Web Template Scam

Scores of web designers today are incredibly deceitful and are fundamentally scamming their clients out of money through web design fraud and template scams.

While doing some freelance work, there are a lot of web designers out there who offer to do web design service for very cheap. A lot of the time this includes offering their "custom web design" service. Shrugging my shoulders, I usually say to myself, "Oh well, I offer my quality services at a premium and some clients simply want cheap designs… for cheap", and move on.

Custom Designed Templates

Then one day I noticed one of my friends made a job posting looking for a web designer and online marketer. After contacting him to get more details what he was looking for, he goes on to tell me how hard it is to find outstanding and trustworthy web designers. He recently was talking back and forth with a designer that agreed to create a custom design to update one of their older websites. A couple of weeks later, after lots of dialog back and forth of about what he was looking to get done, the designer finally showed him the design. He couldn't help but to start laughing at the designer when he saw the design.

The "custom design" that the designer showed him was clearly a standard web template. Even though my friend is not a web designer, he could easily tell the difference between a pre-made template and a custom web design. Web templates are not hard to spot once you have the experience of working with them.

How to Spot a Scam

If you would like to train yourself to be able to determine whether a design is a template or not, the quick and easy way to learn the difference is to simple visit Template Monster and browse through all their web templates. Probably within a few minutes, you will notice that most of their templates basically look the same. The colors, images, flash and text all change but you will start to notice that they all just look like... templates.

When you are done, you can visit a site such as CSS Mania and browse through their listings. You will notice that each and every design listed has simply one thing in common - uniqueness. It's this uniqueness you want to be looking for. Take some time and review a design from a designer.

Template vs Custom Design

Can you make the distinctions between a custom design and basic ready-made template:

    Custom Design    vs    Web Template

Obviously, the custom design is on the left and the web template is on the right. This is just a basic example used for illustration purposes only. It's not really fair to pick and choose website designs to compare, but hopefully it'll help you able to spot template scams from schiesty web designers.

Know the Difference

Immediately, the "web designer" in question started getting defensive regarding his design and things blew up from there.

The sad truth is that the designer probably bought (or downloaded illegally for free) that template for $30, modified it for an hour or two, then was trying to submit it as his own custom web design and sell it off for about $2,000.

My friend jokingly made the comment that this is "actually a great way to make easy money". It definitely is - if you have no ethical morals and like scamming honest and hardworking individuals and businesses.

What I have learned in the past year or so, is that there are an amazing amount of people in today's world will do anything to make a quick buck – even if it means screwing over their friends, family, or more often their own clients. Greed, not money, is the root of all evil.

From a designer standpoint, every web designer should know the differences from offering someone a template vs a custom design. However, with my clients I clearly make the advantages and disadvantages of both made before I take the project and let them choose whichever suits them best. The main deciding factor on which one to choose is usually money.

You can definitely offer a template at a cheaper price than a custom design, but do not try to pass off a template as a custom design. If you are looking for an ethical and trustworthy web designer, send us a free website consultation service request. We will make sure to treat you with the honesty and respect you, and your website, deserves.

If you've experienced a web design scam yourself firsthand, please feel free to post a comment outlining what happened and how you'd help others learn from your mistakes.


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49 Responses »

  1. I purchased a template design website from Mint Tree Media in Montrose Colorado. I now know I have been scammed but at the time I did not know that I should have seen a contract. It took 3 months of begging and pleading and threathening to get a VERY poorly designed site with incorrect information. I was told all along (even in emails) that I would recieve a disc with the FLA codes so that I could update my site in the future. Now the owner is refusing to give me the code and wants to charge me $150 per hour to make the corrections that he never go right in the first place. I cannot go to anyone else to make te repairs with out the FLA code. Is there any way that I can get the code off my website? I do not know what to do.

  2. Your article on web scammers passing templates off as custom hit home for me. I just lost in court to a scammer (an out of work receptionist) who passed herself off as a web designer. She downloaded free templates, told me they were custom, told me she could put my videos on the site,,but couldn’t, I had to find someone to SEND them to her..then she sent me a bill for 3500 dollars!

    I sued, she only got 1300. Lesson learned. I wish someone would do a newspaper/web article on how web design is the Home Improvement Scam of the new millinium! The courts are impressed by the web designers apparent mumbo jumbo and are so confused, they end up legally splitting the baby. You can’t win if your a consumer!

  3. It’s really sad that I have people contacting me all the time with this exact same problem. They paid for a custom web design to later find out that it is basically just a web template.

    The only thing i can think of to help so others won’t fall into the same trap as you is to report that company to ripoffreport.com. Hopefully by doing this, it will show their potential clients what kind of web design company/individual they are dealing with and will look elsewhere.

