WordPress Themes
Sep 27th, 2010 by Leon

I’m pleased to announce a new ‘home’ for all my WordPress related services – www.WPThemes.ie! A sister site to this and Reverb Studios, it features commercial WordPress Themes sales, Custom Theme Design and WordPress Servicing/Updating contracts.

Local Web Design Competition
Jun 15th, 2010 by Leon

I live and work in Leitrim and most of my clients are local. At last count there were about 17 or 18 (that I know of) companies offering Web Design and related services in Leitrim. I feel that’s a lot of competition (or choice if you’re a client!) for such a small area and while none of us are limited to local clients, I’m sure we all have a lot of them regularly.

So what exactly can any of us do? Do we all panic and lower our prices to remain competitive, eventually pricing oursleves out of existence? Do we try to sneakily bad mouth each other or steal each other’s clients? Do we just ignore each other and stick to our own business? I don’t think any of these is ideal. My suggestion would be three fold:

  1. Keep an eye on each other’s services and portfolios and either try to do something different or better.
  2. Communicate with each other and compare talents and client/project experiences for our collective benefit.
  3. Partnerships!

There shouldn’t really be any such thing as bad competition.


Perceived Value in Web Design
Feb 25th, 2010 by Leon

This issue keeps coming up lately, how much to charge for web design services? It seems locally here in Leitrim at least that we are pricing ourselves into the ground with one company doing sites for €99 and another for €14.99 a month. I can’t go that low myself so how can I and others in my industry compete? There’s a thing called perceived value whereby a person shopping for a product or service sees a fantastic price unmatchable by anyone else but gets suspicious at the price. The old saying “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is..”. Also, people might wonder what you could possibly get for so little.

Another issue also crops up for companies that charge so little. They tend to attract clients of lower quality or clients who are happy to pay €99 for a site but want €500 worth of work done! My own method is to keep one eye on the competition, another on trends, another on my perceived value and another on myself and my offering (I know that’s 4 eyes and I don’t wear glasses!). In other words, I try to be competitive with most other similar companies but I’ll never worry about matching the cheapest as I believe my service is second to none.

In summation, its not always necessary to ‘match’ or beat competitiors prices, it’s more subtle than that these days. People will be happy to pay more if they know they will get personal attention and a good service and especially if they’ve been referred by a friend which thankfully is where most of my work comes from anyway.

These companies don’t worry me!


Web Design Costs
Sep 3rd, 2009 by Leon

There’s a lot of competition in the web design sector lately (including in Leitrim) and I’ve seen prices vary all over the place. I’m sure there’s a temptation with some compamies to cash in on market demand and charge a little more but I’ve purposefully lowered my prices from last year because of this recession and just to guarantee getting some work in. I just wanted to mention a few things to be aware of when trying to decide how much is too much for a site.

For a basic brochure site of no more than 5/6 pages, with no online shop or any advanced functionality you will pay a fee depending on whether the designer uses ready made templates and content management systems (as many now do) or whether they design and develop completely from scratch. The latter will be a lot dearer of course. If you pay the latter price but get an obvious template site based on a freely available content management system then you should NOT be happy. Just ask up front if its template based design if its not obvious.

The same applies (but with relative costs) for sites with more advanced functionality such as shopping carts, etc..

PS – Some clients have mentioned to me lately that they were wary of companies charging too little also! Something to do with “percieved value”!

How Much For a Site!?
Sep 2nd, 2009 by Leon

Possibly the most common question I and other web designers get asked and sometimes it can be frustrating if it’s the first question a potential client asks despite the fact that they’ve given you zero indication of what kind of site they want or what they want it to do. Here’s a list of questions your local web designer will probably ask you in response to the above question:

  1. Do you have a web address already?
  2. Do you have web site hosting?
  3. How many pages?
  4. Do you want to sell products?
  5. Do you want Photos, Audio and/or Video included?
  6. Do you need Content Management?
  7. Do you need any other special features?

Preparing answers to these questions in advance will make the job of getting an accurate quote that bit easier.

Leitrim ICT Network
Jun 3rd, 2009 by Leon

I am part of a network of Leitrim based Hi-Tech/IT companies that has recently been formed in Leitrim as an offshoot to Leitrim Enterprise’s Innovate program. The group meets once a month in the Ramada Hotel in Drumshanbo. It is envisaged that we will attempt to work collectively as a “Super Company” to compete for larger national contracts but also to create our own innovative ideas and projects that will benefit the county of Leitrim in some way. New members and project ideas are welcome. Please Contact me or Visit our LinkedIn Group for more information.