Web design

Bryn

Doubleplusgood
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
15,878
R10k for a 5-page site, that's 2K per page, still not too expensive if you think about it. This all depends if they really know what they are doing and following the right design process and have experience in UX and user strategies. We've dealt with companies that charge R50k - 100k for a simple online store built with Elementor. These sites are perfectly optimized and running smoothly.

It's really hard to put a price on a website not knowing what the customer wants or what their problem is.

R2k per page is not that bad considering that you are building the page at least 3 times:

1. Wireframe + UX
2. Design
3. Development

A lot of high-end design agencies switch to Elementor since they can basically edit every single element of a website. We do add some custom CSS here and there but it's still way more efficient than coding something from scratch.

This said, if they buy a template for R1000 - 2000 and edit it that would not be worth R10k, Elementor sites are still way more custom if you follow the correct design process but everyone has their different opinions.

I have tremendous experience in this area. Agencies use Elementor because they have no other choice. They can't find competent developers or can't afford them.

Web development is one of the hardest things on the planet to hire for, because degrees don't correlate to skills, experience doesn't correlate to skills and it's difficult for non-developers to know what they're looking for. Hence why it takes bad experiences for agencies and clients to start to get an idea of what they want from a web developer. All the people I work with have been burned - every single one. Web development is a horror show.

There is no such thing as a pixel-perfect, perfectly optimised Elementor website. It doesn't exist, has never existed and never will exist. You will not find a professional web designer who doesn't have to accommodate the limitations of Elementor if that's what they know is on the cards. It does not enable design freedom because the designer must accommodate the abilities of the builder and the available plugins. Most importantly, Elementor and similar builders are such a heavy layer of abstraction between the developer and the codebase that you are forever beholden to the stability, security and compatibility of plugin updates.

As you should know, the latest Elementor update has wrecked sites left, right and centre due to a change to their DOM output. This is not professional service. This is a joke. Elementor and Beaver Builder are great for DIYers who make themselves an alright looking website. Full respect to anyone who does. But if you're being paid as a pro to develop sites, I feel strongly that it is disgraceful to not have genuine skill in this area.

My entire business, in a nutshell, involves approaching marketing firms, SEOs, web hosts and other relevant agencies to offer them the option of outsourcing their web development, web hosting and website maintenence to competent professionals. Leaving them free to focus on their core competencies and not be brought down by the backend of each project.

Guess how many have been interested? Literally every one I have ever approached. And also those I've just casually spoken to. My only limitation is development and design capacity, which I'm slowly increasing (the supreme difficulty of hiring good web developers comes in again here).

These firms are not okay with their janky quality. It's embarrassing. It frequently causes issues with custom requirements. They don't understand why their devs need so many plugins. Why clients struggle to maintain websites. Why the final site doesn't look exactly like the provided web designs. Why they're being told it can't load faster than 2.5+ seconds. And so on. It lets the whole team down. Once they get a presentation of what proper development, hosting and maintenance looks like, they're in. And it actually costs them less rather than more, because they pay the same or less for development and get a cut of monthly revenue.

My entire career is cleaning up the destruction left by non-developer developers. So for that I love them, but I have zero respect for them and won't yield an inch about their merits from a client perspective.
 

Ruan @ Webluno

Webluno Representative
Company Rep
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
74
I have tremendous experience in this area. Agencies use Elementor because they have no other choice. They can't find competent developers or can't afford them.

Web development is one of the hardest things on the planet to hire for, because degrees don't correlate to skills, experience doesn't correlate to skills and it's difficult for non-developers to know what they're looking for. Hence why it takes bad experiences for agencies and clients to start to get an idea of what they want from a web developer. All the people I work with have been burned - every single one. Web development is a horror show.

There is no such thing as a pixel-perfect, perfectly optimised Elementor website. It doesn't exist, has never existed and never will exist. You will not find a professional web designer who doesn't have to accommodate the limitations of Elementor if that's what they know is on the cards. It does not enable design freedom because the designer must accommodate the abilities of the builder and the available plugins. Most importantly, Elementor and similar builders are such a heavy layer of abstraction between the developer and the codebase that you are forever beholden to the stability, security and compatibility of plugin updates.

As you should know, the latest Elementor update has wrecked sites left, right and centre due to a change to their DOM output. This is not professional service. This is a joke. Elementor and Beaver Builder are great for DIYers who make themselves an alright looking website. Full respect to anyone who does. But if you're being paid as a pro to develop sites, I feel strongly that it is disgraceful to not have genuine skill in this area.

