Will the credit crunch affect web designers?

During the middle of last year with the credit crunch in full swing the effect on web designers was arguably neglible, indeed most web designers and design agencies were busier than ever.

It looked like property and property developers would take the main brunt with web design appearing to be recession proof.

With companies collapsing and daily redundancies, it looks like nothing will be spared an ever deepening recession, and many web designers and agencies will suffer.

In the last couple of months I’ve personally seen a significant downturn in the number of software products that I would sell to the US market and the amount of customisation requests has dried up.

I’ve had customers bail out and seek the services of the local diy web designer who can do it all for free or next to nothing.

Redundancies within businesses and points of contact losing their jobs have lead to disruption with long-term SEO campaigns.

Businesses that would post content on their site or have it updated once a fortnight now only want to have it updated once every month.

New projects have been put on the back burner with the old website lingering on and new investment and funds being shelved.

Businesses have cut back on their advertising spend, and new clients want more bang for their buck.

Enquirers are looking for smaller more affordable solutions and are naturally risk adverse.

Interesting I’ve also noticed a significant increase in calls and leads from more web savvy people that wanted their website SEO’d rather than a design.

Don’t get me wrong there’s still an awful lot of web development work and opportunities out there though and the sector might not get the worse of things but it’ll be interesting to see how things continue into 2009.

Have you noticed or felt the effects either in web design/development, SEO or PPC?



3 Responses to “Will the credit crunch affect web designers?”

  1. Dave JordanNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Michael

    It’s hard to get the truth from people these days. Phrases like “ticking over”, “keepin the head down” are flying about but in actual fact many businesses are really struggling. We have seen over 30 businesses close in our small town of Gorey in Wexford and that’s just the ones we know about cause we did their websites. We have seen a greater push in rural Ireland to returning to traditional guerilla marketing campaigns with flyer drops and more rubbish being pushed through our letter boxes.

    People are still starting new businesses and setting websites, many are updating their existing ones, but of course they all want the “special offer” and we tell them well pay and you won’t get cut off!

    General hits on sites took a down turn from the 15th Dec to the 15th January but now nearly all are back on track to their normal rate depending on the website topic etc

  2. MichaelNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Dave,
    Since I wrote the article leads have increased dramatically since Nov/Dec last year. Like you pointed out Clients are definitely looking for more for their money.

  3. e-creation.euNo Gravatar Says:

    It’s interesting that people are talking about value for money, because at the end of the day, it’s purely about value itself. The amount of money that is spent, is irrelevent, if that spending delivers value (e.g. profit), that this is where larger design & creative agencies seem to have lost their way in recent years.

    We have experience of many agencies who supposedly ‘deliver added value’, when in fact all they do is take someone else’s work and put a markup on it. They may have invested more in their marketing to won contracts and clients BUT they do not actually add value to the website or digital communications product itself. There are, naturally, exceptions to this, where larger creative or technial agencies are bringing brilliant creative direction or unique technical insight & guidance … but not often, in my experience.

    For this reason, smaller, more cost-effective agencies are seeing a boom – and we are seeing that across design and digitial agencies in Dorset. I can say that rather un-PC statement in the current credit crunch market because in addition to running a digital design agency, around a third of my good friends run small (under 10 employees) creative & website design agencies.

    I genuinely believe that the credit crunch is an amazing opportunity for the smaller website design or creative agency.

Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced web developer based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own web design company.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 923383 or use the contact form.

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