Each new client brings a new, but often heard story about their current website or the story about their search for a well designed website.  There is a definite pattern in the stories I hear and each ends with “I didn’t know” or “it sounded like a good deal”.  This article is going to break down the different types of people or companies that will take on a website design project.

Our economy has redefined how we spend our money.  Making an uninformed decision about the design and development of your website is not only frustrating for everyone after the project is completed but it’s a waste of money that none of us can afford to toss away.

I’m going to go over 6 different website design options and hope that by the end of this article everyone can make a decision based on the knowledge and full understanding of what you can expect from the choices made.

Outsourcing a websiteOutsourcing – When I say outsourcing I’m speaking about going overseas for website design.  I have personal history with this type of relationship and feel very passionate about the reasons this type of relationship is never beneficial to anyone but the overseas firm that was hired. Remember that when you send your dollars overseas you hurt the very economy that is going to be supporting your business.

The upside to going overseas can feel like you are getting a great deal for very little money.  This is a false feeling.  When you are employing a website designer you are paying for their time.  The most common carrot that outsourcing companies offer is the low cost of their work.  I guess you can give these folks credit for creating a marketing plan that sounds so good that it’s hard to pass on.  The reality is that anyone could play that game but the loser will ALWAYS be the client.  It is reasonable to assume that the “client” is unaware of the actual hours that are required to develop their website.

By pricing the projects by the hour, these overseas firms take advantage of how they word their quotes and in just about every case, the project that a client expected to cost a few hundred dollars seems to double or even quadruple do to the hours that get billed in the end. 

Trying to get an answer or make a change is a matter of days and not hours when working with an outsource company.  Even small requests can take weeks because of misunderstanding and language barriers.  Being told “yes” to everything but never seeing the results of your requests is the top complaint from clients that have tried to outsource their website projects.

Paying by the hour can be very dangerous and costly.  What will you do when you have invested time and money in a project but it never seems to get finished to your requirements and you deal with additional invoices for more and more hours?  Do you keep paying because you feel like you’ll lose too much time if you have to start over?  Most feel this way and end up doing just that, paying way too much for a web design that is not what they asked for or needed. 

Neighbor web designerNeighbor / Relative -The next biggest regret I hear is that a client had trusted their website design with a trusted neighbor or relative.  It is hard to say no to someone that’s close to you and wants to help you out.  Most of time these helpful loved ones have a little knowledge and have played with Word Press or something like it enough to feel they can produce a website that would work for the job.

The issues I get told about are the end results are not quite what were expected, clients could not make changes or additions and when there were problems on the site they found no resolution to the issues because the neighbor or relative didn’t have the knowledge or skill to create anything more than what they handed over.

If a simple blog site is the goal then using a neighbor or relative could be your answer.  If a professional website that will be a factor for determining if a visitor will or will not be spending their money on your product or service then using a “Shade Tree Developer” is not going leave you with a sparkling business tool.




DIY web designDYI – Of all the stories I’ve heard, “Do it yourself” or “Free” websites seem to cause the most disappointment and frustration.  We tend to shut off every piece of common sense when we hear that we can create a business tool that will drive customers and clients to our website for “FREE”.  The big boys in this arena are WIX and 1and1.  Both have an overwhelming amount of business, in fact, they are multimillion dollars companies (located overseas). 

You might ask how a “FREE” service could be such a revenue producing enterprise.  The reason these types of companies make such an amazing amount of revenue is because their “FREE” option sites simply don’t do the job.  If you’ve tried this route then you know this.  I guess the psychology behind this business model is to get a little money over and over, in the end the client spends much more money to get what they wanted then they would have spent had it been quoted from the beginning.
There are just too many downsides to attempting a “DYI” site to list in this article. 

I’ll end this section by reminding you that you will get what you pay for and your business and brand will be judged by visitors that are becoming much more savvy every day.  Don’t let your website be the reason a client didn’t trust your business.

Would you put your faith in a company that used a free website design?  Would it make you feel confident that the company was solid and not going to disappear overnight?



Broker web designBrokers – This can get tricky.  You may never know that you are working with a broker during your website project.  Brokers tend to have very nice sites and great ranking.  They get a lot of organic traffic and tend to have very impressive portfolios. 
Why working with a broker is not such a grand idea is that, much like working with an outsourcing firm, a broker can’t answer your questions or get your issues resolved without first contacting the real person or firm that is actually developing your website.

One area that can be frustrating for a site owner that has worked with a broker can be the long term assistant for their site.  Because broker firms tend to churn through developers at a good clip (for various reasons that I won’t go into here), when you, as the site owner needs a change, addition or fix to your website and you contact the broker to get that help, you may end up waiting a long time.

Web designers are not all the same and they don’t always use the same coding framework as another designer.  This could create a huge issue when the original developer is no longer working with that broker.




Freelance web designFreelancers – Freelancers come is more flavors than ice cream.  A good freelancer can be your best asset or your worst nightmare.  Freelancers are usually not connected with a design company but they may have gained their experience with a good firm and they are just not working for a particular firm right now.

Having a good freelancer work on your website project could benefit your wallet.  If a freelancer has the skills and knowledge from years of working for a big firm, you could be getting a fantastic design for a much better cost.

The only thing you may want to consider is their time.  Depending on what you need and want and what will happen to your website in the future, you may end up going back to a freelancer only to find they have moved on to a different focus and are not available for small tweaks or additional features.  This leaves you looking for a new source of help and can be very disappointing.

The downside to freelancers is that there is no shortage of folks that are self taught and advertise their website design services.  For these freelancers you may get a person that understands one type of coding or platforms and their skills are limited to what they have done before.  They have no support from other staff that may have higher skill levels and your website could become a stagnant project because of a feature that is outside the freelancers skill set.




web design firmsFirms – Web Design firms come in sizes from small to extra large.  A small firm could be a one person shop and extra large firms could employ dozens of staff and hundreds of “freelancers”.

Web design firms tend to have both developers and designers on hand.  This is important for you because coders are not designers and designers are not coders but they are both really important to the outcome of your website.
The mind of the developer is more about function and the designers mind is more about visual appearance. 

I’ve had the pleasure of being on calls with both the developer and designer and it is amusing to hear the banter that goes back and forth between these two brilliant, but very different personalities.

There can be a huge difference in cost between small and big firms.  There are website firms that focus on Enterprise projects and these can range between $25,000 and $250,000 dollar price tags.
I will leave you with this thought.  Your website is how the world sees and judges your business and brand.  There is no reason to over spend and no excuse to go cheap when it comes to your business. 

Cutting costs with your website is like putting a Pinto engine in your race car and expecting to cross the finish line first.

We respect the desire to keep your business cash flow in check.  If you are looking for a makeover or redesign of your website, call us and talk about our payment options.

Our offices are based in the United States.  Let’s talk about your needs and give you the information you need to make a good choice in regards to your website project.

You can call our office at 719 302-5029 or email and we will be happy to help.