My entire business, in a nutshell, involves approaching marketing firms, SEOs, web hosts and other relevant agencies to offer them the option of outsourcing their web development, web hosting and website maintenence to competent professionals. Leaving them free to focus on their core competencies and not be brought down by the backend of each project.

Guess how many have been interested? Literally every one I have ever approached. And also those I've just casually spoken to. My only limitation is development and design capacity, which I'm slowly increasing (the supreme difficulty of hiring good web developers comes in again here).

These firms are not okay with their janky quality. It's embarrassing. It frequently causes issues with custom requirements. They don't understand why their devs need so many plugins. Why clients struggle to maintain websites. Why the final site doesn't look exactly like the provided web designs. Why they're being told it can't load faster than 2.5+ seconds. And so on. It lets the whole team down. Once they get a presentation of what proper development, hosting and maintenance looks like, they're in. And it actually costs them less rather than more, because they pay the same or less for development and get a cut of monthly revenue.

My entire career is cleaning up the destruction left by non-developer developers. So for that I love them, but I have zero respect for them and won't yield an inch about their merits from a client perspective.



100% with you, there's nothing better than coding something from scratch. I've seen a lot of complaints on the official Elementor Facebook page about the new update (has been fixed) but this has not affected any of our sites. It's not like something like this happens every single day - no company or product is perfect...

This is why you should always have a staging environment before making major updates like this. This page is developed with Elementor (we did not build it): https://natifstore.com/

The only crime I can see here is that they are using Messenger for their live chat software. The site is professional and it loads fast.

Elementor does have some restrictions but are they really that bad? You will most probably be able to customize every single element of your site with some custom CSS.

We've looked at possible alternatives and we found Webflow, but when it comes to building online stores you need to make use of third party companies that handle these requests. At the end of the day, it all depends on what your customer needs and what they are willing to spend on their site. If a website is built with Wix or coded from scratch all they care about is how it performs and if it drives them sales.

All I have to say is that Elementor works perfectly for us and our customers, but our opinions will always differ.
 
Last edited:

Bryn

Doubleplusgood
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
15,878
100% with you, there's nothing better than coding something from scratch. I've seen a lot of complaints on the official Elementor Facebook page about the new update (has been fixed) but this has not affected any of our sites. It's not like something like this happens every single day - no company or product is perfect...

This is why you should always have a staging environment before making major updates like this. This page is developed with Elementor (we did not build it): https://natifstore.com/

The only crime I can see here is that they are using Messenger for their live chat software. The site is professional and it loads fast.

Elementor does have some restrictions but are they really that bad? You will most probably be able to customize every single element of your site with some custom CSS.

We've looked at possible alternatives and we found Webflow, but when it comes to building online stores you need to make use of third party companies that handle these requests. At the end of the day, it all depends on what your customer needs and what they are willing to spend on their site. If a website is built with Wix or coded from scratch all they care about is how it performs and if it drives them sales.

All I have to say is that Elementor works perfectly for us and our customers, but our opinions will always differ.

But you will never be sure as to how or when you will be affected. Who's to say the next update doesn't tank the staging site you create to test updates? Then what? You just don't update ever again?

Natif Store is certainly not bad at all, but I'm willing to bet that for that they paid they received trash value for money.

- Difficult for staff to maintain
- A constant need to use the developer for any frontend changes
- Janky experience on mobile with elements jumping around a bit
- Probably plugin city in the backend

It's not just about whether something looks alright. The entire website should be of a professional standard. And that thing won't be. It has massively increased security and compatibility risks, and it won't be easy to maintain by staff if it's anything like every Elementor site I've ever come across. Custom CSS isn't close to enough when it comes to custom development. That's tip of the iceberg stuff.

Webflow has some nice features but the pricing is a total deal-breaker, as well as the commerce restrictions. Basically a non-starter imo for anything serious. And too much risk, putting your eggs in that sort of basket. Also payment processing issues for SA.

Most Shopify, Wix, Squarespace and even Woo stores I've seen locally are junk. So clients are not getting what they hoped for and conversions will suffer horribly. It's heartbreaking to come across people who spent <R10k on their online store, and sales have just about ruined them and they're at the end of their rope. It is usually very obvious why most people would not shop on their site. For a few grand extra they could have enjoyed a bespoke site with a professional dedicated web design process before the development commenced.

And I'm still talking about WordPress btw. All my sites are WP and WooCommerce. Just because crappy themes and page builders are the most common way of using WP doesn't mean the platform isn't infinitely extensible.
 

