Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Outsourcing -- Good or Evil?

Outsourcing. Just the word is sure to start a lively discussion. This is true even in the world of web design.

Many small web development companies outsource parts of projects, or even entire projects. This is done when projects need specialized attention, or when the company needs some assistance in times of heavy workload. At HockeyGurl Designs, we have our special sub-contractors that write beautiful content, create fantastic Flash, or whip up a WordPress blog on demand.

The kind of outsourcing we will NOT be involved in, however, is that job outsourcing that sends web design and development work of any kind overseas.

It is everywhere you look; web development services being offered from places like India, Pakistan and the Philippines. Cut rate prices. Less than USA minimum wage in most cases. And I know it is tempting for some to pick up a few virtual web workers at $5 an hour to get some of their projects done.

It won't happen here.

There are those who will say I am bitter, that I have lost large contracts when projects have been outsourced to $5/hr coders in the Philippines. And that might be true. But I am also someone who is passionate about my country, and its economy, and keeping jobs here at home. I will not put a coder or programmer or designer in Arizona or Wisconsin or New Hampshire out of work to send a project to the Far East.

It won't happen here.

So you have a choice. Take a risk with that offshore programmer, hope that you can get your project finished without long time delays, lengthy rewrites, miscommunication problems, and missed deadlines. It might be worth it to you to save a few bucks.

It might.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why do you need a web designer?

There are plenty of software programs out there that small business owners and managers can purchase that can be used to create a website. Additionally, many web hosting vendors offer online tools and templates that can be used to build a site. Why, then, would a business owner consider investing in a professional website design company?

Your website is very often the first thing that customers will see from your business. Therefore, it needs to be an accurate and attractive representation of who you are and what you do. When business owners build their own websites, they are more likely to make mistakes that can tarnish the impression they leave with visitors.


Websites that look great can still be very poorly organized. Most businesses have a lot of information that they can convey to visitors, and that information needs to be organized and structured so that first-time visitors can easily find what they're looking for.

Good site organization usually involves spreading content across multiple pages, creating drop down menus, secondary menus, and good site maps. it also means making sure that the most important information that a business needs to convey is done so in a tasteful, prominent, attention-getting way.

Search Engine Optimization

Optimizing a website for search engines involves more than adding a Meta Tag for some keywords. A website must be structured in a way that allows search engines to easily and correctly index all critical text. Business owners who are not familiar with how search engines work can easily bury text within images, and the use of frames and Flash can essentially kill their site's chances of getting listed.


Business owners that spend time trying to learn web design software and are working on building a website are not focused on their business. Instead of running your business and doing what you do best, you're wasting time learning a skill and investing in expensive and time consuming software that you'll rarely use. Instead, you should be spending your time honing the skills you really need to run your business, and leave website design to the professionals.

Return On Investment

In the end, business owners that try to build their sites themselves receive a poor return on their investment. They spend many hours of their own precious time working on a project and most are unable to achieve the level of results that a professional web design company would. Therefore, the finished website is not as successful as it might have been