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    10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 5, 2010 9:49 AM by artforart

    A New Approach to Web-Design

    bigcloudmedia Adventurer

      Cloud Media is a web-design company that wants to change how
      web-designers are thought of now-a-days and put a fresh prospective on
      an old subject.


      I have heard time and time again from my customers and other people,
      stories about how their web-designer screwed them over, ripped them
      off, over-charged or in some way or another, left a bad taste in their
      mouth and this too me, is unacceptable.


      Web-design is a good business and brings with it the same
      responsibilities that other service industries bring such as the need for
      excellent customer service and production, the need for the satisfied
      customer, the need for honesty, integrity, responsibility and
      accountability. All of these things are requirements for a service
      industry business to survive and web-design isn’t a business, right
      now, with a reputation of meeting all of those requirements.


      Now before anyone gets offended, my statement above does not apply
      to web-designers, such as myself, who are out to actually provide a
      great product and awesome customer service, I am only saying that it
      has been voiced to me, by many people, that web-designers are not high
      on the trust- them-with-your-money list.


      This is pretty bad folks, if the web-designer is saying it is bad and
      I think it is about time we made an effort to change the popular
      opinion about our industry and our services as a whole by being up
      front with our customers, not over-charging, doing pro-bono work for
      non-profits, orgs and churches, getting involved in our communities and just
      making a better name for ourselves, both through our customers, our
      services, our products and outside them too.


      Big Cloud Media has had enough of the bad rep that web-designers and
      the web-design industry currently has. My company is out for change.
      How are we doing this?


      1. We give an honest price on the basis of hours, this way we can
      give estimates based on time spent on the project, similar to how
      auto-body work is estimated.


      2. We are constantly thinking of new ways to service our customers.


      3. We don’t over charge for hosting. Hosting is not expensive and
      unless you are doing more than watching the website sit there, it
      should not be an exorbitant amount per month. If it is, justify it


      4. We are straight up with our customers with the information and what we will do for them and the services we offer.


      5. We offer support for our websites included with our hosting plans. This helps to justify the hosting price.


      6. We find out what our customer wants and also collect info on
      their customers so we build the site not only for our customer but for
      theirs as well.


      7. WE ARE HONEST!! We don’t take the money and run. What kind of
      rep does that give if your customers all go to someone else because you
      took their money and ran out on them. THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE!!


      8. We go above and beyond to keep our customers in the loop and
      happy which includes updating their sites if they need to be updated,
      with out charging the customer for it. If we designed the site in an
      un-expandable language and need to change it over to the expandable
      language, that is on our tab, not the customers. They shouldn’t be
      charged for our mistakes.


      9. We are accountable for our actions. BOTTOM LINE.


      10. We realize that our customers are our success stories. If we
      don’t treat them right or get them what we promised them, we will not
      be in business for long. Our customers are our life blood and we treat
      them as such.


      If you are a web-designer and you are reading this, please don’t be
      offended. Start doing these things and we can change how people see
      our business. It is honest and worthy to be a business. It isn’t
      stealing people’s money for nothing work. It is hard work that
      requires skill and should have the reputation for that.


      If you are already doing these things in your business, great!!
      It’s how things should be and thank you, You’re helping change our
      image in the eyes of your customers and in the eyes of everyone else


      To all who read this,


      Thank you for reading this blog and if you need a website, let me
      know. Big Cloud Media is a company dedicated to custom building,
      designing and implementing websites for businesses. We are a
      full-service web-design and development company so we should be able to
      handle what ever you need done and if we can’t do it, we’ll get you in
      touch with someone who can.


      Thank you all again and God Bless!!


      Koji Flowers
      Owner of Big Cloud Media
        • Re: A New Approach to Web-Design
          Iwrite Pioneer
          What about defining what a "real" web design shop is?


          What about educating clients about what good art direction, design and copy can do to help a business grow?


          What about bringing more innovative solutions to a client's needs?


          What about managing client's expectations so that they don't expect more than they are willing to pay for?


          What about educating clients to the real power of a strong interactive program that includes more than a website and SEO?


          I also mean no offense but the real problem is that anyone can claim to be a web designer but not be required to have the skills and experience to back that claim. I am not a web designer. I'm an advertising professional.


