if you don’t get asked these questions:



  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. Where is your target audience (local, national, global)?
  3. Describe your typical client.
  4. What are the primary and secondary goals for your website?
  5. Who are your main competitors, both online and offline?
  6. What sort of marketing efforts are you doing offline?
  7. What are your brand identity guidelines?
  8. What sort of graphics and other assets will you provide?
  9. Do you have a content writer available?
  10. Can we get access to your current site analytics?

6. They don’t have weekly status calls with you

Momentum is essential with any website project. It always starts off well, with plenty of energy and excitement at the opening phase of a new project, but this enthusiasm can fade as the designer gets caught up in the mire of the project or signing on other projects. You want to make sure you maintain regular contact with your WordPress designer so you stay on their radar, because momentum starts to fade away the minute you lose regular contact with them. Insist on weekly meetings, at a minimum, if not daily contact until the project is completed and the website is launched.


7. There’s no conversion strategy

Did your WordPress designer help you figure out what the primary and secondary conversions should be for your site? Conversions can be anything from phone calls to purchases, along with quite a few possibilities in between, and a high-quality WordPress designer will help you define these. The primary conversion is usually a sale on the site or an inquiry for a sales discussion, while a secondary conversion typically uses a form to capture an email address. Your WordPress designer should ask you how you prefer to be contacted, as well as how your clients would likely want to reach out to you.


There are more signs of a garbage WordPress designer, but these are the main ones and we’ve gotta stop somewhere. Pay attention to these symptoms, and you’ll be sure to find a high-quality WordPress designer.

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