9 Types of Web Design Services You Can Offer

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We’re a designer/developer duo who loves supporting creative wedding photographers who are building anything-but-ordinary brands.

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Are you wondering about the different types of web design services you can offer? Everyone seems to just think of custom website design when it comes to web design services, but there are actually many other services within website design that you could offer, especially if custom web design doesn’t seem like something you’re interested in.

From VIP days to single page design and everything in between, there’s a web design service out there that you can offer that fits best with what you’re interested in doing, trust me.

Here are 9 of the web design services you can offer in your business!

Custom Web Design

Phone mockups from a website for A Lost Epic

The very first service obviously is the one I just mentioned, which is custom website design. I feel like this is just the easiest one to start with because it is the most well-known service offered within the web design realm.

Custom web design is one of those services that is always going to be needed. Honestly, most of these services are going to be ones that are always needed, but custom web design, in particular, is always in demand.

People are always starting new businesses. They always want a website that is completely custom to them and their needs. So offering a custom website service can definitely be helpful, especially if you want to make sure that your service is always in need.

It is the most popular service that we offer. I have just found it’s the easiest service to sell out of all the services that we offer for some reason. It’s also just the one that I love the most. I just love doing it because I am so passionate about designing things completely from scratch.

This is also the highest ticket out of all of the different types of web design services that you can offer. That’s because you’ll really be building things from the ground up with a website strategy. You’ll be talking with the client, figuring out what their goals are, and needs are, and you’ll be building something completely for them.

Blue block that says "Which website platform is best for your business?"

Custom website design is definitely one of those services that are best for creatives who really want just to design something from a blank canvas and they’re totally open to going deep.

Keep in mind custom web design is definitely one of those services that take a little bit longer too. It is not a one-day service or anything like that. I’ve seen people take anywhere between 2 to 15 weeks for custom websites.

At Inkpot Creative, we just have a two-week turnaround for our custom websites. That’s just because I tend to work best when I’m working with fewer clients at a time. By having such a short timeline like that, I only have to work with two custom clients at a time.

I have it so that the first week is just mock-ups, and then the second week is development. So really, I would only be dealing with one mock-up a week, and then Jesse does the development portion, so it just overlaps really well. So while she’s developing a site, I would be mocking up a site and vice versa!

Single Page Design

Screens showcasing the about page for a photographer

Next is a single-page design. This is one that’s overlooked quite a bit, which is really weird because I feel like people in Facebook groups all the time are like, hey, my designer can’t help me right now, but I really want an extra page on my website. Is there anyone who can help?

And everyone automatically is always like oh yeah, just sign up for my VIP day offer. But everyone’s VIP day offer is like $2000+, and that’s probably almost at least half of what they probably paid for their custom website, to begin with.

So I don’t really see why they would probably invest that just for a single page unless they were really in need of that. So with a single page design, I would say this is best for someone who doesn’t mind designing in somebody else’s design style because normally you do have to match it up to whatever their current website is already designed in just to really make sure that it’s cohesive.

Single-page design also has a shorter turnaround time. We’ve done it before, and I usually just do it on a week timeline just because I like doing things in weeks, and it is a lower ticket service, at least in my opinion.

However, you can definitely offer it as a VIP day if you want to. I’ve just personally found that when there are some people offering a VIP day just for a single page design and their prices are a little bit higher. I have found that single-page design clients are more likely just to want to pay you by page and not feel as rushed having to do it in a one-day service.

Semi-Custom Design (Template Customizations)

Computer sitting on a table next to a black mug

Another of the types of web design services you can offer is a semi-custom design which people also refer to as template customization.

So this is one that we offer, but we offer it during our VIP day, which we call One Day Website. With this, it is perfect for designers who want a starting point; they don’t want to start completely from scratch.

You would normally purchase a template for the client to use, or the client would go ahead and purchase a template for you to customize for them, and you would just edit that template and adjust it to best suit their needs.

