Different Website Designers

You may think that every web designer is the same, they have a job to do to create you a website or to pick a template and do all the technical stuff you don’t want to do or find it too hard.

It may surprise you that there are at least 11 different agencies to understand especially if you’re looking at getting a new website built that will be effective. Of course I’m biased with which one’s are the best but it often comes down to their company structures and experiences. Naturally, you can say the same for any business from the local flower shop to the car mechanic that specialises in Volvo’s.

Let’s review a list of 10

  1. The IT Entrepreneur
  2. The Graphic Designer
  3. The Brand strategist / Business entrepreneurs
  4. The All in one Shop
  5. The SEO agency
  6. The Development Agency
  7. The Backyard guy/girl
  8. The SquareSpace/Wix Enthusiast
  9. The Best Practice Accessible standards
  10. The Niche agency
  11. The Enterprise / Government agency

That’s a lot of different style setups from here. We’re going to go into the cons and pros of each of the above and figure out which one is right for you. We’ll also look at their strategies to onboard new clients and look at their frustrations and tools.

The IT Entrepreneur

IT Guy Counting his hosted sites

One that resonates with me as my background is university qualified IT. These guys see an opportunity to make money and support a client’s online needs.

Finding one: Very Easy

Tool of choice: Email/Phone/Person to person –

Strategy to get work: Security line where they already have domain/dns/email. Customer sees the website as a technical thing and not a valuable marketing tool.

Frustrations: web designers managing technical area’s and going awol.


  • Security
  • Email
  • All aspects of technical know how. You trust these guys because they know what you don’t do when it comes to computer and IT.


  • Most likely will outsource the hosting and charge a premium on top
  • Don’t know enough about the website they manage unless they’ve built it. “Licensing, for example, at the application layer is not their problem”
  • Something’s broken – again, not their problem. It’s a developer who’s needed.
  • They don’t consider strategy or messaging to be as important as a functioning site.
  • Often run a team where one of the team knows something about websites while the rest are across Microsoft 365 and other tools that make money.

What gets them out of bed? Building a sustainable business model

The Graphic Designer

I like to call these guys graphic designers instead of web designers because their focus is so much on the visual graphic side of things that often it blinds them to business objectives. Every second blog you’ll read has “web designers” as strategist or web developers but it’s a purist role to be directed by a project manager or account manager to create a design based on information provided. I like to flip this because of the inherent psychology traits that are typical around designers. They can be as nerdy as developers and just as hard to communicate with.

Finding one: Very Easy (cheap)

Tool of Choice: Illustrator if they’re old school, Adobe XD or Figma at best

Strategy to get work: Portfolio and word of mouth.

Frustrations: Web developers changing their beautiful designs or not doing them justice.


  • Beautiful graphics and professional products
  • Good at colour and psychological reasoning
  • Detail orientated layouts, font usage and style
  • Creativity = stealing ideas from lots of different places and being good at putting it together


  • Limited ability to put the product together as a website
  • Limited ability to run their own life
  • Timelines don’t really apply to them
  • Money and time is inconsequential as long as you get the best possible product
  • Build websites so that they look like their design but rarely consider what happens afterwards with maintaining content.

What gets them out of bed?

Seeing their own work around the community and feeling like they’ve had an impact on society

The Brand Strategist / Business entrepreneurs / Coach

Finding one: Very easy, they’re always waving their flag on LinkedIn (expensive)

These guys are very flamboyant in their approach usually, you know who they are in the community, they are loud and proud of who they are with lots and lots of confidence. They are often well thought out in their approach, analytical and detail orientated. They are most closely related to the IT entrepreneur and have similar aspirations to build a business.

Strategy to get work: Their enormous mouth and ego

Frustrations: Not having any skills to do anything other than talk up themselves to the customer.


  • They have wonderful vision and know your goals
  • They will put together a strategy well
  • Will get resources and leverage others to do the work


  • It will typically be more expensive.
  • There will be delays because they don’t have the skills themselves.
  • They will always put themselves first and never consider asking permission from the client.
  • Often burn their resources out due to being the second customer in the providers relationship.

