In the late 90’s to early 2000’s very few people had any idea how to get a website up and online. A lot of web developers popped up and they charged a lot for building websites. As a friend once put it, he was tripping over $10,000 checks to cash $20,000 checks. It was a boom.
Around 2008 when I started freelancing a huge amount of my projects were building websites. But lately as an agency, we don’t really build websites as a standalone service. The reason is most people don’t need an agency to have a great website.
Building a website in 2019 is fairly easy. A lot of drag and drop site builders exist (fair warning some are really bad) but… Between the good site builders and open source CMS’s, like WordPress, Ghost, Jekyll and Drupal most people can have fast and reliable websites without breaking the bank. And with many thousands of well made themes that website will look nice, be mobile friendly and can be customised to the point it’s unique.
While I think many of the site builders are overpriced when compared with using WordPress on cloud hosting, they are (most of the time) cheaper than hiring anyone to build your website. If you’re really frugal you could build a static site and host it free on Github or GitLab. My point is a lot of roads lead to a good website.
We still build websites frequently, last year the team launched at least 30 websites and many hundreds of landing pages. But unless the project was something requiring extensive custom code or other knowhow, like a large ecommerce or membership site these were almost always part of other work. We often end up rebuilding websites when we are doing SEO, PPC or an other marketing service.
Of the few times in the last 18 months when our main contract was for building a website, what we were really doing was branding, foundational SEO, and content writing. Web development still has a big seat at the marketing table, but no one should be without a good website because some agency quoted them an obscenely high price.
Mason Pelt is the founder of Push ROI, and helps brands with video production and YouTube management strategy.