Is Web Design becoming a commodity

Commoditization: it happens in industries across the board. Consumers want a service or product they easily recognize for the lowest prices possible. This means that, in the end, it doesn’t always matter where the service or product comes from as long as it is delivered to the customer quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively.

Some believe this is what is happening to web design. While there are many talented designers and development teams out there, more and more people are forgoing the experts. How could this be the case?  There are good reasons for businesses to operate their own websites. 

The rise of DIY Website Builders

A possible answer for why businesses are skipping hiring the professionals could be due to the rise in popularity of DIY website builders.

Wix, Weebly, and WordPress are among the most popular DIY website builders, accounting for 13% of the 1.2 billion websites active in 2017, with 103 million, 40 million, and 15 millionrespectively. 

With these DIY website builders, consumers can now build their own pages exactly the way they want them without any prior coding or design experience all a client really needs to know is how to drag and drop! Additionally, more and more people are learning basic code in school or at work. Even just knowing the basics is more than enough for a potential client to craft their own website using DIY site builders. If they stumble or become stuck, there are plenty of online resources, such as free coding courses or community forums, to help with any questions that may arise.

Why would someone want to pay for something they can easily do themself? This consumer mindset can lead to one of two scenarios: a decline in business for web designers and developers or an irate customer demanding work for less than fair value.

What comes next; is Web Design becoming a commodity?

DIY website builders are only going to gain popularity as time goes on. These platforms are attractive to businesses and clients who want to spend the least amount of money for their websites. Why would they spend thousands of dollars to communicate back and forth with a web designer who may or may not be able to turn their vision into a reality? Many would just take advantage of free or inexpensive resources and do it themselves.

So, does this mean the end for web design? Is web design becoming a commodity, and should web designers and developers pack up their bags, toss their degrees in the trash, and look for other careers? Not necessarily.

While DIY website builders will meet a client’s basic, immediate needs, they are not optimal for cases where a client wants a unique, sophisticated design. Amateurs will likely stick to the pre-made, readily-available designs the DIY builders offer, meaning that there will be a sea of thousands of websites that look exactly the same as each other.

As with anything, if a customer wants a premium service, they can’t just take the quickest and easiest route. Web design isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

We’d love to hear what your thoughts are; is web design turning into a commodity and will digital agencies struggle attracting new business in the coming years? Or will there always be a need for the premium services digital agencies have to offer?

I have been building web applications and other digital products for more then a decade. Currently on an exciting journey discovering the ins and outs of content marketing while growing my newest business. Dedicated to helping digital agencies and entrepreneurs around the world succeed!

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