What gets them out of bed: Ego, self image

The All in one Shop / Web Design Agency

An All in one Media Agency Wagga

Finding one: Medium

We don’t have many of these in rural Australia and if we do then theirs usually a missing piece of the puzzle if they say they do something they may very well outsource the work.

Tool of choice: SemRush or HREFs, Figma, Visual Studio, Cloudways, AWS

Strategy to get work: Portfolio and word of mouth, the fact they are big and can manage bigger clients

Frustrations: Freelancers cutting corners and charging what they consider too much money


  • You don’t need to go anywhere else to get that logo designed or that website hosted
  • Your billing is all in one and can be cheaper than spreading it across multiple providers
  • Each area can take into careful consideration of the next such as what strategy is applied to the website is also relevant in SEO


  • Typically, they will be better in one area than others
  • More expensive than going to separate areas and building it yourself
  • Run by people that only understand business and resources and do not have a personal approach. You’re a number

The SEO Agency

Again, it’s rare to find these in regional areas of Australia, the SEO agency is focused on results for their customer. They want ot apply best practice to messaging for conversion and to leverage emotions in customers to take action.

Finding one: Hard in regional Australia

Strategy to get work: Door knocking those they know are in competitive areas and are desperate for work

Frustrations: Designers not taking head to their own pitch that they know about strategy, keywords and ignoring all of that when they upload their 20Mb image.


  • Results driven
  • Focus can be on an improved product which can be at odds with design and development
  • Very strategy driven


  • Retainer based so expensive per month regardless of results
  • Often outsourced to the Phillipines
  • It’s a black art that nobody including them to understand the changing environment

The Development Agency

This is of course my favourite because I’m at heart a developer, so bear that in mind as I go through the detail here. I will say that most developers like to work on their own and aren’t great at communicating.

Finding one: Medium

Strategy to get work: Word of mouth, networking local business events, portfolio is difficult because it’s visual

Frustrations: Web designers coming up with new ideas that take hours and aren’t factors into the project spend. Developers get burnt with time overspend and the customer doesn’t care about the fact it took longer because the designer used some aspect that needed more time and effort.


  • Well thought out, analytical and detail driven
  • Clear goals and expectations
  • Technically capable, these guys are like the IT entrepreneurs


  • Less of a focus on strategy and goals for a website
  • Will leverage templates typically for design
  • Will spend loads of time on those things that a customer can’t see or rarely cares about, such as site performance. They are super important, but the customer would prefer to spend time on something visual.

What gets them out of bed: New technology and the tools they use every day and trying to be more and more efficient and improving code.

The Backyard guy/girl who knows web design

Everyone starts somewhere and for some it’s in this area where they have a full-time job but then do some web design on the side. This could be someone who simply goes for SquareSpace or Wix as a starter or they don’t mind getting their hands dirty with code. If they are designer type, they will probably lean towards Squarespace or Wix.

Tool of choice: Could be anything here but think more likely SquareSpace

Strategy to get extra work: Word of mouth, friends, colleagues

Frustration: The fact they can’t charge as much as some agencies and seem to produce the same product.


  • Cheap compared to a commercial, but maybe not overly so
  • They have a passion to work in this area if it’s hobby they enjoy it
  • They are open to anything providing money is involved


  • Limited capability
  • Slow
  • Won’t be around long term if they use SquareSpace or Wix for ongoing support plans

What gets them out of bed: Money

The SquareSpace/Wix enthusiast

I will not lie and if you’ve read my other blogs, I’m extremely anti these platforms because it kills a maintainable income stream by transferring the support to a large industry enterprise that provides lots of how to articles or do it yourself solutions.

Tool of choice: SquareSpace

Strategy to get extra work: Portfolio, word of mouth

Frustration: Technical know how and when SquareSpace css get’s involved.


  • Cheap and quick to get started
  • Loads of great looking templates for customers to choose from
  • Low technical knowledge almost non-exist required so the person can focus on design or strategy


  • Long term slower to develop on
  • Every template site looks the same
  • The person running projects enjoys a burst of income on and off as they finish projects without consistent revenue they risk burnout.

