Friends Don’t Let Friends Design Terrible Websites


Your website and how it looks can be the difference between me adding to your bounce rate (not viewing another page) and you getting a warm lead. Digest that a second. Consider that I’m immediately discounting your ability as a plumber because of the way your site looks. Since when did plumbing become a catwalk? Well depending on who you believe, it’s either Al Gore or the Dancing Baby’s fault — but that’s open for debate.

Friends don’t let friends do a lot of things. Drugs. Date a cheater. Wear this. Launch or ‘get behind’ a bad website design. The list goes on and on. Your website is the first impression you have on the webs’ eyeballs. And if you’ve learned anything in your life to this point…it’s that first impressions can make or break just about any relationship you’ll ever have, personal or professional. Friends don’t let friends #FAIL on website design.

Here is what you can lose from bad website design:

  • Money
  • Potential clients
  • Respect in your chosen industry
  • Overall credibility
  • Your girlfriend
  • Your job

Here is what you can gain from bad website design:

  • Do I really need to put ‘nothing’ here?

Website design is just like anything else that touches your digital or physical branding: there are winners and there are losers.

Half of all website design requests we get at New Haircut are re-brands or re-dos. Half. That means the client has gone-to-market with something already and realized it was no bueno. The client realized their website design is not something they feel proud of, and are actively wanting to improve the design. We’re not talking website functionality here folks (that is for next week’s post in this series), we’re talking about just the design. One out of every two of those “we need to fix something we did” requests are paid for with could-have-been-prevented-mistake-money.

There is no industry average cost for website design. So if you’re looking for me to give you exact figures on what you’ll waste with bad design, I don’t have Rain Man specific numbers. But trust this, it’s in the thousands (plural) of dollars. Even decent hacks are going to run you $2,000-$5,000 to design a basic site. And when you realize it sucks, doesn’t fall in-line with your company’s branding, friends and family give it the thumbs down, your x-girlfriend from the 7th grade who you stalk on Facebook tells you that you’re “still making bad decisions”, etc. etc. — you can expect at minimum another $2-5K for a new designer to fix it. $4,000 – $10,000 minimum is what bad website design is going to cost you … oh, and I’m only talking physical costs. Do you lose any current clients because of the bad design? How many hot leads become cold leads because of it? How many warm leads completely fall off because of it? How many potential leads are never made because of bad design?

If you haven’t got the point yet… your design is about as important as your service offerings and here is why: You don’t get a chance to serve me if you never get past the eyeball test. Is it fair? Shit no. Is it reality? Yep. Friends don’t let friends design terrible websites. And since we’re friends, we don’t want you to fail and be out $4-$10K of unnecessary lost dollars. That’s what Vegas is for.

*Image credit: 1751 web designs, AVForums*