7 Ways to find out if your web designer is slacking

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Hiring a professional to build a website is an important step to becoming successful in your field. It might be time to move on if you run into the following problems:

Red Flags of a slacking web design Firm:
  • Your site takes forever to load.*
  • Emails go unanswered.
  • Your “responsive” website does not respond to all screen sizes
  • Your being charged more than $100 per year for basic hosting*
  • Your website does not come up in search
  • Your website is “Flash” based*
  • Your site’s font is “Times Romain”
  • Your website code is out-of-date*
  • Your site lacks a sitemap
  • You notice a “Video Poker” link somewhere on your site*

* If your website has not been addressed in a couple of years, then these are the website owner and not the designer or agency. This is different if you are paying monthly fee.

If you seem to have some of the previous issues here are some sure-fire ways to find out if your web designer charged you too much money for the product you have.

1. Check your site speed

Visit this link and paste your website address into the white bar. If you see lots of “F” scores and the site score is under 80 then your web designer deserves a call. There is no reason for a low score here. Reasons for the laziness: Images have not been optimized, outdated plugins have been used, poor hosting, bad code, no caching, and too many iframes.

website-speed-test

2. Check for outdated website code

Is your web designer living in the early 2000’s? Open your website up in the browser of your choice and look for the option to “View Source”. In Firefox on a Mac to option is under Tools > Web Developer > View Source. Once you have your website’s code in front of you, do a search for

If you see the majority of your site’s code is this:

website-table-code-example<table>
<tr>
<th></th>
<th></th>
</tr>
<tr>
<td></td>
<td></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td></td>
<td></td>
</tr>
</table>

Your website is using outdated coding styles.  Now, if your site has a small amount of tables, this is not a bad thing.  Many sites uses tables to organize certain areas of the site but not the WHOLE site.

3.  Find out if your site comes up in search

This is very simple.  Open your browser and in Google search type before your domain name “Site:”.  To search this site I would type => site:mycompleteweb.net.  Look at the number of pages that come up.  Do you see all of your pages or is it missing entirely?

google-website-search

4. Test your website for Adobe Flash.

Flash is bad.  Google doesn’t like Flash.  Apple hates flash.  By having flash elements on your site you will lose ranking in search and leave out a large portion of your audience.  Follow this link to test if your website has Flash elements.

adobe-flash-player-website

5. Test For A Sitemap

Adding an XML sitemap to your website is an important step that many web designers will overlook.  Google and other search engine use your sitemap to help them better understand your website’s structure.  Not having a sitemap can hurt your website’s SEO and ultimately lower your traffic.  You built your site for the reason of people visiting it right?  To check if your site has an XML Sitemap follow this link and enter your website.

website-xml-sitemap

6. Check for Code Errors.

Follow this link to check if your website has code errors.  Make sure to email the result to your web designer to let him or her know the job is not done yet.

website-w3c-code-test-for-errors

7.  Check your Title Tag

Your website’s meta title is on of the most important parts of your website.  It is the first thing to tell search engines what your site is.  The title is set in the code of the site but most commonly shows up in the “Tab” or the very top of your web browser.

website-title-tag-boston

Does your title describe your website?  If your title says “Home”, does that describe your website?  If you are a restaurant called “Charlies”, how is Google supposed to know you a Restaurant at first?  The Proper title would be “Charlies – The Best of Dining in Boston’s South End”.  If you title says “Home” it is time to call your web designer because the job is not done.

8, 9 and 10 coming soon!!

Jason Houston
Jason Houston
Jason Houston is a web developer at Complete Web based on the island of Nantucket Massachusetts. He actively monitors the status and health of over 20 accounts to maintain position in search and to ensure each business is doing everything possible to increase revenue. Feel free to ask Jason a question at: jason@mycompleteweb.net