I’ve heard from a number of potential clients now about a company whose name I won’t post, for legal considerations, but it prominently features LA Design in its domain. Apparently they advertise Cheap, Made in the US, Web designs, No money down, 7 to 10 day turn around, and No Templates. Their prices are ridiculously low, and they seem to have the perfect sales pitch. BUT, as an experienced web design firm in Los Angeles, we know better. And we know that most of their statements are a load of hooey.
Lets start with their busy looking site: (I have also discovered they are a prolific spammer on Craigslist, and if anything, spamming should raise red flags to all of their clients, on average they post forty or fifty ads a day, in violation of Craigslist policy, using phony offshore proxies, and other shady methods).
Undoubtedly a few of you will have seen this site if you’ve ever looked for your web designer on the Los Angeles Craigslist. But, there are a few immediate red flags other than the fact that they are willing to use shadow proxies (IP addresses) and offshore accounts to spam in Craigslist.
First off, is the large number of errors on their own site coding. According to a W3 Validator (W3 is the organization that handles all of the rules and standards for HTML coding) they have 26 errors on their home page! Populate that across their whole site and that may mean hundreds of errors. And if you think that they care more about their clients, you’d be wrong. In the screen shot below, from one of their portfolio items, we found another 32 errors, and 15 serious warnings on their client sites. We also know that they did not in fact build the Intel website, just a small element inside of it. See the images below for confirmation:
To add to the list of the concerns, is the copyright and trademark violations. This ‘La Web Design’ uses an image of Kobe Bryant, in a Lakers uniform, as the background image of their home page. We understand he’s trying to promote his home town Los Angeles feel, but in reality, he’s risking his business on illegal use of copyrighted and trademarked materials. Unless he got authorization from the NBA, the Lakers, and Kobe, he’s not allowed to use those images as a promotional element or endorsement. If he did this on a client’s site who was selling something, they could be very much in danger of lawsuits and fines.
IF you visit a few of his client’s ‘ecommerce sites’ and contact them, you’ll also discover that he is almost exclusively using ecommerce and shopping carts that are pre-built by companies like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, etc. So, when he says no templates, that not the truth.
We’re certain a large number of people are falling for the pitch, but don’t entirely know what he is up to. If you need to figure out who he is, just check Craigslist on any given day of the week and look for the very repetitive titles under ‘Computer Services’ with stars and such. We raise your attention just because we know that good web design is hard to come by, and isn’t cheap. People like this guy are dangerous- they offer products that aren’t secure, that are not properly coded, and that violate numerous laws and guidelines. Even if you don’t go with us, be careful when you look at these cheap web designers. Your mom wasn’t lying when she told you that ‘you get what you pay for’.
Hope this helps you to make a better buying decision.