Avoiding Scams with Web Design Companies
The web design industry is huge, and growing every day, so it should come as no surprise that scammers have jumped on board. The barrier to entry in to this market is so low that it allows almost anyone to start web design companies, which means that you will have to do your research thoroughly before sending them your money. Keep reading for a list of the more common scams to avoid.
The takeover is a scam that can be very scary and damaging to someone who doesn’t know what to do or doesn’t even notice that it is happening at first. The takeover starts when you give your web hosting and/or FTP login to a designer so that they can setup the design for you. After they have your details, they will log in and place hidden malware on your site to infect it and possibly even infect any visitors that come to your site.
If that wasn’t enough of a problem already they may even prevent you from accessing your own site by changing passwords, in an attempt to get you to pay a ransom to restore access. You should never pay it of course; contact your host and they will be able to restore access for you, and hopefully help you to track down any malware.
Hit and Run Scam
Unfortunately this is probably one of the most common scams, because it is so simple and effective. In its most basic form, the hit and run scam works like this: you work out a deal with someone to design your website and send the deposit, then they stop replying to you and you never get your design.
Although this is one of the most common scams, it is also one of the easiest to avoid. First of all you should always pay by credit card or PayPal; if you get scammed you can either go through your bank or PayPal to reverse the charges and get your money back.
It is best to avoid having to go through all of that though, so do your research ahead of time either by using a site such as WordPressDesignServices.com or taking the time to find things out for yourself. For example, you can look for websites in the portfolios of designers you are thinking of using, and then find out what they thought about that company by contacting the site owner. If the site no longer exists, or is using a design from another company, this could be a red flag.
Cheap and Lazy Designer
There are so-called designers out there who will promise you the world, take your money, and then give you a basic design that they found for free somewhere online. They may even steal a design from another website and try to take credit for it.
To avoid this type of dishonesty, you should again look up other websites they have designed from their portfolio as mentioned earlier. You should also make sure you are aware of the free themes and designs that are available right now so that you don’t get sold something that you shouldn’t have to pay for at all. If you make a formal contract with your designer, including detailed breakdowns of all the design elements you expect for your website, then you will be in a much better position.
The good and honest web design companies outnumber the bad, so chances are you won’t run in to any problems if you do your research and use a reputable designer. Play it safe and don’t try to save a few bucks by choosing an unknown provider.