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Worst Website Design Experience Ever

The Worst Website Design Experience EVER - Website Fairy Godmother

So, this is a little story about the worst website design project with Mrs. B I had a long, long time ago.  

I’d done small marketing projects for Mrs. B over a few years.

One day, she comes to me in a panic.

“I need to launch my website NOW!!!”

And, okay, this happened at the very beginning of my career.

Before I was confident in taking the reins and giving people what they NEEDED instead of what they said they wanted. And she was happy to pay a premium for expediting the site.

Cha-ching. “Easy” money, right?

So, I said okay.

We signed the contract. We started her site.

We didn’t “waste time” on strategy. No talk of her biz operations or her offerings.

She threw the word “funnel” around like she was a sales expert, so we didn’t “waste time” on walking through her marketing strategy.

She grabbed some bits of her LinkedIn profile and pasted them into an email to me so we didn’t have to “waste time” on copywriting.

She sent me a few design samples from a famous coach she followed: “Make me look like this. I don’t want to waste too much time on design.”  (Can we say no to plagiarism, please?) 

And then she launched.

Quick note:

The site was amazing. She looked the part, alright.  I gave her a totally unique spin on the design elements she loved so she would look like a million bucks.

And she really did.

I was so proud of the gorgeous website we spun up in very little time. It looked great in my portfolio and she was thrilled.

But wait – didn’t I say this was my WORST WEBSITE DESIGN EXPERIENCE EVER? What exactly is the problem here? She paid big bucks. She loved her site. Everybody wins, right?


Less than a year after launching the site, this client comes back.

In a panic.


“I need to fix my website NOW!!! I WASTED ALL THIS TIME with a half-built funnel and the wrong offerings and now I’ve lost a whole year and I’m running out of money.”

I don’t care how much a client loves their site. I don’t care how quickly we get it done. I don’t care how much money I make on the project. In the end, this was the:

Worst Website Design Experience Ever.

It’s also the project that taught me to never let a client ruin their own website by refusing to “waste time” on all the stuff that needs to happen BEFORE we design.

Because if your website isn’t WORKING for you – what the hell good is it?!

But this is what happens when you leap into business and skip steps.

From that client on, you literally CAN’T PAY ME ENOUGH to skip steps.  

Because, while you’re “saving time” you’re actually losing months – maybe years – on:

  • uncollected leads
  • uncollected sales
  • lost credibility

What’s the #1 reason that small businesses skip steps?

Money: saving it and making it.

What’s the #1 reason small businesses FAIL at an alarming rate?

Skipping steps.

It makes sense why you’d want to save time and money and hurry up and launch your website and I get it. But…

Here’s the twist – you can’t afford to waste time by saving time.

Try and skip steps and you’ll end up falling down the stairs.

It seems counterintuitive but I’ve found that when my clients take their time in putting all the important pieces in place before they launch, they save exponentially more time – and make more money – than the ones rushing to the finish line.

I’ve also found that it’s easier to take that time when you’ve got a step-by-step framework to take you through and give you a sense of structure and purpose during the process.

The moral of the story?

When it comes to designing a revenue-generating website, saving time on the design today, will be wasted time and money tomorrow.

If you are ready to make a change and build a website that works for you, let’s start a chat

Do you have any worst website design stories?  Let me know in the comments!

Lisa Bonner

Lisa Bonner

Website Coach/Designer with more than 20 years of experience building profitable websites for un-tech-savvy businesswomen. Lisa is proudly owned by her rescue pup, Buddy and loves cookies. All cookies. When she's not working, she's working on home improvement projects or cooking.

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