We like to keep our eyes out for new websites to ensure that we’re on top of the game, and far too often we see new websites being launched that are, putting it nicely, below par.
Yes there are home-built websites, or ones produced by web designers who don’t have the necessary skill sets, but there are others built by web agencies that, in our opinion, can do a lot better. It appears as if they have given up, or just gone through the process of doing the minimum required to get paid. But why wouldn’t they do a decent job?
When I started making websites back in the late nineties I loved it, and wanted to make every last pixel perfect. Even though by today’s standards the websites weren’t brilliant, I really took pride in what I did, and did my best.
Fast forward ten years to around 2007 and Webbed Feet wasn’t just me, it was a team, and we were doing things commercially. Many web and design agencies have issues keeping projects ‘on track’ and preventing them from overrunning, after all we’re all in business to make money. We were no different and had projects that actually lost us money, and urgently needed a strategy to make everything run to plan.
So we had discussions to rectify this, and there were the two obvious solutions; either put our prices up, or cut corners and reduce the quality of what we produce. Neither of these suited us, so we decided to change our processes to make things more efficient. These processes included scoping out and quoting projects in far more detail, having client sign-off stages during the build, changing how we develop websites, and not tendering for every project that we see. There’s a lot more to it than that of course, but we slowly but surely started keeping things profitable without reducing quality or drastically increasing our prices… it worked!
Fast forward another ten years, and we do still make mistakes when quoting, but are doing much better and have strict quality control procedures. If our team presented us with work of the same quality that we have seen other agencies produce recently, we’d have stern words with them and make them finish it properly. However, our team wouldn’t present that to us, nor would they let us launch it in that state. Why? Because all of our team have pride in their work, and we encourage them to do a good job.
So why don’t all other web design agencies do this? Why do so many launch websites of such a poor quality? Why have some capable web designers ‘let themselves go’?
We believe this is because of the lack of processes similar to those we have evolved over the years. Getting these in place has probably been the single hardest thing we’ve had to do in order to get quality websites launched at a cost-effective price.
We consciously made the decision not to release sub-standard work, even it meant years of work finding a way to do it. We believe some other agencies quite simply haven’t done this.
In order to turn a profit they turn to pre-built platforms such as Joomla or WordPress, buy and tweak a template, install a few plugins or modules, and cut and paste some content and stock images. That’s it, they’re not a creative agency striving to produce the best, they run an electronic production line churning out whatever they can.
That’s up to them of course, who are we to tell them how to run their business? But we feel for the clients. Yes some people choose to buy a cheap website, and that’s their prerogative, but others can often spend thousands of pounds in good faith on the back of a good salesman, and don’t get what they paid for. Even worse than that, what they are missing from their initial website needs to be retro-fitted by a competent web design agency and can end up costing the client more money in the long run.
This gives the good web design agencies a bad name (and there are a lot of these too) as it taints our industry.
We are Webbed Feet, we take pride in our work.