Everything changes; the web design industry is no different. In fact it changes faster than most. We all know it, but it can be hard to keep up. Whereas once upon a time we simply produced a website for a client, and then moved on to the next, now we need to offer so much more.
Not offering an ongoing service is a risky choice. Clients know about SEO, security issues and software updates, and they are looking for someone to take care of this for them. It is way outside the comfort zone of the average website owner – so they are turning to their web site developers to fulfil this role. Whereas once we never heard from a client once a web site was launched, in today’s world if you don’t keep in touch you run the risk of not having many clients.
The old mindset is coined as “Transactional” by Kristina Romero in her article “Relational Website Design” – and she is right. Building a web site used to be a simple, one-off transaction. These days the expectation is “Relational”. In other words, we need to maintain good, effective relationships with our clients and offer an effective ongoing service.
The issue for many web designers is that they can find themselves so busy dealing with technical updates, security issues, sourcing reliable hosting and researching reliable software platforms that they don’t have any time left to do the bit they love – design!
From a client’s perspective the modern expectations are very reasonable, yet we talk to many designers who are feeling swamped by the need to read all the latest software updates, research current security issues, apply updates, implement the next round of changes from search engines etc etc. Some of this can be chargeable, but generally keeping up to date is non-paying. Most of us are trying to earn a living, and non paying work often gets pushed to the bottom of the pile.
The Webdepartment is a very simple concept. We have simply listened to designers who are feeling swamped and created a solution that helps them to help their clients. For example, our specialised hosting packages include free monthly WordPress updates – at no extra cost. We’ve already researched the best themes and plugins, so you don’t have to. We do all that reading every week on security vulnerabilities – so you don’t have to. You can tick those worries off your list and start designing your next project. And if you are expecting all of that to cost you a fortune – it won’t. The Webdepartment is not about trying to sell to designers and marketing people – it is about working alongside them for the benefit of clients. We all get to do the bits we love and enjoy some support along the way.