Web Design Offers That Seem Too Good to be True

Web Design
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Web Design Offers That Seem Too Good to be True

“We will design you a unique/custom mobile responsive website, with an unlimited number of pages with SSL, and SEO, delivered in 3 days for $200, includes a domain name and free hosting for life”

Huh, what, that is impossible, how do they make any money, they have to pay their employees, right?

Let’s break this down a little:

1. Unique/custom mobile responsive WordPress website – This is likely a template, that they either bought and are reusing over and over (which is usually against the author’s agreement and eventually will catch up to you and them, likely resulting in a DCMA takedown request of your website). If this isn’t how this works, then they are using a free theme over and over, and then it isn’t unique or custom, now is it?

2. Unlimited pages – You are telling me that they will make a website with 200 pages in three days. Yeah, right, that isn’t going to happen, it isn’t practical and it isn’t even realistic. Even if they farmed the work out to India or Pakistan (which is what they are doing), you still can’t make that goal and make any money as the design firm.

3. SSL – Ok, you can get these relatively inexpensive now, but let’s put a price of $10 on it.

4. SEO – I’m going to assume that this means, that they will submit your site to Google. You can’t do any effective SEO in that short of a time frame and SEO is costly.

5. Domain name – Like the SSL, these are inexpensive, but let’s say $10 for this blog post

6. Free hosting for life – Even if this was $1 a month, more realistically even the king of cheap hosting, GoDaddy, is $6.99 a month, which comes to around two years of hosting.

But sure, go for it, and enjoy your $200 website.

So how do they do it? First of all, they don’t, if you came to them with 200 pages, they will tell you that you can’t get it for that price. Once you settle on a price, they will indeed farm the project overseas where a team of hyper-low-cost individuals will grab a template, glue your logo onto it, throw your content up there and call it done. But there is so much more that goes into building a website. Over the next few posts, I’m going to talk about what actually goes into building a quality website.

And the first thing is your content. They say garbage in equals garbage out, and that holds very true when it comes to your content. First, most web design firms require that your content is in digital format and ready for posting. This means that your content needs to be ready to go as they are going to copy and paste it into the website. If you gave it to them in handwritten notes, then your goes will surely grow, as they have to have someone type all that in.

Most companies do not proofread the text, I proofread everything my client provides for me and I also use spell check and make minor changes as needed.

If I am doing SEO for your design project, I will also work with you to make sure that the content has the appropriate keywords and phrases for your business and that the content doesn’t sound spammy and gimmicky.

I actually find that the content phase is the longest part of a design project. Very few business owners have their content ready. Many clients will “borrow” their content from a competitor’s website (which will result in Google not being very happy with your website). Some clients will write their own original content, but it is written in such a way that a potential customer will not have a clue what they are talking about.

Let’s use a small printing company as an example, we will call it ABC printers. The owner of the business wrote the following text. The card stock must be 14 pt cardstock suitable for 89 x 51 mm to include bleed at 1050 x 600 at 1.75 aspect ratio, with no crop marks, and in CMYK color. The potential customer will read that and not understand it and may likely move on to another printing company. That is why I always recommend that you apply the KISS principle and “Keep It Simple Stupid”.

I will work with you to break it down to something more like this.

At ABC in order to get the most out of your print job, we highly recommend that you use 14-point cardstock (which is a thicker and more durable form of paper than the paper you might have in your home printer). We also recommend that if you are designing your own cards, you use CMYK color instead of RGB. CMYK refers to the four ink plates used in some color printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). Using CMYK instead of RGB will result in less bleeding and more accurate color representation on your print job. Please note that your card should measure 3.5” x 2” or 89 x51 mm. This is the final size, not including the extra 1/8” inch for the bleed (which gets trimmed off after the printing). If your design has bleed, be sure your file is set up at a dimension of 3.75” x 2.25” (inches) to accommodate the extra area that will be trimmed off. If you have any questions just ask so we can help make your print job the best it can be.
I find that many companies will “sell” themselves with too much passion, too technical, or too little.

In the next post, I will talk more about what it takes to design a good website project.

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