Is the web design industry dead?
I have designed over 300 websites and when I started, the going rate for websites was $10,000 and up. Now, we are lucky to make 10% of that on average. Since you have free and low-cost web design software everywhere as well as low-cost web design firms around the world, web designers are getting hired less often. Do you have a web design business and how have your sales been affected? So...Is the web design industry dead?
I have been designing and building websites since 2003, the prices that most of the companies charged back than was high, so my niche back than was to charge a lot less for the same type of design and got a lot of clients that remained with me for years. Though I would say over the past two years things have really dropped as you have said there is a lot of free software and low cost hosting sites out there. I don't make as much as I did back in '03 through 09' but now I don't really do it as a job anymore and more or less do it on the side for the fun of it and the fact of making a little extra cash.
In todays market a point of advice is charging more than $1000 is going to get you laughed at and the job is going to go to the next guy who is reasonable. As a former professional in the industry I will also tell you that most of the things that companies want to charge people are outrageous and in someways a rip off, like I said I never charged a high price for something that I had a passion to do and enjoyed, but than again I was not trying to support multiple employees and I hired friends to do certain things that I didn't want to do or didn't have time to do.
With the way the ecnomy is going you are going to find that many people looking for a website are going to take the easiest and lowest price they can come across and they want quality for what they pay. The low price firms are going to make a killing today because most of them generate the same type of sites over and over and use the littlest of resources possible.
Coding is not hard to learn if you want to learn it and I have even taught clients coding so that they could upkeep and do their own sites because design is a trade and if you want a website you should know how to maintain it. As for the over-seas designers, well they charge even less than I could imagine charging for a site and that is what companies and most people want today, cheap, quality and easy to navigate and use sites. Though like I will tell anyone, you get what you pay for and if you go cheap, free and low quality you are going to find out in the end that it wasn't worth it because cheapest is going to save you, but might not make you anything.
I think people have started realizing that making websites (not necessarily good ones) is a fairly easy way of making money; you can sit in the place you are comfortable, and work on your own computer.
So i suppose its working like supply and demand - there are so many web designers, that the trade is no longer specialist. People can make their own if they want - or they can get a family member/friend to do it cheap.
Web designers aren't needed so much anymore because just about anyone can learn web design now over the internet. Just because someone has a web design degree doesn't make them any better when it comes to designing a website. A self taught designer could be equally as good, if not, better than a professional. Web programming is progressing and essentially taking over for web designers. Websites are more stable and efficient than ever and allow for easy changes that aren't as time consuming as it used to be. There are so many self made designers that can do just as good of a job for a fraction of the price to hire a professional.
We have Content management systems like wordpress ,joomla,drupal etc. and it is very easy to make websites even a 5 year old boy can make it .. lol but it is not dead ,This is consistant business but the pay is now very less
I've been learning code and web design and have built about 5 sites mostly for friends in my spare time - people I've designed for have been unhappy with past experiences - one client paid $8000 and didn't get what he wanted anyway - the process was very frustrating for him - I took the code rather than dreamweaver or cms approach because there is more flexiblity and I really get a kick out of creating a program that does something I want it too - but wow - is there a lot to learn - I don't think anyone can keep up really I've met designers who don't seem to know much about code which surprised me at first. When you say dead - do you mean the price has dropped out? I'd say probably reached a level where it is about right - the market decides except the cost of living in some countries means a $1 goes much further so sites built will be cheaper. Good question HWI
I think that the Web Design industry is just like any other i.e. it has to evolve and offer great value. When web design started designers could charge huge fees for what was essentially a basic site. Now that technology and content management has progressed, web designers need to become web developers. This means becoming proficient in programming languages such as asp.net(C#) and PHP.
Businesses require web based systems rather than a few pages of static content and in our personal lives we use sophisticated sites like Facebook who's features have now become commonplace.
As long as web designers/web developers continue to upskill they will always be valuable to the marketplace.
Websites are essential for business in today's life. For the growth of any business, creating a website is necessary for its growth and promotion. As long as the internet will be alive, I feel the website designing would take place. So, the web design business will never die and would never end.
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