So for instance, if you buy a template, maybe that’s meant for a photographer, but you’re working with a real estate agent who actually needs a very specific type of setup on their site, then you would go in there and completely customize it, add their branding, add all their photos, their copy, and everything.

You would morph the template to best suit what they’re looking for.

One of the cool things about template customizations is if you ever decide to make your own templates, which is another one of these kinds of services I’m going to dive into a little bit later, then you can pretty much use those templates for your template customizations.

It is something that we do, too, with the Not Your Average Template Shop that we have. We include one of those templates for free. If somebody books one of our template customizations, of course, we will customize any type of template, especially if the client already has a different one in mind that they’ve purchased from another designer.

I find that they tend to be booked more by people who are newer in business. So if you don’t mind working with people who usually have smaller budgets, that’s not always the case, of course, but normally people who are newer in business have a smaller budget, then this would be a great service for you.

I’ve also found it can be like a great mixture to offer custom and semi-custom, which is why we offer both just so that we can cater to both types of business owners.

I think it’s also worth mentioning too that, at least in Showit, there are a lot of designers who actually have their own sort of designer affiliate programs where you can pay a certain amount, and then you can actually have just access to all of their templates to use for your clients, which is kind of a really cool thing.

Semi-custom design definitely has a shorter timeline, I would say, than custom websites, but they can still be a lot longer if you want them to be.

Also, I would definitely recommend that you set your boundaries because clients can very easily scope creep. I found more so with semi-custom designs than custom websites.

Website Development

Screenshot of a website page that says "Where strategy and humanity align."

You could also consider being a developer and offering development as a service. This is great if you’re more into the techie side of website design rather than the actual design portion.

This is a service that we actually started offering about a year ago. So we offer Showit dev and Squarespace dev, and we may expand into other platforms in the future. We offer this just because sometimes it’s nice just to have a project where you don’t have to be as creative, and you can just build things out.

It is one of those ones that does take a little bit less time, I will say. For Showit dev, one of the cool things is once you work with a designer and they’re impressed with the work that you did during the first dev project, it tends to work out that they’re pretty much just like, all right, you’re my developer now. If I ever have any more needs for this platform, I’ll just be coming back to you.

So it’s a really cool way to kind of build those relationships, and it also helps you, so you don’t necessarily have to keep trying to find new clients. It’s a lot more likely that you’ll have a repeat client because then every time that the designer that you worked with, let’s say, books like another Showit site, then it’s possible that they’ll come back to you just to develop that site for them.

VIP Days

Phone mockups showing a copywriter website

This is one that I’ve seen explode online, and that is VIP days! I feel like it’s because they actually got really popular right around the time that COVID really started because there were so many people that had smaller budgets that really just needed something done quickly.

So VIP days are definitely something that you could offer for a website design. We do ours with template customization in a day. However, you could literally do anything.

You could do a website edit day, you could do a Showit development VIP day. You could do a website strategy VIP day. You could pretty much do anything at all!

We’ve been offering it for almost a year now because we were doing just custom for a long time before that. But I will say with VIP days, just know that they can be very draining. I think every time that I do one, I tend to be kind of exhausted the next two days.

We do them on a Wednesday just because that’s how it best fits into our custom website schedule. Wednesday is a day during our custom website timeline when the whole project is in the client’s hands to provide feedback. So we have that day to do whatever we want, basically.

That’s the day that we book our VIP days. Then on Thursday and Friday, I know that I’m working a lot slower just because it takes a lot out of you! So you could also consider doing half VIP days. Really just find something that suits your needs best.

Website Updates

Laptop standing on a marble table with cups

Another of the types of web design services you could offer are website updates. This is one that we’ve done before. Sometimes in the Showit Facebook group, if people say that they need some help updating a few things on their site, it is something that I’ll just kind of be like, hey, I can totally help you if I have the availability. So it is definitely a service that’s needed.