          I have a problem with generalizations being accepted as the truth. Yes, there are some bad folks out there but what profession doesn't have them? But there are a huge number of great designers out here who conduct themselves with honor and integrity. The fact is, most of the people crying don't want to pay for their services.


          I applaud you for stating your standards and values. It is a great start but I really wish you could have done so without impugning others in the industry.
            • Re: A New Approach to Web-Design
              bigcloudmedia Adventurer

              Your post is confusing to me.

              All the things that you listed would be apart of what "real webdesigners" do and those actions are to be applauded.

              Im confused as to what you are getting at because generalizations being accepted as the truth is the problem I am describing.

              I am not impuning anyone except for the webdesigners that take their clients cash, deliver crappy over priced product and don't support or take responsibility for their mistakes (one my clients previously paid around $3000.00 for a website that didn't work and had to sue the designer to get him to return the cash paid for the unfinished botched job. This being a case in point for my push for change). Webdesigners that perform like the above designer give the industry a bad name and leave a bad taste in the mouths of their clients. this is not good for the industry image.

              What was written was based on the stories my clients and other people have told me about. Im saying change is needed so that when someone says I am a webdesigner, people know what to expect from their services. If this reform is undertaken industry wide, the bad generalizations about webdesigners would be nullified.

              All of the awesome and honest webdesigners out there are applauded here, not criticized. They are already giving the industry a great name and reputation and are applauded by me.

              I hope this clears some issues up.

              Koji Flowers
              Big Cloud Media



                • Re: A New Approach to Web-Design
                  STRAIGHTALK Adventurer
                  Well let me introduce my self, I'm STRAIGHTALK from Florida in Web development services....


                  and I really can't pick any sides but would like to state something about both sides..

                  One day I had a customer, ask If I can make some changes and maintain the website for them..

                  Well come to find out what she wanted was for Me to remove all, Tags, links, Names, anything that was left behind by the Previous Developer...

                  So I did but while do so I asked myself WHY is I having to remove someone elses links. What must of happen for Me to be there removing his Information..

                  However, being savvy as I am.. My customer came along few day later and ask for Me to take a look at another of their site and wanted the same thing removal of all, Tags,Links, Names, all traces of anyone!

                  So I asked them are they paying for the second & a third site too, and their reply was that I should lower my price and Said that I was charging to much for the Jobs !! But all said, it was cool but thing is that I as a FREELANCER help out a poor lady who was ROBBED by a web designer..

                  provided my services out of kindness, So what happened She decided She was not going to pay me nothing Not the first, nor the second, less for the third..

                  She locked me out of the Cpanel and didn't call me any more (which was like 20 calls per day).. So you know what I did access The website through the Cpanel but I also made an FTP access for myself.. Why because anyone who asks me to remove anyones work is not a person I would like to put any trust in..

                  Well I think you know how that story finished.. You made an article about it!!


                  Norman Flecha
                    • Re: A New Approach to Web-Design
                      Iwrite Pioneer
                      Straightalk thanks for presenting the other side to the story. You made my point.

                      I didn't mind advertising a person's standards and values but to do it by painting others as not bothers me. I know there are bad apples out there but you don't have to tear others down to build yourself up. Or shouldn't.

                      The original post felt like that but I could have been wrong. It was how I felt.
                        • Re: A New Approach to Web-Design
                          bigcloudmedia Adventurer
                          Thank you all for your input and thoughts on my post. I think though something is being construed in a different way than it was meant and it may be in the way I worded things. For this, I apologize.

                          Let me reiterate what I was trying to say.

                          My clients and others have told me about their experiences with other web-designers that were not pleasant and did not end well (most of them ending in lawsuits) and from those experiences negative generalizations were formed about the web-design industry.

                          I am sure these expriences aren't limited to the people that have come to me about it, so we, as web-designers, should defend our craft by stepping up our service and catering to the customer to another level and to help build the positive aspect of the industry even higher. I am stating that my company, Big Cloud Media, is taking these extra steps to build the web-design industry rep. and by doing this, committing my company to those standards. If all of us web-designers did this the negative stereotype floating around about web-designers will be countered.

