I used to think it was all right for a web designer to submit a quotation for a website which listed what was to be done and how much it would cost. Now, with opportunities for revenue, or at least for cost recovery, such as Google Adsense and banner ads (I know, they ‘don’t work any more’, but bear with me), I believe that any web designer who wants to stay in business should look seriously at including some ideas on revenue, along with the costings.

That pre-supposes the designer will know what she or he is talking about.

What’s brought this on? Well, this morning an email arrived from the management committee for an investment property in a large complex. There was a quote attached for a new website. For reasons too boring to recount, we resisted the inclination to say, why not have a blog, at much less cost, instead of this fancy pants website? But we did suggest that the committee and the designer look at some cost recovery through, say, Google Adsense.

The designer was obviously on the email distribution list, because an email flashed back, commencing with the following paragraph:

‘Google Adsense is good for driving visitors to your website but it is at a cost. Generally those who list in the Adsense categories have websites where products or services can be purchased.’

No, that’s Google Adwords you’re thinking of. And you want to charge us over a thousand dollars for the site?

The statesman Clemenceau famously said that war is too important to be left to generals. Is web design too important to be left to web designers?

And to be fair to web designers, clients sometimes (often?) don’t really brief them clearly on why they want a website, what they hope to achieve from it, or what design parameters are to be set. But isn’t it in the designer’s long term interest to educate the client about those things?


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