However, I find when you’re just doing website updates, you may find yourself in the position of being what I like to call a pixel pusher. This means the client pretty much has a to do list, or they know exactly what they want and how they want it to look, and they really just need someone to make it happen.

So it kind of takes a lot of the creativity out of it, which is just something to keep in mind. It can also be really hard to charge for site updates. I always did hourly, which I know everyone advocates not to do hourly work for anything, but that’s just what I’ve always done.

I think something that could work potentially better is if someone books a set of your hours, but you have it at a package rate. So let’s say they buy 3 hours of your time for $400 or something like that. That way at least, there’s a set number that both of you kind of know. You’re being paid $400, and the client knows upfront like, okay, it’s going to cost a minimum of $400 unless it takes longer.

Mobile Optimization

Another service you could consider offering, especially for Showit, is mobile optimization. I say this because, again, in a lot of the Facebook groups I’m in, people are often asking for someone who specializes in just doing mobile optimization for sites.

That’s because, with Showit, you basically have to completely design the mobile separate from the desktop, which is one of the things that I actually love. But again, it could kind of have its pros and cons.

However, some people would rather just design the whole thing desktop and then just straight up ask somebody else to go through and make it mobile optimized. So basically, copying that design on the desktop in a mobile format. This is something you could definitely charge a package rate for.

Mobile optimization doesn’t take super long. It takes a lot less time to do the mobile side of things than desktop on Showit just because there are little actions that you can use to lay things out automatically. For the most part, you just kind of move things around just to make them right. You could definitely offer this even as a VIP day or even a half VIP day.

Website Strategy

Photographer website pulled up on a laptop next to two gray cups

Next is strategy calls! Website strategy is something that’s overlooked a lot.

One thing that I think would be really cool is if more people started offering strategy calls. So we do strategy calls; we call them vision calls just because I feel like “strategy” has so much buzz around it in the online space.

We do that with all of our clients when they book any of our custom or semi-custom projects, and that’s just to make sure we get on the same page before we do anything. However, you could just kind of offer them as a one-and-done sort of thing. Kind of like people do brand strategy calls.

I feel like that would just be a really cool different offering that people could bring to the online space for website design. We’ve done a few of them before and just make sure that you charge appropriately for them because they do tend to take a lot more time than you may think.

Even if the actual “strategy call” that you have with the client is only 45 minutes, you’re putting in a lot of time before and after that call. So that’s just something to keep in mind.

Maybe you could either present the strategy to the client on another call, or you could film a Loom video with a PDF. That’s what we usually do. We’ll do a loom with a PDF. We’ll put it in a Notion board with a little checklist of things that they can work through on their website strategy.

Website Templates

Floating screens of a website template for a food photographer.

Last but not least is to consider making your own templates. This is something that everyone is like oh yeah, make your own website templates. It’s totally passive, which is not the case at all.

So we have a website template shop, and I’d say we pretty much sell the bulk of our templates whenever we’re actually doing a new template drop. That’s just something to keep in mind. It’s definitely not as passive as you think it is unless you have the money to kind of throw at ads. At least, that’s what I’ve heard from others in the business space who also offer website templates.

However, by having your own templates, it’s, first of all, another kind of avenue that you could help business owners because people who buy templates are going to be those who are very new in business and have a much smaller budget.

If you offer a template customization, but they can’t afford that, then the DIY template would be the next step down. But also because one of the things I love most is that if you do have your own templates, if you offer a template customization, you can pretty much just throw one of your templates in there, which is pretty cool!

Another fun thing with the template shop, if you do open one, is that there is a chance that your templates could get really popular, and you could just sell a whole bunch of them, and it can definitely get to the point where it is passive.

But I just feel like there are so many people with template shops now and so many templates just look the same that you really want to make sure your templates look different and that they’re clean, cohesive and make sure you also throw in a tutorial library.

We do tutorials for each of our templates all through Loom, and I literally go through and update that specific template in the tutorial library, and I just host everything on Thinkific.

So there you have it. Those are some different types of web design services that you can offer!

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