Aug 18

5 Mistakes Good Businesspeople Make When Hiring a Cannabis Web Designer

Even as web designers, we’ll admit that our work is a bit tricky to understand. We are involved in work that involves a lot of coding, writing web scripts, testing, while working to ensure functionality meets aesthetic, all for the right price for our customer.

At Studio 420, we get contacted by businesses who either have no clue what it takes to make a professional website, or who have had a bad experience with a web designer and want to ensure they don’t make the same mistakes again.

We’ve learned in our experience that there are common traps that businesses fall into when trying to find a web designer. Here are five of them:

Paying Too Little

We are in a world where people like to be able to get something for less, or better yet, free, but with that the old adage applies: you always get what you pay for.

One of the biggest oversights that businesses make is thinking that their web page is something that they can skimp on because it’s a huge expense. On the contrary: the more you invest in having a good website, the more your website is guaranteed to help your business grow.

If you are a company that does sales, especially from your website, you cannot afford to skirt having to pay good money for a website. Having an insufficient website is a hidden cost of doing business; you can lose your customer based on a poorly designed website before you even have a chance to show them your product or service.

Using free web platforms like Squarespace or Wix without paying for extra customization features is a very common practice business owners think they can get away with. In these situations, there really is nothing “free” in the websites that claim to cost you nothing. A free website will get you only a blog page with little customization or ability to take it any further than a high-school student’s personal blog page.

To get anything worthwhile from these sites, you need to hire a web designer anyway to take the platform to the next level from rudimentary. Save your time with these sites and consult a professional!

Paying Too Much

Here is when the notion of how much you pay a web designer gets tricky. Before you start talking dollars and cents with a web designer, first try to understand what their service to you includes by asking important questions.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of big firms out there that use only templates to plop customers’ information into and try to sell it to you as 100% original. Good web design goes beyond that and includes CSS and HTML, as well as working hard to understand your business, your product, and most importantly your customer when designing the function and aesthetics of your site.

Some firms may demand tens of thousands of dollars but won’t necessarily do the work to earn that. Others are up front and forthcoming about the amount of work, coding and script writing needed to create your website.

No matter what the business, whether it be Apple or Nestle or another giant corporation’s website that is praised for their design, their website is a whole lot of code carefully put together by CSS and HTML professionals. Understand what your designer is doing to get you the look your business desires and deserves and try to make a fair assessment of the value they propose to you.

Purchasing a Limited Skill Set

When you are looking for a web designer, they should be able to offer you a full-service package beyond their ability to build you an attractive and functional website.

Your web designer should have an equal balance of graphic design and artistic talent as they do the ability to write code and scripts. They should be familiar with content and how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter interface with the website.

While it’s unfair to expect your web designer to be everything to everyone, they should be able to be resourceful and be able to connect you to the services and strategies your website needs to get the engagement it deserves. Remember, a website is truly only valuable if you’ve built the engagement required to have people want to click on it!

Not Getting a Content Management System (CMS)

If a web design package doesn’t include installing a Content Management System (CMS), then your web designer could be trying to take you to the bank by withholding the ability to update your own content from you.

A CMS is a user-friendly platform that allows a business owner and their employees to update their website on a regular basis, including placing new images, creating new postings, and update content as needed.

When working with a web designer understand the degree to which they hand over the reigns to you through a functioning CMS. If they claim that only they can do website updates and that it will cost you every time, they are trapping you into a hidden cost.

Empower yourself and your staff by learning a CMS so that you can become mini-web masters and control your content without relying on someone else to do it.

Getting Sucked Into Hidden Fees

This point is the culmination of all the previous points in that web designers can be tricky when they show you the final bill for their work. At Planet Media, we’ve heard too many horror stories of unexpected expenses because the web designer was not clear.

Now that you know what you’re wanting to look out for, how much exactly will it cost you? Get yourself informed about what it takes to run a successful website that gets engagement and in the end makes you money, and understand what you should be paying for your levels of service.

One way that you can vet that you’re getting your money’s worth is to look for a few things:

  • Do their services include a money-back guarantee? Any web service that asks you to pay tens of thousands of dollars should be able to put their money where their mouths are. A money-back guarantee shows confidence in their services and that you truly are getting what you pay for.
  • Are reviews, testimonials, and portfolios available? A good and honest web designer will be able to show you examples of their work as well as client reviews and testimonials. Having satisfied clients is something a good web designer will want to show off. Seeing other people’s experiences is a good testament that they have gotten their money’s worth and have paid for a service that is working for their business.
  • Do they have different service levels? While you’ll want to be able to entrust your web designer to pull off a lot in terms of functionality and aesthetics, they should also be able to work with your budget to offer you a package of services that you can afford. Perhaps this looks like service levels or opt-in/out services that will help you focus your budget where it’s needed most.

Look At It This Way…

Some web designers will try to sell you the idea that they’re masters and wizards of the web and can only do things trained professionals can do… in a way they’re right.

When looking to get good web services, don’t settle for sub-standard. If you were going to get a tattoo, which is rising in popularity amongst Americans, would you go to someone’s basement who tattoos as a hobby, or a trained tattoo artist with years of experience in a studio? If you are getting married, would you settle for photos from your iPhone or would you rather a professional photographer to capture that one special day? If you’re having cheese and crackers, would you rather have processed sliced cheese or a good block of aged cheese? You get the idea.

When it comes to growing a business, you can’t afford to have a bad website. Not in this day and age! You want a website that people first think “wow, this looks amazing,” then are onto your sales page checking out how they can do business with you.

They always say don’t judge on first impressions, but on the web, that’s the standard.

Connect with us at Studio 420, a Cannabis Friendly Creative Agency today to discuss how our team can bring your web design to the next level by providing you access to a talented and skilled staff with cost-effective fee structures.