What gets them out of bed? Making beautifully designed websites and being the hero to their customers

The best practice, maintainable and web accessibility standards guy/girl/agency

I wouldn’t say I stand firmly in this camp, but it’s definitely an area that I would lean more towards compared to others.

Tools of choice: Figma, Bricks Builder

Strategy to get additional work: Portfolio, word of mouth

Frustration: poor developers using poor builders like Elementor or worse SaaS platforms like SquareSpace & Wix


  • Long-term savings, often focused on results and strategy as well as function. Clear messaging etc.
  • Technically capable of anything
  • Great customer service and knows what works across development, SEO and operations. Because this type of business is technical, they often run their own sites and therefore have a sustainable business.


  • Can be more expensive and painful to deal with as there’s more time in everything they do “right”.
  • Won’t use your CMS or SquareSpace so fairly rigid with tools
  • Has less focus on strategy and design and is more functional. Is it a working or not type approach?

What gets them out of bed?

  • Trying to achieve perfection in compliance. Are your t’s crossed and your i’s dotted.

The Niche Website Guy/Girl/Agency

Niche Down Professionals doctors, lawyers, socitors

This is becoming more of a common approach but less so in regional Australia where there’s not as many customers compared to the cities. To niche down allows someone to offer specific advice or services and to have more confidence in someone’s experience in your business area. Get Leads actually niches down to professional services however in my opinion as we are new we have alot of customers who are from various backgrounds.

Tool of Choice: WordPress with choice of visual tools from Elementor to Divi to Bricks or Oxygen – it could also be a consultant with zero technical skills who wants to earn more money by providing more services and so uses SquareSpace.

Strategy to get extra work: Cold marketing or focusing on marketing opportunities in the niche such as conferences or industry publications.

Frustrations: General agencies that aren’t specific in an area speaking to their strengths in knowledge and practice.


  • They “may” know what they are talking about with your target customer
  • The website structures are fairly similar and the strategies similar
  • They have connections in the same area as you and may use the same resources.


  • They think they can charge more and spend less time
  • They think a niche enables them to work with their ideal client
  • They are limiting themselves to an extent. If they find they don’t like the area what happens?

Government or Enterprise Level Agencies

These are the big ones in the industry that thrive on security and scalability and make an absolutely amazing amount of money from clients on small to medium changes. They will often leverage a system that other agencies can’t easily pick up without completely rebuilding the site. They basically won’t take over sites, they need to build them from scratch and once they do they have their hooks in.

Tool of Choice: Drupal or GovCMS, Figma, Github

Strategy: Putting hours and hours, even employing someone specific to do pitches and bids for government contracts.


  • Security
  • Brand and Technical team
  • Workflow methods and SOPs


  • Slow
  • Limited to the system they are using
  • Expensive

What get’s them out of bed? The idea they are the best at what they do, they are the best and only work with the best customers.


There’s a lot to consider here but if you’re living in regional NSW or Australia, then it might come down to what you can afford both short term and long term.

My ideal would be you choose someone who aligns what they are doing to your overall goal or problem you’re solving with your website. Choose someone that doesn’t just build websites, someone who wants a long term relationship with you, high level of service, who follows industry best practice and is results focused.

A backyard guy/girl will get you started for 3k. Best practices guy/girl will get you started for 7k and then theirs everything in between. Clearly you won’t go for the enterprise level agency, but often lots of professional based businesses will go for a niche agency recommended by a consultant who visits these professionals. Be wary of these as a conflict of interest.

My bias pick would be the best practice web guy/girl who has a little in every area. Yes, they are more generalist but they will also be around for longer than 50% of the others. They also will appreciate your and do things right from the start, allow you to scale and use a system that will produce consistent results “if” it’s used correctly and best practices area always used everywhere throughout the development. They may appreciate good design and employ a designer as part of the team or outsource this to a specific industry centred designer. Everything they do is around best practice and best choice for a project.

Wagga Web Desgin

Jason Greenlees

Jason is the CEO of Regional Web Developer, one of the original founders of Angry Ant Web and a passionate WordPress educator. If you're interested in learning directly from Jason, you can book him for a one-to-one session.

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