Is The Web Designer Job Still Worth It?

CleanWater

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Starting from the MV, the engine started to use HTML5 with Javascript and such, which means that yes, maybe we still have room for web development, but I wanted to ask my fellows here, who either work on this area or may be looking for a professional, their thoughts about this job.

Is it still worth to work with this? Can you get a decent amount of customers?

My main issue is that everyone I knows doesn't seem to have money to hire a web designer, besides, competing with site builders and CMS (like Word Press and others) seems to be a bit pointless for me. In theory, even if someone wants to create a Word Press site, I can customize it and even add some extra functionalities with custom code, but them, we have themes and plugins that already do it as well.

For short, the scenario is:
1 - Hello, I'm a Web Designer that can create a perfect site for you, for a price!
Versus
2 - We are a big company that let you create your own site with our tools very cheap! No need to know programming!!

I would like to hear from you, your experiences and/or thoughts about this.
 

JohnDoeNews

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"When the product is free, you are the product." Have you ever heard that phrase? That is true here as well.

When you use a free service with free tools to make a free website, then the company offering you all that free awesomeness, is making money with your website one way or another. Actually, they make the money just one way: Cookies!

When you use a free service (like I use Blogger by Google) then the company behind it uses cookies to collect some amount of data about your visitors. This data is mostly about what kind of sites they visit and what kind of things they search for in search engines.

This info is very valuable for companies that offer ads (like google). When a company can show you the right ad, you are more likely to buy what is advertised.

So that is the "price" you pay for free services like blogger or worldpress. And this is something you do not have to deal with when you are (hiring) a webdesigner.

---

To answer your question more concretely: Is it still worth it to become a webdesigner?
Yes... Yes it is. Companies with a fully functional website can't really use those free services. Lets take Coca Cola for example. When you visit CocaCola.com (if that is even a real URL), it wouldn't be very professional if they use worldpress.

So companies do still hire webdesigners. It is the amateurs who just try to make an extra buck with their hobby that use the free stuff. You and I won't hire a web designer, but nike and adidas and pepsi and nestle and nokia and mercedez and... and... they all still use professional web designers.
 

ATT_Turan

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I agree with JohnDoeNews. I don't know what your point of comparison is, but for the grand part, the people who are not paying Web designers because they're using WordPress are the people who weren't paying Web designers because they were using FrontPage or sites by hand back in the day.

I don't think there's any significant difference, percentage-wise, in the amount of business you (don't) get from that category.

There might be a little bit of creep into some very small mom-and-pop businesses who have a site like that, but for the most part, any company's site that I look at is not on freebie WordPress.
 

Andar

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It also depends on how you define the job of a webdesigner.

if you define that as coding and writing HTML for a website, then there is a downside and those kinds of web designer are indeed getting less work, exactly because most websites are no longer written by hand.

However the part that has become even more important is the design part - knowing how an UI works, knowing what colors go together, knowing what looks good for the type of customers a website wants and so on.
That is what companies still pay for, it's just that the code is the smallest part of it.
 

Mushi

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Just to add my little bit of info here. I have two older brothers who are web devs for a company. They work remote for the same company and each one makes around 90k salary, but keep in mind they are full stack devs which means they don't only code the looks of the site but make custom plugins and functionality and do some server stuff I think. Companies still want this stuff, and the big ones will pay a lot for it.

it's just that the code is the smallest part of it

Actually I heard the designers make less than the programmers, but maybe it's not always like that.

Edit: Oops is it weird to talk about people's pay like that?
 
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Arthran

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Actually I heard the designers make less than the programmers, but maybe it's not always like that.

You are correct. Generally speaking, web developers earn quite a bit more than web designers do. In the US, it's roughly a $30K difference in salary on average. Businesses very much still need programmers. It's designers that are more replaceable, since you can easily just grab a nice looking template from Template Monster or something. Then there's also the fact that the former is usually required to have a Bachelor's degree minimum, whereas the latter isn't. Higher job qualification requirements often mean higher compensation.

Another thing I'll mention is that businesses also use web applications internally, rather than just for their public websites. Most businesses use different applications for their employees to perform various functions, and it's becoming a lot more common for those applications to be web applications. So web developers are very much in demand.
 

