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Your website design is a reflection of you and/or your business. And hiring a designer can be a scary prospect. What are some of the top fears that customers have when selecting a web designer?

1. Fear of the Unknown.

When you work with someone who you don’t know and have never worked with before, it is normal to feel a little nervous — no matter how many good reviews you have seen and no matter how many stunning websites you have viewed in their portfolio. You have to wonder: Is this person a good fit for me? Will we work well together? Will he or she care about my project?

If the developer is asking you a lot of questions — really getting to know you and your business — then you are on the right track. Don’t be afraid to let your new web designer know who you are and how you want things done.

2.Fear of Not Being Taken Care of After the Sale.

Just like a marriage, your relationship with your web designer can go bad after the honeymoon. Once the website is designed, you may begin to experience slow responses when you request updates to your website. If your web designer is also your web host, you may find that they are a better designer than they are a hosting provider.

The key here is to read reviews on your designer and/or host from a third-party — not just the ones you find on the designer’s website. Also, don’t make your decision based on price alone. Sometimes a “good” price guarantees bad service.

3. Fear of Having Personal Information Stolen After You’ve Surrendered All Login Information.

It’s hard to imagine a web designer doing this, but there are some bad characters out there. And with all the news about hacking today, it’s easy to be paranoid about personal information being stolen.

In order to lower the possibility of personal information being stolen, provide as little as possible to your web designer. Try to avoid giving him or her login information to your accounts as much as possible. Copy the information that he needs and send it in yourself. If you must share passwords, insist on using a service such as LastPass.com so that your web designer never sees your actual passwords. A good designer who is also concerned about your security and peace of mind will not mind doing this.

4. Not Being Able to Update Your Website On Your Own Without Hiring a Developer.

It used to be that web design was only done by a few specialists who knew HTML code, CSS, and JavaScript. Today, however, web design has been liberated. With services such as Wix and Weebly, most people expect to have some measure of control over their own web pages. A designer, however, may not want to relinquish control as a way to make more money. So, before you choose a web designer, ask if he will have a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress set up behind the scenes of your website. You want something that will be non-technical and easy to use. If your web designer does not offer a CMS, run.

5. Will the Website Be Error Free After it’s Launched?

No web designer is perfect, and since only you know exactly what you want on your site, there may be things you want to change after your website is launched. Make sure up front that your web designer will allow you to make revisions if you are not completely satisfied. Some will allow revisions for free, others may charge a nominal, reasonable fee. Also, consider hiring a proofreader to read through your site and make sure it is free from grammatical or spelling errors. One company that offers this service is FreshEyesProofreadingandEditing.com.

6. Out of Scope Midway Through the Project.

What if you begin working with a designer, but they tell you halfway through the project that finishing your site will cost more than you agreed to pay? What do you do? You don’t want to throw away the money and the (hopefully, good) work that has already been done on your site. The best way to avoid this scenario is to choose a web designer who offers a flat rate for his or her services. If you have to wait on a web design company to send you a quote, this could be an indicator that more charges could come down the road.

7. A Developer Looking to Deliver a Quick Fix Instead of a Partner for the Long Haul.

Having a partner is such a vital part of any business, nonprofit, or personal web presence. You want a web design company who is (almost) just as concerned about how you look online as you are. In order to select a web design company who will put in the time and dedication, it is better to not go with the big company that has hundreds of designs in their portfolio. Choose a smaller operation that still offers high quality web design. If you want a real personal connection, a local company may be your best choice. That way you visit their office and talk face-to-face with whoever is designing your site. Also, double check that the designer you choose is not using a template. You want a custom design built from scratch.

8. What Happens if Your Web Designer Shuts Business Down?

You need to find out what happens to your site if your web designer or web host goes out of business. No one wants to think about this happening, but it is a real possibility. Ask your designer what kind of contingencies he or she has in place. The best case scenario is that your designer will give you at least a month’s notice, help you move your site somewhere else, and hand over all design files and source codes to you. The worst case scenario is that he tells you you are on your  own, in which case you will have to hurry up and get someone else to help you move your site before your designer shuts down for good.