There are too many web designers who don’t know web design.
You wouldn’t hire an electrician to wire your house based on how “pretty” he could make the wires look, safety hazards be damned. You would want someone who knows about wire insulation and other concerns to make sure your house doesn’t burst into flames.
Bad coding isn’t as big a risk as that, but people who hire these “web designers” should hire them based on more than how a site looks. But they don’t, since they don’t know what to look for in regards to good coding (standards and accessiblity and all that).
You’d want to hire a licensed electrician rather than some guy who just shows you pictures of wires he installed. Why then, do so many people hire designers based on screenshots of previous sites they designed?
Okay, okay, I know *why* they do. After all, they’re hiring them to design their website. But unless they have a seperate developer, that designer is going to be doing the coding for their site and you often have no idea of how well they do that.
It just bothers me since I try to keep up to date on “web design developments” and take issues such as standards and accessiblity in mind. I read books and websites on those subjects. But there’s still so many “designers” that make a pretty picture in Photoshop (usually not a legal version either), use the slice tool, and then save it as HTML and images, usually in the default option of tabular HTML. If people want to do that on their own sites, or for their friends, I don’t care about that. I just hate when they market themselves as “web designers” and do that for a profit. And as I said, the clients who use them don’t know any better.