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    One of my biggest gripes has to be design agencies that use premium themes for client sites. Now perhaps it’s warranted during busy times and for smaller clients, but I can’t help but feel like it’s wrong. I’d prefer building a theme from scratch.

    Buying a theme for $46, making a few minor changes and adding in content is just too easy, and I wouldn’t be proud to add them to my portfolio. But perhaps the average Joe wouldn’t have a clue if it was a theme or not until you see someone else with the same site. I guess they are paying for your expertise. But charging them 2k plus to do that seems a bit extreme.

    What are your thoughts? In certain circumstances do you feel it’s acceptable?



    I would feel it’s perfectly acceptable if that’s what the client needs.

    Figuring out what the client actually needs requires a lot of research and time spent iterating. You also need to know how much money the client can spend on their project.

    If you want to do a full copper repipe, and the client can only afford the plastic pipe patch, you give them the plastic pipe patch.

    I don’t think charging $2k for this is a problem, but that’s about what I would charge to do that myself. I wouldn’t just be setting up a site with a theme, I’d be helping them with the full spectrum of what they need to do to get a website up and running.


    I like @shaneisme’s take on this, you need to take their budget into consideration and work on the full spectrum of the project.

    You want to maximize value for your client with the budget at hand. If using a template is good enough and you can focus on just the tweaks that will make the site more effective for their needs, then they will be much happier.

    If you designed it from scratch but didn’t have time to really focus on what was important to them, like getting new leads, then it won’t be as successful.

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