Not being able to offer website design as a part of your business can feel like it’s holding you back. You can take on clients for amazing branding projects, but once it comes time for their website to be created, you have to refer them away.
Krista here! We don’t think your coding skills (or lack of desire to code in the first place) should dictate what kinds of design services you can offer your clients, so today we’re going over 3 ways you can offer website design when you don’t know how to code.
Option 1: Learn to code
Your first option is to learn to code. I went to school for 5 years to learn all about coding and software engineering and we’re definitely not saying you should do that. However, there are a lot of great resources out there like CodeAcademy and Treehouse where you can get an amazing start on your coding skills for little or no cost.
- You can offer custom website designs to your clients
- You have full control over your projects
- You don’t have to be limited by the available Squarespace and WordPress templates
- It’s just you and your client that you have to worry about managing
- Not many web designers also offer custom coding
- It’s a big learning curve and will take you several months (at the least) to master
- Coding can be frustrating, no matter how good you get at it
- Offering development services yourself will take time away from what you could otherwise spend on branding and design
Option 2: Create your offerings to not require coding
With all the technology and the different platforms available today, there are a lot of ways you can offer websites to your clients without having to code.
A few ways we talked about doing this in the episode include using Squarespace templates, buying WordPress themes, or using page-builders like Divi or Beaver Builder (affiliate). You’ll definitely want to tune in and listen to Kory talk about how we’ll automatically shed a tear each time someone new starts using Divi.
- You can offer websites to your clients
- You have control over your projects and don’t have to manage anyone extra
- Still can’t offer custom website designs and what you can do is limited
- Not all clients are a good fit for Squarespace or the pre-made WordPress templates out there
- Page-builders, like Divi, will leave shortcodes all over if your client decides to switch themes later on
Option 3: Work with a developer
Last, and my personal favorite, you can team up with a developer to offer fully custom websites and ongoing support to your clients. With this, you have full control over you design and pass your Illustrator or Photoshop files off to a developer once you’re done. They’d then take care of brining your design to life in the form of a custom website.
- You can focus all your time and energy on design and don’t have to worry about coding and tech
- You have time to get a good start on a new branding or web design project, if not fully finish one, while your developer is working on coding a custom website
- You have full control over your designs and don’t have to limit your creativity
- You can be confident that the website is coded correctly
- Collaborations between designers and developers are a blast
- You’ll likely have to raise your prices by hundreds or even thousands of dollars (Kory mentioned that her prices doubled once she started including my development in her packages)
- It can be intimidating to pass your files over to a developer
Which option should you start with?
We both agreed that if you’re just getting started with website design, that your best option is to start by taking existing themes and templates and tweaking them for your clients. This will help you get used to the overall process and become familiar with the standards you’ll see with most websites.
However, we also agreed that if you’ve offered some sort of website design in the past and design is your favorite part of the project, that working with developer is likely the best option for you. To learn more about working with a developer, check out my free email series on getting started!
- If you’re not currently offering website design, take some time to think about whether that’s the direction you want your business to take. Do you want that additional offering or are you happy with what you current do for your clients?
- If website design is something you want to offer, review the three options we talked about today and take action on the one that will be the best for you and your clients.