We tend to get asked what our web design packages look like and what they offer and how much they cost.
The simple answer is, we don’t offer web design packages.
Simply put, the last thing you really want is a selection of pre-defined web design packages to choose from.
Web design packages exist to make life easy for you (your business) and the agency/freelancer carrying out the work.
Life is easy because:
- Your budgetary doubts are removed (you see a clearly defined price)
- You see straight away what you will be getting
- The agency/freelancer knows what to expect from each package
- There are no surprises (costs)
- You know no one else will be getting a similar website for a better price
- Each package can use a base theme making the time you receive your website very fast
But, it is all really that good? No, it is not.
This is why.
Web design packages can be confusing
We will take a look at three different types of packages to provide context for upcoming points that are to be made.
Here we have a typical example of what three different web design packages would look like from a business.
We have a nice little starter package then a business website package may seem like it’s easy to identify what you need.
Here is why:
- The company provides a nice little but comprehensive option of tiers, this makes it easy for you to pick which one you really need
- Popular extras are ear-marked, removing any doubts you have
- The number of included pages is very obvious
- The basic tier makes a point of mentioning any features that are not included within that package, this forces you to contemplate moving onto the higher priced package
- It clearly says that additional features can be added only after consultations
This agency uses the “build upon list” whereas you move up onto each package, the previous features are added onto the next package.
Because each list is extensive we will pick out the primary points to make this package clear.
The responsive package:
This package includes a responsive website that is WordPress based that has a drag and drop editor to update the site.
The superfast website package:
This comes with the responsive website package features but with added SSL and optimised code.
The super SEO website package:
This comes with search engine optimisation along with social media sharing and tutorials.
This web design agency utilizes packages in a different way. They have separated web development from responsive design along with an e-commerce package.
Upon reading the titles, it may seem like you only get responsive design if choosing that package, and web development if you choose the web development package. The same goes for the e-commerce package.
However, you ultimately get responsive design and development with every project and e-commerce if needed.
So, upon looking at these packages, you may be left wondering how many pages do you need? Do you need to have unlimited pages? Do you need the functionality that needs custom code? And does your site need to be responsive? Do you need tutorials on how to use your website and do you really need social media sharing?
The questions really can and do go on.
Once you’ve really had a think about what package you need, the next step is sending the agency a request.
Now, say you’ve clicked on a package and have sent the agency a request.
The agency will now have an immediate idea of what it is you need, even though you may still have some doubts (have you picked the right package) and questions.
Clearing this up with the agency can take up unnecessary time and can even end up changing packages completely, you could still be in doubt whether or not you need features from the next package.
But what happens if you picked a package and stuck with it, then halfway through the project you realise you need more pages, or you need some extra functionality such as social media sharing or custom code to achieve an advanced design feature?
This is where the limitations and issues of web design packages come in.
These affect both you and the agency.
One thing is very clear, web design package state what you don’t get included with lower tier packages.
They make you want to choose the “more premium” package with all the bells and whistles.
This makes you develop the mindset “oh, well if I choose the basic package I won’t be getting a premium website.”
What this means is, the agency does not care which package you choose, they just want you to pick the most expensive one.
Often at times, a feature that you really need will be included in the premium package, but along with other features that you do not need.
Take agency B. Each package is separated into:
- Super fast
Each feature from the previous packages is added onto the next.
In reality, you need a website that is responsive, fast and search engine optimised. You have no option but to pick the most expensive package.
But take a look at the other features in the SEO package.
You get google maps, social media sharing and tutorials. But, what if you don’t need all that and just SEO?
This is where the limitations of packages come in.
Web design packages are limited
Web design packages are limited, no matter what.
You’ve chosen the package and paid for it. You know what you are getting and the agency knows exactly what website they are developing.
There are two main issues on your half:
- You have a package that does not meet your needs
- You have a package that goes above and beyond your needs
Say you’ve picked the starter pack and have a maximum of 5 pages, but you need another 10.
You will need to speak to your agency and discuss the required changes.
This causes problems for the agency.
They will have put a project timeline in place and adding an additional 10 pages is a big task halfway through a project, they need to be designed, signed off and developed.
This will move out of the scope of the current package.
The other issue is paying for a package that you simply do not need, just to get some of the features you need.
Take agency B.
Say you’ve purchased the SEO package that also allows you to have social media sharing and tutorials.
And halfway through you may have sussed how to work WordPress or have realised you simply do not need social media sharing on your website.
What do you do?
You’ve already paid for these features and have been implemented into the website. This means the money you’ve paid has already been used to implement social media sharing.
But the money could possibly be refunded for the tutorials.
But the package you’ve paid for includes both these.
This makes it hard to adjust the cost of the project for specific needs.
You simply can’t just choose a package and expect it to suit your business needs.
This is because your website is unique from everyone else’s website.
Here ‘s another problem, website packages provide a generic list of things you get, but your business is totally unique.
