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You can read countless articles these days about how “Web Design is Dead” and while there is a bit of truth to it, I believe it is more appropriately stated as “Web Design as We Know it is Dead.”

Designing a website has been demystified. Gone are the days where creating a website was like some magic sorcery. Many people have at least tried their hand at some sort of design, through an online web builder or perhaps through a company’s pre-designed web pages. With the pervasive nature of social media, people who in the past would not be near a computer, are now comfortable sharing and tweeting and the like.Web Design Relationships.

The thing is though, most people who try online web builders discover that it is not nearly as easy as it looks in the commercials. “Just drop this here and move this here and viola, you have a website” is what the commercials say. Not so fast. This beautiful website that you promised me for free looks like a four year old’s finger painting, not what I was expecting. So a call to the customer help line and you discover that you need to pay something. It’s different everywhere, but twenty dollars for phone call assistance, thirty dollars a month for the premium plan, or let me work up a quote and we’ll get you in touch with a designer. Wow, not so free is it?

Now I am not saying that online web builders don’t have their place, some people find that it works for them and that is fine, but for many small businesses the offerings of a “free” web builder is just not enough. This is where making sure we, as web designers, can offer something substantially different and of value to our clients. Web design can no longer be, “here pick a template and I will customize it to your business”. New web design means understanding how your client's business works, who their customers are, and what they expect from a website. Clients want their own custom website, with its own feel, which is why they have come to you. Otherwise they would just use one of those free web builders and be done with it. New web design is now as much about customer service as it is about the actual design, so learn to interact with your clients, study their business and get to know the field they are in. Maybe even specialize in a certain industry, learning as much as you can about that industry and then promoting yourself within that industry. New web design is about people and relationships, not just HTML and CSS. Web design is not dead; it’s actually more alive than ever.



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Nowadays it is basically unacceptable for a small business to not have some sort of web presence.  While social media networks like Facebook have made it easier for small businesses to gain that web presence quickly, many prospective customers still expect a business to have a website, even if it is little more than an online business card. Many prospective customers also judge a business based on the quality of their website.

Many small business owners end up settling for an online web builder offered through their hosting company or elsewhere, only to come to find out later that it is not as easy as they thought it would be and they need help. They then often end up contacting a web designer who tells them that they will not work with the online web builder because it is too limited so they will need to redesign the website from scratch. This leaves the small business owner frustrated that they spent time and effort creating a free website that now technically speaking isn’t even theirs and is not doing what they hoped it would do anyway.

I have seen it time and time again. Not saying that free web builders are inherently bad, just that small business owners expect a lot more from them than they actually offer and also expect them to be easy for someone with zero web design skills to be able to use. Remember, web builders are built presumably by a web developer, so in other words people with web design and web language skills. It is difficult to remember that the average Joe still has no clue what <a href=”http://something.com/somethingelse.php” target=”_blank”>Something great here!</a> means!