Web Design - A Different Business Model Approach

For various reasons, you may not want to engage a Web Designer to develop your website for you.

Of course, there are a variety of options available to you, from the DIY strategy, to a monthly hosting option, where the hosting company will supply a template, which you can often manipulate yourself.

All options of course, have varying strengths and weaknesses, and of course, I would recommend getting a professional web developer to do your work, but just to give you some of the other options, there are a few notes below.

The fact that they are here, is no indication of their worth or professionalism, and I haven't investigated any of these to a great degree of detail.....   so this article is NOT and endorsement, or recommendation ------  it is just for your information only.



Template Approach - Monthly Fees

Link to discussion on monthly fees:   http://blog.nerdburn.com/entries/tips-for-freelancers/most-people-want-to-pay-monthly-for-web-design

Freshbooks --- monthly invoice provider:  http://www.freshbooks.com/

Build the website using a few fixed templates and charge clients a monthly fee for the site, plus hosting it.


There are a few providers internationally, and some in Australia following this course.

Melbourne IT does it, but I dont think the value to clients is there. Some of their deals are:



  • 3 pages built for you
  • 9/10 sites built in 2 working days
  • 1 email account
  • Free hosting

Small Business Website


  • 3 pages built for you
  • 9/10 sites built in 2 working days
  • 5 email accounts
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Free email marketing tool


eCommerce Website

  • Up to 10 pages built for you
  • 100 email accounts
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Free email marketing tool
  • Online store with unlimited products
  • 25 payment gateways



See the following links:



Design Tips


Web Design Tips

  • One purpose per website!

    Knowing what I know now, I would have built four separate websites, one for each service we offer. Why you ask? Because focusing on more than one topic dilutes your websites purpose and makes it harder to rank in the search engines for all of them. It’s difficult to rank highly for web design, software development, custom databases, mobile phone app development and graphic design all with the one website.

  • One purpose per webpage!

    What action do you want the user to take? Clearly on each of our websites pages you’ll be directed to call or email us. You want to avoid mistakes like selling a product on a page and also have a free opt in list. If this is you, take out the free opt in and watch your sales double! People will often take the free sample and make do.

  • What is the purpose of your website!

    Ask a stranger to view your website and find out what they think the website is about. Have you got important information like your websites purpose below the fold?

  • Keep your page sizes small

    You want your web pages to load fast. Small page sizes mean fast loading. Google likes this as well. Generally people browsing websites are really impatient so it’s important that they don’t have to wait long for your pages to load.

  • Cross browser compatibility.

    Not many customers are aware of this but website browsers can interpret your website differently, specifically in the layout and showing images correctly. Just because Internet Explorer shows your website as you like it, other popular browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Safari might not. You’ve also got to make sure you website works with older versions of those too. So before you hand over your final payment to your web developers, be sure to check your site out on at least IE, Firefox and Safari to see it’s all showing correctly

  • Create your own custom 404 error page.

    When someone accidentally types in the incorrect path to your website, there’s nothing worse than being directed to a standard 404 error page. What I’m talking about is, www.flexi-it.com.au is this website but then you type in www.flexi-it.com.au/software where it should have been http://www.flexi-it.com.au/software-database-development.aspx . If you don’t have a custom 404 error page you’ll arrive at a blank white “The page cannot be found” page with some error information. The page looks nothing like your website and you’re likely to lose that site visitor.

    You can easily replace this page with your own version which, should look like your website, include links to your various pages so they can get to where they intended initially and maybe a google search tool for your site, either way it’s a much more user friendly experience for your site visitor.

    Another scenario were you may be accidently at fault is where you’ve got an external link to one of your internal web pages and you’ve since renamed or removed that file, therefore creating a now broken link. Good web design should include a custom 404 page.

  • Make your image file sizes small. You want your website to load fast, people don’t want to be waiting around for your 1mb picture to load. Compress your image files using tools such as adobe photoshop, you’ll barely notice the difference in quality if any and it will make your web site a more user friendly experience.
  • Don’t have annoying pop ups! Remember to view your website through the user’s eyes, not the site owner. The only pop ups that are acceptable is in cases where the user wants to view the larger version of a thumbnail picture, but of course in this instance that’s what they are expecting and is beneficial.
  • Write your website content so it can be easily skip read. Most people are lazy when it comes to reading web pages. Unless someone is specifically looking for the detail of something your "normal" paragraphs of same coloured, very formal looking text is just not going to be read. You can do things like bold the main points in a paragraph or layout the page so you have your selling points are bigger, like on this page. Writing in bullet point form is also great, it makes it easier for readers to get the facts quickly and if they are interested then they'll read the "normal" boring paragraphs, like this one :)
  • Watch what colours you use. Certain colours trigger certain emotions in people. Red is a colour generally associated with anger / warning etc. Possible not a good choice as a main colour for your web design template unless you're a Fire Hazard Protection type business. Bland colours like beige and grey's are not very stimulating to the senses, if you're a boring government association then maybe you could get away with it. Bright colours stimulate the senses however don't over do it unless you're a clown shop or something :) White as a background I personally feel is great for a family orientated customer friendly website like the major phone and computer brand websites have. Pastels without a bright colour to liven it up can come across to me personally as warm, nurturing.
  • Don't have too many colours. Generally colours are used to sub divide a website into sections or highlight certain text. If you're using too many different colours in the one section it looses its effect, bit of a sensory overload so to speak. Make sure all your pages are easy on the eye, and that your eyes are drawn automatically to the main points your page.
  • Get your point across. Ask someone to view your website and straight away ask them where their eyes focused first. Not where you wanted? No doubt you want certain things about your website you want visitors to notice straight up, usually your selling point. I suggest changing the colours, highlighting, do some bolding, positioning,  change the graphic design, things like that. Then of coarse do the same test again until you get the results you’re after.