Website Bullshit Sales baffles Brains every time – for a while…
One of my pet peeves, it’s actually a bit more than a peeve, it’s almost an obsession, is how people allow themselves to believe Website Sales bullshit, and then throw money after it.
As in every industry, website design and development has its fair share of, to be nice, we’ll refer to these con artists as opportunists.
Occasionally I’ll take a break and randomly follow links around the internet to se where they take me – limited to my interest fields – and this evening was one such random link following exercise.
My mission – none really, just to look at other developers websites.
On one (I followed the link from Facebook) – a Dev firm in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, I read about how they meticulously plan and prepare before designing and developing a website for a client. The photos of the studio I recognised from a stock library – not too much wrong with using stock photos I suppose, but to the uninitiated it could convey a subtly skewed image.
I found a reference to a recently launched client site, and went to have a look at it. The whole thing looked vaguely familiar, so, I had a quick peek at the source code. As I’d suspected all along, these guys use free themes, and charge an exorbitant price for it, relying on sales banter to get the client moving along, totally oblivious to what is happening. From what I could make out, this particular dev firm charge more for one site than I earn in month. Sour grapes? No, just a confirmation of my long held belief that for every sucker out there, there is someone to take their money.
A Texan development firm also go through the whole rigmarole – the “… attention to detail while we handcode your site from scratch at just $70 an hour, and don’t worry, we won’t go over 20 hours because we’re so good at what we do…” “And while you’re here, we may need to add on costs for a few things – but don’t worry, we do give you an itemized invoice when we’re done”!
What can I say? I had a look at a few of their sites – all built on exactly the same theme, with a few minor cosmetic changes. The theme? A free theme from WordPress. Sour grapes? Nah, just a confirmation of my long held belief that for every sucker out there, there is someone to take their money.
What can I say? Caveat Emptor.
One of our core principles at CMS Website is to be upfront. We use ready made themes – but we tell our clients we’re using them. Our two most popular packages are free theme based – we do charge a reasonable rate to brand the themes for our clients – but that basic branding is built into the price they see when they order. Granted, additional theme modification is charged for, but it is in return for a professional service that is not included in the original price.
We have a base “blank” theme that we develop from, which is the result of many hours of work – looking at themes, and taking the (what we consider) best bits for inclusion. Our base theme is evolving all the time, and is where we start with our custom themes.
Being upfront is just so much easier, that way we don’t have to remember which pile of bullshit we left where.
I actually don’t mind the bullshitters – a lot of our work comes from clients who have found themselves at the tender mercies of a Web Dev outfit that don’t know their ass from their elbow. When they get to us they’re ready to hear the truth of life on the Internet.