StrongestAvenger

Active Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
79
But you will never be sure as to how or when you will be affected. Who's to say the next update doesn't tank the staging site you create to test updates? Then what? You just don't update ever again?

Natif Store is certainly not bad at all, but I'm willing to bet that for that they paid they received trash value for money.

- Difficult for staff to maintain
- A constant need to use the developer for any frontend changes
- Janky experience on mobile with elements jumping around a bit
- Probably plugin city in the backend

It's not just about whether something looks alright. The entire website should be of a professional standard. And that thing won't be. It has massively increased security and compatibility risks, and it won't be easy to maintain by staff if it's anything like every Elementor site I've ever come across. Custom CSS isn't close to enough when it comes to custom development. That's tip of the iceberg stuff.

Webflow has some nice features but the pricing is a total deal-breaker, as well as the commerce restrictions. Basically a non-starter imo for anything serious. And too much risk, putting your eggs in that sort of basket. Also payment processing issues for SA.

Most Shopify, Wix, Squarespace and even Woo stores I've seen locally are junk. So clients are not getting what they hoped for and conversions will suffer horribly. It's heartbreaking to come across people who spent <R10k on their online store, and sales have just about ruined them and they're at the end of their rope. It is usually very obvious why most people would not shop on their site. For a few grand extra they could have enjoyed a bespoke site with a professional dedicated web design process before the development commenced.

And I'm still talking about WordPress btw. All my sites are WP and WooCommerce. Just because crappy themes and page builders are the most common way of using WP doesn't mean the platform isn't infinitely extensible.

What's a ballpark figure for a professional WP site, let's say up to 5 pages?
 

Bryn

Doubleplusgood
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
15,878
What's a ballpark figure for a professional WP site, let's say up to 5 pages?

I can't speak for other developers, but for me the page count isn't important. There are 20-page sites that can take 10% of the time as other 5 page sites. It purely comes down to what the requirements are, and whether or not I'm hosting the site versus deploying externally (can be many hours of extra labour).

It's more about complexity. This is a very rough ballpark of my rates:
  • Basic brochure site: R10,000
  • Complex brochure site: R15,000
  • Basic online store: R15,000
  • Middle-of-the-road online store: R20-25,000
  • Complex online store: R25-50,000 (anything can happen here)
All fees include professional web design with PSD files, which is a lot of extra value. And I don't utilise the WordPress theme framework whatsoever - only custom templates. If you host with me you get a custom LEMP stack on an AWS EC2 server, Redis object caching, FastCGI page caching, ModSec WAF, basic developer support, updates, easy control over every nook and cranny of the site and 3 layers of backups. And access to several thousand dollars worth of premium plugins like SEOPress Pro, ACF Pro, MonsterInsights, WooFunnels, FluentCRM, Fluent Forms Pro, Relevanssi Premium, AIO Migration's Google Drive extension, WP All Import, FlyingPress and more. Starting at R250 a month for sites with minimal traffic and increasing reasonably to the point where it makes more sense to just get your own server.

Hit me up if you'd like to chat. Otherwise, I hope the above gives you a comparison to take into other discussions.
 

StrongestAvenger

Active Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
79
I can't speak for other developers, but for me the page count isn't important. There are 20-page sites that can take 10% of the time as other 5 page sites. It purely comes down to what the requirements are, and whether or not I'm hosting the site versus deploying externally (can be many hours of extra labour).

It's more about complexity. This is a very rough ballpark of my rates:
  • Basic brochure site: R10,000
  • Complex brochure site: R15,000
  • Basic online store: R15,000
  • Middle-of-the-road online store: R20-25,000
  • Complex online store: R25-50,000 (anything can happen here)
All fees include professional web design with PSD files, which is a lot of extra value. And I don't utilise the WordPress theme framework whatsoever - only custom templates. If you host with me you get a custom LEMP stack on an AWS EC2 server, Redis object caching, FastCGI page caching, ModSec WAF, basic developer support, updates, easy control over every nook and cranny of the site and 3 layers of backups. And access to several thousand dollars worth of premium plugins like SEOPress Pro, ACF Pro, MonsterInsights, WooFunnels, FluentCRM, Fluent Forms Pro, Relevanssi Premium, AIO Migration's Google Drive extension, WP All Import, FlyingPress and more. Starting at R250 a month for sites with minimal traffic and increasing reasonably to the point where it makes more sense to just get your own server.

Hit me up if you'd like to chat. Otherwise, I hope the above gives you a comparison to take into other discussions.

Thanks. I'd love to see your portfolio if you don't mind. The developers I interacted with so far were not very helpful and their portfolios were just meh.
 
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