Web designers, freelancers and web developers are constantly looking at how to make the next big thing. Sometimes, however, it’s the small things that make a world of difference — like that little bit of functionality your site needs, or the icon that hasn’t been created yet. These are the nuances we need to examine when we’re figuring out how to sell website design.
Every day we come across issues on our own websites, and we’re always looking for ways to remedy them. Sometimes we run into the same issue more than once, so we’re looking at ways we can replicate that fix. It might mean creating a plugin or new framework that seems to fit your builds a lot better.
This is all good, but many people are still wondering how to sell website design. Luckily, it has become easier and easier to get your products and ideas out there, and we’ll go into a few of them below.
How to sell website design: 4 options
Your own website.
Freemium WordPress them.
Let’s dig into each option.
1. Online marketplaces
Whether you are focusing on creating a plugin, a graphic, a theme, or anything else to help make creating a website a little easier, there are a few great marketplaces. These are easy answers when you’re searching for ways to sell website design online. A couple of the larger ones include CreativeMarket and Envato— which we browse on occasion for different plugins.
Adding your products to a marketplace can help get you in front of thousands of eyes belonging to your demographic. However, there are cons to selling your website design or other creative works on marketplace sites.
You’ll have to allow your marketplace to set the price and take a cut of your sale. If you are fortunate enough to sell large quantities, you’ll need to make sure you stay on top of the customer service. If you’re focused on selling a plugin you’ve created, you’ll need to stay on top of plugin updates for a long time to come.
We should always take care of our product, but if it’s really popular you might need to hire someone to maintain it on an ongoing basis.
Another con (if you can call it one) is that you typically have to remain exclusive to a particular marketplace. You’re not allowed to sell the same product on your own or on another marketplace — limiting the visibility of your product. Typically, we’ll see creators build pages on their own sites for a demo, or further explain the plugin or website design. But then they usually link over to the marketplace for the actual sale.
Despite the small downside, the chance to get your website design or other offering in front of thousands of people can really boost your company and provide a nice little bit of income on the side.
If you are a designer by trade but don’t care to dabble much in the world of code, there are still a couple of great ways to get your designs out there. Teaming up with a development agency is how to sell website design to a client, with the agency taking over the heavy lifting. It’s just important to choose a partner agency that will share the same vision and see your design through to the end.
The client expects pixel-perfect design, so we always want to make sure the final product comes out as expected.
The reverse can also be true. At OSC, we’ve worked with creative agencies and branding specialists who want to do just that — brand a business. They take care of the design documentation and specifications, while they hand over the design to us.
We always love working with creative agencies as they have that clear vision I mentioned earlier. They see the overall goals, and spend a great deal of time getting the vision translated into a beautiful design for the client. It can be easy to view other designers and developers as competition, but if you are able to work together for the greater good, everyone prospers because of it.
3. Your own website
This might sound obvious, but examining how to sell web design online means looking in the mirror. Going from an unknown to an established brand can take patience, careful planning and diligent work. It’s important to put together a website you’re proud of.
Make it stand out if you’re wondering how to sell website design.
Create a portfolio that reflects past work, and make sure to do a writeup on each piece. It’s important to show the potential customer why you chose to do things a certain way. Were you going for a retro look? Were you solving a problem with a plugin? What did you do that is different from everything else out there, and why should they purchase from you?
4. Freemium WordPress theme
The freemium model has taken off over the past four to five years, especially for WordPress themes and plugins. When you create a WordPress theme, you should submit a free version to the WordPress Theme Directory. This is a great way to get your name or business in front of millions of people
From there, you can create another version of the same theme, or use a plugin, to unlock the “pro” features. (For example, the free GeneratePress theme has a Premium upgrade, and the free Make theme has Plus and Professional versions.)
Whether it’s a product or a service, there are plenty of ways to get the word out. I’d recommend always setting up your own website first, so you can at least advertise your portfolio. You never know, but getting these products out on the market will most likely lead to other things.
Looking for more advice from other web professionals? Ask your questions and share your experiences in the GoDaddy community.