Every business is unique, your website needs to be unique
The goals of your website are different from others. There may be similarities, but as a business, your unique selling point will be what sets you apart from the competition making the goals of the website different.
A website is built around what the business (you) are trying to do, whether it be:
- A simple online presence
- An E-commerce store
- A Blog
There are many of every type of website out there making them seem generic, but it is you and your business that makes each site unique. Your unique selling point.
Choosing a web design package means your business website is forced to be moulded around a package.
Take the package that contains the social media sharing example, your website will end up having this feature because you picked the package that contained it. But you could just simply not need it, but need the other features from the same package (could be the tutorials).
Because you have chosen a website design package, every single feature will be seen on other business websites that use the same package, potentially hurting yours.
Take agency A.
It states that you get a homepage slideshow with 6 pictures for each package.
This is very generic and the agency will probably use a template for this slideshow (as it’s the same in every package).
This means every other business that chooses a package from that agency gets a slideshow with 6 items as well as the potential for the functionality of the slider to be the same (if they use a template).
This hurts your website because your website is not just a website, it is your marketing platform.
Your website needs to be totally unique for it to be fully effective. You need to get your business web design just right.
You could compare this issue premade themes cause, people will notice if your website is unique or not and that you’ve chosen to opt for a “quick and easy” fix.
If it’s not unique, it can hurt your brand. This is because your website promotes and makes up your brand. Branding is not the subject here so here’s a post on why branding packages suck.
Hopefully, after reading this article and the branding article, you will have a super clear picture of why you’d not want to choose a web design package or a branding package.
Packages may provide you with a list of features you get and to get some features you have to opt in to a package that provides you with too much.
If this is starting to get confusing for you, here is a complete website checklist that includes all the necessary elements needed for a successful website.
People just want a simple website
There is one thing found from looking at web design packages, they seem quick and easy. People often say to themselves “I want a simple website”. Website packages and the “I want a simple website” may seem like they go hand in hand.
Saying to yourself I want a simple website is not the way to go about getting a website developed for you.
People say the same about social media, they choose platforms without much thought to promote themselves on. Someone could choose FaceBook just because it’s the “most popular”.
This simply does not work. You need social media to be aimed around your target audience and what benefits you the most. It needs to be good at marketing your business.
The same principle applies to your website:
- You need the correct features and functionality that benefit you the most
- You need these features and functionality to be tailored around you and your business
- You need your website to be aimed toward your target audience
- Generic packages or choosing the wrong package can seriously hurt you as a business ( we discussed this earlier)
One last thing. There is not such thing as a “simple” website. There are many elements that go into creating a website.
And getting the structure just right takes hard work and effort.
You want to build a relationship with a design agency rather than an off the shelf package
Now that we have talked about what web design packages are, the limitations of them and how they can hurt your business. It’s time to talk about a very important point.
Your relationship with the agency.
Choosing a web design package means your website and relationship with the agency will be moulded around the web design package.
Once you have picked a web design package, you will be talking about the package you picked with the agency right off the bat. The agency will also know what to be expecting when they meet you and maybe have some ideas in place already.
This adds a layer of, “oh right, we have a new client whose picked this package, let’s get it shipped out as quickly as possible so we can move onto the next package.”
This can happen because people on a budget will generally pick web design packages because they are “cheap”.
This can develop an influx of clients and quick turnarounds are needed.
You will even see on some web design packages the turnaround time for each package.
This simply does not work. Well, unless you are using a package.
You see, with a package, each feature is “pre-defined” the agency knows what you are already getting and so do you.
The most common way for these quick turn-around times is by using pre-made templates that are moulded around each package.
This will allow the fast turnaround time.
This leads to generic designs on multiple websites and quickly hashed out custom features if needed.
The thing is, each project is and should be unique. Advertising the time a project can be completed in is not viable. One website with 5 pages may have simple functionality, but the next could be very complex that need’s custom code to achieve something.
You want your relationship with your agency to be built around you and your business.
You want every single aspect of your website to be discussed ground up.
Because there will be no package getting in the way, the agency will really need to find out about you and your business in order for them to determine what’s best for you.
This leads to a bespoke website like no other.
Here at Canny, we simply do not use web design packages.
We cater our services around you and your business.
We focus on building healthy long term relationships, from the ground up, with you.
In short, web design packages make it easy to see what you are getting and makes it easy for the agency as they already know what to expect.
However, a good and proper agency that does not use web design packages will do all of the heavy lifting for you, making the whole process a breeze.
You also will not have any surprises halfway through a project, such as realising you have paid for features that you don’t need.
In short, web design packages:
- Force you to purchase the more expensive packages
- Are limited and not flexible (pay for a package just to get one feature, but the other features are not needed)
- Can hurt your brand (generic features)
- Makes the relationship with your agency moulded around the package
What you really want is an agency that has a solid process of building a relationship with you and has a solid web design process that results in totally bespoke websites.