Over the last few weeks my Facebook timeline has been littered with adverts from web design companies (the sweet irony!) promoting bargain priced websites priced at £49 for a lifetime website or adverts with imagery that suggests a freelance web designer designs your website from within a cardboard box with a 1930’s telephone.
As a professional freelance web designer, I would like to dispel this kind of approach.
£49 Doesn’t Cut It
Firstly, the £49 lifetime websites are a one-pager based on a template with the bare basic amount of human involvement. Not only will your website look like all the other websites produced like this, but it also won’t be unique to you and your business. When your business grows and you need additional pages, this will blow the £49 out the water, and you’ll be locked into paying hundreds of pounds for your website (and you cannot transfer it away).
Freelancers Use Modern Computers and Software!
Secondly, any freelance web designer worth his or her salt has a wide range of tools to ensure your website is designed professionally and is as individual as you. And just to clarify, we don’t work on a 1990’s clapped out PC or laptop. Quite the opposite to be clear. We use technology to enhance what we do. As an example, myself, I use a range of products to help with my productivity, such as Microsoft365 for collaboration and telephony services, meaning I can support my clients no matter where I am – either at home in my office, or away from it. I also use tools to build your website in such a way that you can easily maintain the content yourself. And yes, whilst I do charge a monthly hosting fee, this covers the cost of licenses, hosting, and to maintain your website ensuring WordPress and your plugins are kept up to date to ensure your website is not vulnerable to attack.
Website Production Line
I appreciate that these companies need to get their services out there, they are a business as well. But just remember, you’re dealing with a website production line. Their aim is to turn around as many websites as possible as quickly as possible. This approach leaves very little room for creativity, both by the “designer” but more importantly for you, the client.
Your Website, Your Business, Your Reputation
Never forget, your website is your digital space to showcase your business, your services, and to entrust the visitor to use your services. If it’s not bespoke and hasn’t been designed from the ground up with your business in mind, it will never truly reflect the uniqueness of your business, or your ethos. A bargain basement price of £49 might seem appealing when you start out, but as you grow, you will soon become locked in to either a one-page design, higher costs for expansion, or your website being run by a corporate machine with no interest in your business’ own ethos.
Ongoing, Personal, Professional Support
The one thing a good freelance web designer or small design agency will do is tailor the level of support you’ll need to make your website a success. Never trust a web designer who will design your website and then hand the files over to you and tell you to go host it. A good web designer will continue to offer you support as your business grows. Thinking about companies that offer websites at, let’s say, £49 for a lifetime – do you think you’re going to get the level of support you will need not just at the start, but as your business needs grow? I think the answer is a resounding “no”. So, when you factor in the cost of the hosting each month with an independent or freelance web designer, remember, the fee looks after both you and your website.
I hope that this blog post hasn’t come across as a rant! I do hope, though, it has come across as passionate about giving a client the best possible service. I not only get immense satisfaction from producing a website that my client will truly love, but I enjoy seeing their business grow, and helping them grow their website to walk in step with this. And when it comes to supporting my clients, new and current, I will always give the best advice I can to help the realise their dreams, their goals, and to promote their business in as a unique way as possible. That’s not something you’ll get from a £49 website – nor for that matter, someone designing a website on a 1990’s laptop, in a cardboard box, with a 1930’s telephone!!
Get in touch with me if I can help you design, build and launch your new business website.