People always say to me “Wow, you know so much about the internet and websites!”
If only that were true… <sigh>.
The Internet is too far-reaching now for any one person to be a specialist in all aspects of it. Don’t assume that all web designers excel at everything from search engine optimization to usability, from graphic design to programming. Good web designers focus on the areas they are willing to work in, maintaining current education and training and learning more about those areas. The pragmatic ones will clearly state whether or not a specific implementation or feature is within their domain of expertise.
While there is a basic set of skills and knowledge that all web designers should have, some specialties require extra training, aptitude, and experience—not to mention the additional time to stay abreast of the latest innovations in each area.
No web designer should tell you that he or she is an expert at all of it.
It’s just not possible to know that much, especially at the rate the technology changes and improves. Savvy web designers will take on projects that depend most on the skills and expertise they do possess, as they are more likely to have a good outcome. If a project comes their way and is not a good fit, they will decline and possibly help you find someone who is a better fit. As is true with any career, unless the person has the skills, desire, and passion to do his or her best work, he or she may not do a great job for you and could eventually resent taking on the project.
What’s the bottom line? If someone tells you they can do everything, it’s time to talk to someone else.