Signs That You Should Fire Your Web Designer or Developer

Table of Contents

The industry is saturated with unqualified web designers and developers because they are not accredited professionals, and also because modern software allows individuals to design websites with minimal knowledge and experience. The results they produce, compared to ones done professionally, are often night and day. We’ve put together the following red flags to help you determine when it’s time to fire your web designer or developer.

Excessive Amount of Plugins

Most content management systems (CMS) have some theme or template system, which means it’s not difficult to put together something that looks decent. But websites are more than just their looks, just like how you wouldn’t buy a vehicle based solely on its exterior. Suppose you log into the backend of your website, and see an excessive amount of plugins, especially with overlapping purposes; chances are the person who built it just installed whatever modules he or she could find to make the site run. This is the number one reason to fire your web designer or developer.

This is an issue because the more plugins are loaded, the slower the site loads and the more potential for conflicts when updating modules. A qualified professional would be able to develop whatever functionalities you need or meticulously select lightweight pre-built modules. This is not to say a web developer should develop everything from scratch, that would be inefficient and costly, but there needs to be a balance.

This website has too many redundant plugins.
This client website we took over had too many redundant modules that do exactly the same things, including 2 font plugins, 2 backup plugins, 2 page builders and 3 form plugins.

Excessive Load Time

Excessive load time is often a result of media and code not being optimized, though using budget hosting could also be a reason. In any case, it indicates whoever built it didn’t know how to make a site run fast and didn’t test it. Load time is important because page speed is a ranking factor in search visibility, as explained in many of our articles. One way to check for load time is by using tools like GTMetrix. Before hiring a web designer or developer, do a speed test on their sites. They probably can’t optimize yours if they can’t even optimize their own site’s user experience.

Speed test of a Kelowna web design company's website.
This is a speed test of local Kelowna web design company’s website. Their URL and site screenshot were censored to protect their identity. As you can see, the load speed and performance score are both quite poor.

Non-modular Web Design

Modular web design breaks a website into components and re-uses them throughout the site when appropriate, such as templates, fonts, colours, and even code. The benefits of this aren’t just consistency, but it also reduces development time and maintenance effort. Without modularity, a piece of information that appears on various parts of a website may have to be updated individually, which is inefficient and costly. This is a common web design mistake often made by rookies and is a sign that you should fire your web designer.

Difficult to Add Content

Websites are built with content management systems such as WordPress nowadays because a CMS allows content to be added and updated relatively quickly without having to build a new webpage every time. So if you have to program the layout of a new blog post, team member profile, or product listing, it’s an indication that the site wasn’t built modularly. In that case, you should fire your web designer and developer, because they should’ve created templates and corresponding data types for you to populate quickly. Some companies do this because their clients would have to pay them to keep the sites updated, which is quite shady.

Other Reasons to Fire Your Web Designer or Developer

There are other reasons to let your website services provider go that aren’t related to the quality of their work. For example, one of them is not giving you access to your own site. Not only is the person holding your site hostage, but it’s also poor planning. We’ve had to help various clients recover access to their sites or, in some cases, their domains as well because their provider was no longer in business or had passed away. This is extremely important if you hire freelancers because they usually work alone without backup. Hence, it’s always better to hire a web design company instead. Having access to the backend of your website also allows you or someone you hired to inspect and audit the website to ensure it was built correctly.

Another reason to let your service provider go is not getting prompt responses. Communication is key to any business relationship, and while turnaround time may vary depending on the work involved, you should always expect reasonably prompt responses from your provider.


If, after reading this article, you concluded that the person you hired isn’t qualified, you’re not alone. We were able to compile this list because we have seen enough bad quality work from clients who came to us after firing their previous web designer or developer. But don’t worry; chances are part of your website is still salvageable, such as the content and some design elements. All you have to do is hire a reputable company to have it properly re-done. If you’d like to work with a local web design services provider in Regina or West Kelowna, click the button below to get in touch with us.