JohnDoeNews

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since you can easily just grab a nice looking template from Template Monster or something.
Not big companies. Maybe a 1 man business or a family store or a home-ran web shop, but not a law office or a brand of underwear. Templates are for the little man and the amateurs. Like us. :p (Although even I wouldn't use a template. I rather have a cheap looking self made theme then a template.)

For most companies, the website is their business card. They want their website to be according to company theme and most of all unique.

What makes the designers vulnerable is the fact that once a design is done, it's done. Programmers might be needed way after the website is released, but the main design of a website doesn't change too often.

So the designers (the ones that are not also developers) need to find different clients all the time, while a developer can stay at 1 and the same client for many years.

---

Since OP talks about HTML5 games, I think they are actually talking about web development, though. Not about web design. Things like worldpress and the tools used to make those sites mainly replace the developer, not actually the designer.
 

Arthran

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Not big companies. Maybe a 1 man business or a family store or a home-ran web shop, but not a law office or a brand of underwear. Templates are for the little man and the amateurs. Like us. :p (Although even I wouldn't use a template. I rather have a cheap looking self made theme then a template.)

For most companies, the website is their business card. They want their website to be according to company theme and most of all unique.

What makes the designers vulnerable is the fact that once a design is done, it's done. Programmers might be needed way after the website is released, but the main design of a website doesn't change too often.

So the designers (the ones that are not also developers) need to find different clients all the time, while a developer can stay at 1 and the same client for many years.

---

Since OP talks about HTML5 games, I think they are actually talking about web development, though. Not about web design. Things like worldpress and the tools used to make those sites mainly replace the developer, not actually the designer.
Not big companies. But over 99% of businesses in the US are considered small businesses, so there is most certainly a market for templates. Though a lot of people actually use them without knowing it. It's not an uncommon practice for a small business to hire somebody to make a site for them, and then for that person to turn around and buy a template and then edit it slightly.
 

JohnDoeNews

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But there is a problem... Most small businesses do not have budget for real web designers.

And designers who sell templates as if it is their own work, are just scammers in my eyes.

But I guess that is what they pay for. That is the difference between a $200 design and a $2000 design. You can't expect a 100 hour job for $200 bucks.
 

ATT_Turan

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And designers who sell templates as if it is their own work, are just scammers in my eyes.
That doesn't seem entirely fair...they're still performing a service their client can't do on their own.

Is my car mechanic scamming me because they didn't make the new part with their hands?

But I guess that is what they pay for. That is the difference between a $200 design and a $2000 design.
Exactly, just like any other service. You get the level of professionalism and skill that you pay for.
 

CleanWater

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Since OP talks about HTML5 games, I think they are actually talking about web development, though. Not about web design. Things like worldpress and the tools used to make those sites mainly replace the developer, not actually the designer.

When I mentioned the Web Designer job, I was with the Front End development in mind (which also includes the Web Design part of any site). Back End development is on the server side, but the Front End also includes some web applications (like the Browser Games we develop so easily with RPG Maker MV).

The system for a store of any sort, with the pages for each product, a cart and the checkout page is also part of the Front End development, as an example. The same goes for this forum itself, a Front End application. The idea is for me to provide such things to customers, based on their needs.
 

JohnDoeNews

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That doesn't seem entirely fair...they're still performing a service their client can't do on their own.

Is my car mechanic scamming me because they didn't make the new part with their hands?

Oh ah. Yeah the way you said it first, it seemed like:
They download, they change a few things like the color scheme and then they call it their own work. Like a 5 minute craft. Something the end user could easily do themselves.

When you use a free template, then you are supposed to mention the template at the bottom (or anywhere, but the foot is the most logical) of your site. Much like we give credit to the artists of our graphics.

When I mentioned the Web Designer job, I was with the Front End development in mind (which also includes the Web Design part of any site). Back End development is on the server side, but the Front End also includes some web applications (like the Browser Games we develop so easily with RPG Maker MV).

The system for a store of any sort, with the pages for each product, a cart and the checkout page is also part of the Front End development, as an example. The same goes for this forum itself, a Front End application. The idea is for me to provide such things to customers, based on their needs.
Oh right. Yeah, then my answer is still the same. The more professional companies still hire people for that.
 

eomereolsson

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Another point: with all the cloud based, work anywhere with minimal setup, etc trends a lot of traditionally desktop applications are moving to website-like setups. Therefore a lot of software companies are looking to hire (or contract as freelancers if that is more your style) front end developers with a web background.
 

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