How to rescue your web design project

Richard Carter of web design agency and Design Network North member Peacock Carter, takes us through the stages of web design rescue and the risks of abandoning a project entirely

Web design projects can fail for many reasons. From a poor project specification to misunderstanding and miscommunication, and simply lack of relevant experience, we've seen projects of all sizes require rescuing.

To rescue, or to build again?

A question we are asked frequently at Peacock Carter from clients suffering from failing web projects is whether they should build on what is already there, or start again.

Having an audit undertaken on the project completed to date should enable a web design agency to ascertain whether or not a full rebuild is required. Starting from scratch is a costly option, and only advisable in the very edge cases where the project quality is poor, or the original requirements have not been met.

If you decide that building from scratch is not for you, here is our guide to rescuing a web design project gone wrong, based on over 10 years of experience in "web design rescue" scenarios.


  • Remain calm: your web design agency is likely to be as keen as you to resolve the project, so begin proceedings from that angle.
  • Speak to your web design company: as tempting as it may be to sack your existing agency and move the project to a new one, moving your project may create a new raft of issues and delay the project's completion further. Involving a new agency means having to wait for that team to get up to speed on your project, and understanding what has and hasn't been completed, which can take a considerable amount of time.
  • Audit: consider having an audit of your website undertaken by a third party web consultant to give you an idea of the state of the existing project. This can provide a useful starting point for deeper discussions with your existing agency.
  • Mediation: when talking to your web design agency has failed, consider hiring an external web design consultancy to act as a mediator. This works best as a face-to-face meeting between all parties, chaired by the mediator. From this meeting, a compromise may be reached to the satisfaction of both parties.
  • Move to a new agency: finally, consider moving the project to another agency. Bear in mind it may not be the matter of the new agency being able to "hit the ground running", and we believe this should be used as a last resort, though this option is unfortunately required at times.


Peacock Carter is a valued member of Design Network North. They are a specialist website design agency based in Newcastle upon Tyne, with specialism in responsive and ecommerce websites. They work with clients throughout the world to deliver smarter, more profitable websites.
Design Network North is part of RTC’s new programme called ‘Designing Better Business’ – launched in 2016 - which will provide support for north east businesses looking to continue to innovate and design better world leading products.
RTC was founded in 1989 with the sole purpose of helping businesses innovate and create new higher value products. Today, the business operates out of offices in Sunderland, Gateshead, Leeds and Daresbury and specialises in helping companies develop new products, embed new skills through training and access funding for innovation.
Designing Better Business’ is part funded by European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020