1. mark.

    I don’t think it’s that easy to just predict the next 10-20 years of web design. The information technology industry overall is capable of changing it’s direction overnight, and has done so on numerous occasions.

    It actually doesn’t worry me one bit, I’ve been able to benefit from the commercial themes offerings on numerous occasions; as a small firm (my wife and I) we are only capable of taking on so many projects at any given time. The ability to spin out a solution using premium themes and other similar resources has quite often allowed us to take on additional projects (extra income) where we couldn’t have before. That has been a huge benefit to our growth.

    The problem with premium themes is that for every theme out there, there could be anywhere from 1 to 1,000+ sites already using it. People who want to get online quick are loving that. People who want to take the online side of their business a little more seriously don’t want that. There will always be a market demand for custom design and development so long as there is a world wide web.


  2. Joshua 'Red' Russak

    This article is well written and Paul provides more than accurate responses. Well done!

    The fact is simple: There will always be a demand for “One Click” solutions: Page.ly, GraphPaperPress Pro, Weebly, Intuit, Tumblr, SquareSpace…they all make it easier than ever to get a presentable and equally powerful small business website up and running, and their success further proves that the demand for “One Click” solutions exists!

    The secret sauce to “One Click” success lies somewhere between customer service and powerful technology to back it up, further matched with a price that will either make or break the deal. How far you’re willing to go to learn these technologies will define your budget (and overall stress levels for the newb’s looking to learn).

    The future of web-design will be a mix of Themes and Customizations, but the need for innovators will never go away. There will always be a higher level of demand for something beyond the “Template”. Companies with budgets to be innovators will keep the industry alive and there’s no denying that.

    I have to reiterate just how great this article is and I look forward to watching the internet grow and witness the continued exponential growth of small business websites. What will separate one from another? Well, I may have the answer, but that’s an entirely different article all together. WordPress Tavern…feel free to hit me up ;) Until then, keep putting out great work!


  3. Hyder

    I’ve seen my custom client business literally disappear as well. Even those that do attempt to contact stop once they’ve searched around a bit more. Getting clients used to be easier around 12 months ago, but now the industry has literally shifted to the theme marketplaces and there is no end in sight.

    This just means that we, as an industry, need to adapt to the local mom and pop setups that would not mind spending $1k – $5k+ back then but now think $50 is what web design costs.

    The downside is that some people contact you and actually expect $50 – $100 prices for custom jobs!?! Seriously.

    The upside is that you get to build once and re-sell many times more. Which has proved to be quite profitable for a lot of people.

    I still miss the days of creating unique designs for clients though, it used to be quite the rush!


  4. Joshua 'Red' Russak

    Getting clients used to be easier? On the contrary…it’s easier than ever now with custom templates. You can confidently provide customers with exactly what they want to hear: “Affordable, Efficient and Timely”!

    For the average SMB, you can now create a starting budget of $600 for a powerful solution that takes only 8 hours of work, vs having to spend more time and money going back and forth trying to decide on wire-frames…color pallets…slider options…navigation effects. A theme is the ability to already have a mock-up while still on your 1st sales call. I’m happy to say that if you’re market is individuals and small businesses, you’re going to be making a lot more money, shedding stress with a turn around time that is impossible to compete with for what they’re getting in return.

    I’m done commenting. It’s time to customize template and make yet another customer happy with their ‘investment’ :)


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