We’ve all heard of business owners held hostage in a toxic relationship with a web designer who didn’t allow them access to their site, didn’t respond, or told them every request was impossible. So, how do you know if your relationship with your web designer is toxic? Much like a toxic romantic relationship, a toxic relationship with your web designer can share some of the same red flags.
Toxic web designers don’t communicate.
All relationships are about communication, and a relationship with your web designer is no different. A good web designer will be available to answer questions and get back to you with answers on time. While we all know that life happens and people get busy, it’s not an excuse to disregard client questions or take weeks to respond.
If your current provider doesn’t answer within a few days, even to say that they’re working on it and looking into something for you, it may be time to consider someone else.
They don’t ask you about yourself.
Your website is a direct reflection of your brand. If your website designer isn’t asking the right questions – or enough questions – it will be hard for them to get it right. Good web designers will have a list of questions they ask new clients to get a feel for their brand and purpose. The answers a client provides will help a good web designer create a website that is an extension of the brand’s purpose and mission.
The more information you can provide your web designer – the better! If your designer isn’t getting into the mind of your audience, they may be toxic.
They tell you your requests are impossible.
I’m not saying you should expect your website to give your audience the ability to read minds, but your web designer shouldn’t be telling you something is impossible if you’ve seen it somewhere else. It’s very possible that something isn’t feasible within the budget or in conjunction with something else you want, but to say that something is not possible is simply not a good answer.
Many toxic web designers will say that something is impossible just because they don’t know how to do it. If your website designer doesn’t know how to do something, that’s okay! But it’s expected that they make their best effort to do some research and be forthcoming about their ability to integrate items. Here at X(US) Hosting, if we don’t have experience with something, we pour through YouTube, Google, Reddit, and tons of other informational sites to determine how we can help – even if the answer is that it’s beyond our capabilities.
A great designer will be honest when a request isn’t something they have experience with and do their best to learn or get outside advice from a peer.
They don’t give you access.
If your website designer does not allow you any access to your site – that is toxic behavior! Work with your designer before the beginning of the project and communicate to them how much access you’ll need. Good web designers will make sure you have the ability to make small edits on your own – great ones will even show you how to do it!
If you’re not interested in having access to your site, that’s okay too! Most good web designers will give you login credentials anyway in case you need them.
They don’t have a portfolio.
There are two reasons why a web designer wouldn’t have a portfolio. Either they’re brand new and haven’t completed a project yet or they’ve created bad websites that they aren’t proud of. When beginning a relationship with a web designer, ask to view their portfolio of work or to speak with their past clients!
Most web designers are extremely proud of the work they’ve done and the clients they’ve helped and won’t have any problem sharing their work with you.
Most web designers that are out there are fantastic – but keep an eye out for the red flags. If you’re finding that you’re asking yourself ‘is my relationship with my web designer toxic?’ it probably is.