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Designing vs. Redesigning a Website

I’ve made a breakthrough in determining what the best kind of client is: it’s those getting a website redesign.

I’ve had two clients recently fall off the face of the earth because they were starting a business fresh and needed a website. I had another person call me from Muncie, Indiana the other day claiming he had invented a new detachable sound-proof wall. He sounded almost desperate in his plea for a website and only offered 40% of his profits. Sorry, but I can’t pay my light bill with hopes and dreams.

I’m sympathetic to that, sure, but people looking to start a business often have two problems:

  1. They’re really tied up in a lot of nitty details and everything is extremely important to them.
  2. They have no money, so if the site doesn’t magically make a million dollars overnight, it’s (somehow) my fault.

For some reason, people know that when they start a business, like a restaurant, they’ll have staff costs, they have to buy plates, food, glasses, silverware, tables, etc. Just because your business is going to operate mostly or completely online doesn’t mean you won’t have costs. Don’t think that because a business is online that it’ll be free or super cheap.

The best clients are those looking for a website redesign. They already have an established website that, while not good or just outdated, they’re not happy with it for some reason. So, now I know what not to do. Generally, it’s because the prior developer flew the coop and they’re sitting ducks.

Redesigning a website for a business usually means they have some cash flow, they can afford it and won’t be haggling over how to get a website for $200 and they have an understanding of their market – something new businesses and startups don’t have.

Redesigning a website is also easier because we can use the existing content as a guide and can tweak it accordingly since we’ll have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. The most satisfied and best clients I’ve worked with are usually people redesigning a site. If only I could find a way to work solely as a “website flipper”, I’d leap at the opportunity.

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Photo of Justin Harter


Justin has been around the Internet long enough to remember when people started saying “content is king”.

He has worked for some of Indiana’s largest companies, state government, taught college-level courses, and about 1.1M people see his work every year.

You’ll probably see him around Indianapolis on a bicycle.

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