I’ve never been clear what title I should give myself, but I guess Web Designer will do. This is in reference to Mahangu’s Paperboy post, so I wanted to keep some symmetry. I design websites. I’ve actually only being doing it for a year, but nobody asks and I’m OK at it. What I do is professional work that bring tangible benefits to my clients – be it community or donations or simple publicity. Some of the sites actually make money, and they all provide Return-On-Investment in some form.
Second, even though what I do involves the use of free software, my services are not free. I care about the design of the sites I do and I spend time on them, hours of time. I care about people being able to update and control their own sites and I spend hours training them. I do stuff with the free software that other people can’t do, hence in a market it makes sense that I get paid for giving them something they don’t have. Furthermore, I’ve seen quotes from Sri Lankan designers, and my rates are lower than theirs and (with the exception of Vesess) my product is better. It confuses me that people will pay $2000 for a computer only they look at, and refuse to pay $500 for a website that represents their company to the world. Actually, here’s an excerpt from Mahangu which says it better:
Hello world, let me tell you something. Writing is my job. I’m a professional writer. I write for my living. Just like you practice law, or medicine, or design buildings, or balance accounts. I write for my living. Would you balance books free of charge? Just as a favour of course. Would you design a house for a friend, on a Sunday evening? Would you? No. That’s work for you right? Well this is work for me.
Web Design is work for me. If you don’t think a good website is worth paying for then don’t contact me. Do it yourself. You can.