4 min read

5 Signs of an Unprofessional Web Design Company

Our guide to spotting unprofessional web design companies offers five key signs to watch out for, helping you steer clear of potential frauds and ensure a trustworthy partnership for your online presence.

Dan Bowen

Dan Bowen

Founder + CEO
Published: March 19, 2020
Last Updated: May 16, 2024
(Web Design/Web Development)
A surprised tuxedo cat

Imagine you've found a web design company online with attractive pricing and an impressive portfolio. You exchange a few emails, receive a quote for custom web design, and decide to proceed. You send a deposit... and then silence. They disappear.


This scenario is all too common with unprofessional web design companies whose only aim is to take your money. The web design industry, like many other internet services, is rife with fraud. The last thing you want is to throw money away on a scam. Here's how to recognize the red flags and avoid falling prey to a web design scam.

1. A Poorly Designed (or Template-Based) Company Site

Think about it. You’re paying a web design company to create your website, right? Obviously, it’s their job to make your site – and your business – look good. In the same breath, shouldn’t their website look good, too?


How can any web design company offer you a custom design without doing the same for their own site? If the unprofessional web design company didn’t put in the time to create a custom site, then it’s time to move on.


Always visit the web design company’s own website to assess the quality you can expect from their work. Don’t let a company dupe you into thinking you’re getting a custom job when it’s just a template.

2. Poor Search Engine Rankings

Search engine optimization is a challenge for any business. Sometimes, it’s tough to get your site ranked competitively for your targeted keywords and phrases. But remember, a telltale sign of a good or bad web design team is the company’s own rankings.


Quality web design leads to increased rankings. If the team is well-established and good at what they do, then you’ll find them in the search engines. That’s why poor search engine results page (SERP) placement is a major red flag. You could be dealing with just a pop-up company looking to scam you.


Poor search engine rankings may not always be a dealbreaker. However, it’s wise to approach all web design companies with this word of caution in mind.

3. Outdated Web Styles & Samples

Web design trends move fast. While it might be tough for you to keep up, it’s a web designer’s job to stay ahead of the trends. If their site or samples seem out of date, what will that mean for you? Most likely, it means you will get an old-fashioned and unoptimized website.


Don’t be a victim. Select a web design company that works to keep up with the trends and design changes of modern websites.

A Little Homework Goes a Long Way

In the end, the age-old recommendation to do your homework still holds true today. Finding the right web design company means doing a bit of legwork on your end. Take some time and do a bit of research. When in doubt, opt for a web design company with all the following qualities:


  • High ranking on search engines
  • Legitimate reviews from satisfied clients
  • An in-house staff
  • A professional, well-designed parent site

Your hard work will certainly pay off with a better web design company working for you. The end result is a quality website to help your business succeed even more.


If you need to hire a professional web design company, get a quote from BOWEN today. We are a custom web design company, fluent in multiple creative design processes.

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