Web Designers to Avoid

I had an eye-opening experience on Craigslist recently. I posted a comment about a “WordPress help” post. To link my response to the original post, I used the same subject line.

To my surprise, I received 27 email responses in the next 24 hours. Only five were responding to what I said. The other 22 were from people offering services, who had not bothered to read my one-sentence post before replying to it.

It was intriguing to look over these responses. They ranged from apparently quite professional to barely intelligible. About half of them didn’t even mention WordPress, offering unrelated services, yet claiming to have “carefully reviewed my requirements.” Only two were local, as craigslist requires. Four were from southern California, and three were from other U.S. states. Two claimed to be from Canada, but one of those proposed working for about $4/hour, so I think he was probably fibbing. The rest were from overseas. A couple continued to pester me until I flagged their emails as spam.

Now I have no way to know how proficient these people were. I do know, however, that they were bulk-responding to any post with “WordPress” in the subject line without reading it. I also know they were ignoring craigslist’s local-only posting policy. That’s enough right there to make me think twice if I had  been looking for a WordPress contractor.

30-50% of my clients come to me with sites built by people like this, using premium themes and plugins they have no license for, which have not been updated in years, and are a hacked mess. I see many unfinished sites, and often hear that a previous designer “disappeared.” Then the client winds up paying someone like me all over again to make their site secure and functional. The low rates these fly-by-night operators offer can sound very attractive, especially to a small business on a budget. However, in the long run, over-economizing when choosing a web designer can wind up being very expensive!

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