Thank you for sharing this excellent article! I meet with clients almost every day who had similar and worse experiences themselves. I am going to share your thoughts with potential clients; that way at least they get a third party opinion as well. Hopefully a lot of people will take this to heart! Thanks again; you made my evening!
What is the Downside to Affordable Web Design?
Affordable Web Design is often *not* the bargain many expect. Go local. Stay local. Exhaust your local resources before you try what may be a too good to be true scenario.
Have you ever outsourced or considered outsourcing a design or website development project to save money or time or both? Any number of portals offer us Design and WordPress Development services that are supposed to make it easy and affordable for us less tech-savvy DIYers–but do they really when we take all into accounts?
Even Premium WordPress Themes “appear easy enough to work” with (or so the marketing says). BUT for some non-tech types the learning curve is steeper. Our initial investment (thinking we can do it all for ourselves) is a penny saved but pound foolish.
Trouble is we figure that out after the fact and we may opt to keep trying and throw a little more money at it.
After investing a mere $87 in a Premium Wordpress Theme, for the sake of launching an online business, one person I know of found it was not as easy as suggested to set up their initial site and there was no support! So a freelancer was engaged for a song and $300 was paid up front with the expectation that the website desired would now be built for them using the Theme. But no, the freelance programmer tried through email to train the client on how to do it for themselves. Even this might have been acceptable, if the site could have been created and populated with content.
Last I am aware, it still doesn’t exist. So what is this person into for at this point?
$387 in cash and countless hours in email exchanges that got her no closer to what was wanted.
Efforts to communicate strictly via email with the outsourced programmer in a different time zone 12 hours away were never successful. Weeks passing and still not having the desired end product: a WordPress site that could be monetized and improved upon functionally.
Ask yourself as the business owner you are or are planning to become when is it wise to hire a professional you can work with closely and whose on the same page as you?
What is your time worth and billed at? Why are you spending money trying to do something for yourself that is not where you earn the most bang for your buck?
We call that working in your business when we should be working on our business. Too many a budding business owner tries to be chief cook and bottle washer, virtual assistant and bookkeeper, depleting their creative juices and energy for business development and stellar client services. Why? To have a sense of control? To save money in start up costs?
Again, what is your “sweet spot” for earning and why would you overwhelm yourself with a task that is not your strength? I know I am a strong writer and editor and creator of bog content. I am in my element doing this for others. I love doing this for my clients. I do it effortlessly and could do it for long hours and find creating blog content for a site energizing.
I have come to realize VERY quickly, that while I could be a WordPress officionado, I am not efficient beyond basic operations. And, quite frankly, if I wanted a more complex site with widgets and sliders and custom elements, I am hiring a local and reliable professional. I’ll do so for the sake of working with someone who can understand my language of my vision and my ideas. Clarity of communication saves time and money. It also assures we get what we wanted.
More power to the tech-savvy and creative sorts who can take a pre-packaged theme and make the most of it on their own but for the rest of us who will spin our wheels and grow frustrated with every plugin we attempt to discern and activate (as we hope we don’t break our site–which I have done!) I say:
Go local. Stay local. Exhaust your local resources before you try what may be a too good to be true scenario. There is so much talent in our own backyard.
*P.S. As the writing mentor, copywriter and editor I am, I 'll egg clients on till they produce copy they really are pleased with AND that copy needs a home that is not delayed! Here is to being able to recognize when engaging another is the wiser business choice.*
Learn more about the author, Deborah Drake.
Comment on this article
Posted by Gregor Schmidt, Seattle, Washington |
Jun 28, 2012
Posted by Joseph Shivell, Plano, Texas |
Jun 28, 2012
The first thing that popped out at me when I read your article was "WordPress". Although WordPress may be popular, it is not the only way to design a website. The second thing I noticed was that your example of the person hired was a freelancer, who charged only $300. Both Website Design and Website Marketing are areas where, if you hire a reputable person or firm, you get what you pay for. For only $300, it seems that a "consultant", who can advise his clients on what to do, but does not do the work himself, is what you are going to get. Using a local person or firm does not necessarily mean that you are going to get a reputable designer. The only advantage to using a local designer could be that you can see a person face-to-face when you ask them why the work hasn't been done yet. Your original point, however, is a good one. "Affordable", when used to mean "cheap", is not a good thing.
Posted by Tom Todd, Seattle, Washington |
Jun 29, 2012
Great points Deborah! As a WordPress developer I've heard this story endless times and have often felt like the barber that fixes $12 haircuts.
There are thousands of off-shore web designers and developers and their prices are dirt cheap. And they are fast, sometimes the next day your website is done. My clients that initially went this route complained that they were disappointed with the design work, had technical issues with their site, and endured challenging communications.
My advice to anyone that needs a website that will prompt the site visitors to call you instead of your competitors - pay the extra dollars to get someone reputable, someone who gets you and your business, and someone you can talk with by phone or in person.
I personally think there is a big advantage to the face-to-face concept. In order for a designer and developer to understand you, your business and your site objectives, in-person is the way to go. By phone would be a distant second, and email is pretty weak. If you're looking for a site that really captures the essence of your business and prompts the visitors to call, this is the way to go.
Posted by JoAnne Dyer, Seattle, Washington |
Jun 29, 2012
After designing my first website on my own via WordPress, I hired a wonderful local web and marketing designer to do my next website. He was well worth the money, and he saved me hours of aggravation.
In other words, I completely agree, Deborah.
- website development
- wordpress development
- outsourcing design