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Hiring a freelance web designer is also a way to ‘shop local’

You know that person that always shops local? They never step foot into a big box store. They buy all their food at farmer’s markets even in February in the midwest. Except you know that’s completely insane, because at some point it’s 3 a.m., you’re regretting that chimichanga you ate for dinner, and Wal-Mart is the only thing open that sells Pepto Bismol.

And much to the chagrin of small towns everywhere, shopping at your Wal-Mart is not “shopping local”.

But shopping local is expensive. Sure you can get some great stuff you can’t get anywhere else, but there’s also a lot of commodity stuff, like candles and cutting boards. Most people want *just* a candle.

Same is true for web designers. I see it a lot here in Indianapolis. People hire a freelance web designer because they have a little money, but not a lot of money, and they want something higher up than a Wix or Weebly site and more affordable than some big 50-person agency that caters to large enterprises.

Most people are in the middle, and everyone likes nice things. But they also appreciate a good value, which is where a lot of local products start to fail. It’s not because they’re not good, but sometimes a $10 difference in the price of soap is hard to ignore. It’s soap, it’s not like it’s going to be handed down through generations.

There are no big-box web design retailers, so hiring anyone is a defecto form of shopping local. Though there are plenty of big agencies, especially in California and New York, and even here in our native Indianapolis.

Hiring a freelancer or small web team is a lot like hiring a plumber. It’s probably cheaper than national brands, more reliable than hiring through a contract with Lowe’s or Home Depot, and you get to keep money in your local economy.

Plus, when’s the last time your local Wal-Mart manager invited you to lunch?

So before you signup for that Wix or Weebly account, try contacting a web shop first. It’ll be good for everyone.

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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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