                          If it is already being done by you or your organization, kudos to you for taking the extra step and giving the industry the rep. it deserves. This is a good thing and I am saying that the spreading of a good thing will lead to a greater understanding of what it is we do and why it is neccessary, thus boosting the industry as a whole. If it is not being done, try it. Comit to the customer and servicing them on a new level.

                          This was in no way a belittling of the industry or anything like that. It was simply a call to action to counter some bad publicity with a boost in the level we service our customers.

                          I apologize if this came off as anything else.

                          Have a great day and God Bless.

                          Koji Flowers
                          Big Cloud Media
                  • Re: A New Approach to Web-Design
                    Hi Koji,

                    Kudos to you for being honest with clients! What do you do when you have a difficult client-- you know, the one who complains a lot and doesn't pay?
                    • Re: A New Approach to Web-Design
                      jlsmove Wayfarer
                      Very appealing post. I've had my share of doubts about web designers, developers, and SEO companies. TSometimes, there's no rhyme, nor reason, to pricing. For instance, a website that I had built awhile back, cost several thousand dollars to complete. It was so much per page to design and develop, and I produced all of the content. Flat fee. Half now and half upon completion. I think the website looks nice, but, there's still so much work left to be done. I can only imagine what the website I ultimately want to build will cost. Hosting services was another concern. Although it was offerred, I didn't quite know how to justify the high monthly fee for hosting, along with another monthly fee for updating with content, and another fee for marketing which didn't create much traffic.
                      I think that a lot of small business owners don't quite know what to make of the pricing. They don't know what is fair and equitable. We have our charges for products and services and comparatively speaking, it doesn't make "cents". I think by promoting your services this way, you'll strike some interest. For myself, I am currently working with someone, but, will definitely keep you in mind as I look at different alternatives.
                      • Re: A New Approach to Web-Design
                        endlessgraphx Newbie

                        I have to say that I agree 100% with the original article and its revised version. Many clients have come to us not knowing what to expect from the web design/development process. It is our job to keep them informed of the process and the "rhyme/reason" behind why things are being done in such a such a manner. It's sad to say that web designers who do take advantage of their clients end up placing a bad name on those who work hard to keep a good working relationship with their clients.

                        In response to the comment about web design pricing: I came across this article in 2006 and have found it to be a bit blunt but true when it comes to the question "How much does a website cost?" :


                        How much does a website cost?


                        Monday, April 17, 2006 / Andrea D.

                        How much does a website cost? I hear this question often as I visit with prospective clients. It seems to be a fair question, but impossible to answer without more information.


                        You might as well ask me "How much does it cost to have surgery?" Well, do you need a mole removed, or do you need a heart transplant? Do you want me to quote you just the surgeon's fee or do you want to know the whole package price which might include: the surgeon's fee, the anesthesiologist's fee, the facility/hospital fee, lab work, post-op care, durable medical equipment, prescriptions, and even physical therapy.


                        Just like a person, a website should be viewed as a living and changing organism.


                        • It needs to be fed. (updating content)
                        • It needs to be clothed. (design)
                        • It needs to be understood. (good navigation)
                        • It needs activity and exercise. (it needs to DO something-programming)
                        • It needs to visit the doctor once in a while. (maintenance)
                        • It needs a place to live. (hosting)
                        • It needs friends. (other sites to link to it-vertical marketing)
                        • It needs to be found and known. (search engine optimization)

                        That's not to say that websites are expensive. But, the next time one of my consultants asks you for more information when you ask him how much a website costs, just understand that there is more to a website than you might think.

                        Article can be found at
                          • Re: A New Approach to Web-Design
                            artforart Wayfarer
                            I have read most all of what has been said on this post, but I am still unclear how far an actual "web-designer" will go with his/her client. Quite frankly I've had to drop our website altogether pending a motion that would prove eCommerce will improve marketing/sales. Just because your website looks real good, does not mean it is paying off. Our website became a liability we felt that we could no longer afflord. My question remains, how can an indepentent web-designer keep pulse with the results; this goes into what has been suggested "a house". The web-designer can paint a pretty color that looks really neat, but where are you going to build the house where everyone can see it; that you want to see it; who will actually buy the product rather than just looking at the pretty pictures? artforart