    Does anyone else have any suggestions on how to deal with web design scams & fraud?

  4. What’s up with the fact that there are a whole bunc h of webtemplate sites all carrriying the same web templates?

  5. @Richard, all these templates sites re-sell their templates to multiple buyers.

    If you take Template Monster for example, the re-sell the same template for about $50 to whoever will buy it. They also offer a ‘unique price’, where you can purchase the template for about $1,500 and they will remove it from their website so no one else can purchase it again.

    Most template sites operate this way – that’s how they can continue to sell quality templates at low prices. Compared to buying a 100% custom design, they are usually worth the cheap price… as long as you don’t mind other sites having the same design as you somewhere else on the web. But the chances of you running into one is slim.

  6. I’m in the process of having a website built by a company that told me from the start that its a template I select and they modify it to my requirements. They are a company from India so I was a bit hesitant. It costs me $699.00 for everything including flash and hosting. The website isn’t finished yet but I must say the level of service has been excellent. However, I would be unhappy if I’d paid $2000 and then found out its a template. I think if they tell you its a template and the price reflects that, then there’s no problem. They have almost finished my website and it looks great, it should be live sometime soon. I hope this feedback helps.

    We were ripped off $950 from US Website Builder
    They took our money and did nothing but kill our business
    We were okay on ranking before they made sure to eliminate us on the search engines.
    There is one lady who controls it and says she is 10 different ladies(she sounds exactly the same-she doesn`t bother to change her voice

  8. The worst company to ever deal with, paid them some money to sort my website out, have been waiting for months for them to design but nothing!!. Avoid these lot like the plague!. Empty promises, just take your money and dont bother doing the work. Ended up doing it myself.

  9. I just got scamed for almost a year from a company named CREAT7VE web designers. The owner Paula Celestino, sold me on a idea that she will do as she could to meet the clients goals (me in this case) and that she will not publish until every little detail was ok and approved. Than of course like any other company she made me sign a contract.


    SO CREAT7VE WEB DESIGN COMPANY (PAULA CELESTINO) Every time i asked her to change some details or some of her designs, which we did not like and disagree with some of her ideas, and i asked her to do something different she will take advantage of my suggestions and take them as I Approved the changes , because that was how i requested, and she did not wanted to even adjust the changes??? . We gave Paula Celestino owner of CREAT7VE almost $4000 for a 5 page web design last August 2010. Today is February 2011… and she is not willing to finish her job, less to return our money… and worst..

    We gave also $2000 for SEO services that CREAT7VE will do fpor the website after it was finished, but because she never finished we asked Ms. Paula Celestino for the money back and she is saying that , because is in the contract she cant not refund the money!!!..

    What a sacam… and if you do some search on CREAT7VE WEB DESIGN company, you will find a fake SEO stating that they are one of the best web designs firms in the USA.. but they dont even have an office.?

    How can companies like CREAT7VE could do so much waste of time and money for those who are really working and trusted them at some point?

    I hope our experience could guide some others to be aware of the website companies doing ripoffs out there.

  10. My two cents, we build custom and template designs. I will have to say the custom sites do take a long time to complete. I try to fit my clients budget, if it is a template site, I tell them it is a template site.
    My clients are happy with our work. If you are getting a custom site built it can not be done in a few hours, ours take between 4 to 6 weeks from start to finish. We have designed our own back end administration area with a login section for the client to update their custom site.
    It is so hard to get new clients with so many scams going on, it is sad, because people put their trust in designers, and $3,000 to $4,000 for a web site is no small change.
    Its a good idea to ask for samples, but like this article states, it is hard to know when it is a custom site and when it is a template. I always try to explain the difference to my clints.
    Thank you for this article, I enjoyed reading it and the replys.
    Lorna 🙂

  11. As a professional web designer, it frustrates and angers me that so many people are out there scamming businesses with poor design, slow turn around and contracts that just protect them – even when they don’t do the work! It really gives guys like me a bad name, and now I’m afraid this blog is giving templates a bad name.

    It is not evil to use a template, but it is evil to pass off the template “as is” as your own work. I use templates from some of the best creators in the world, but after I am done customizing them, you would hardly know it’s the same template. My name is Charlie Trig, owner and chief designer of Trig Web Design Inc., and have been in business for over 15 years without a single complaint or lawsuit. Don’t choose someone with a slick rhetoric and promises of web glory – do your research and search Google for the name of the company, plus words like reviews, scam, fraud or complaints.

  12. Wish we’d read this article before hiring Sytable. Sytable are a company located on the west coast who have scammed a lot of honest folk. We were ripped off over $11000 – we paid and they did…nothing! They now have an F rating with the BBB. Check out some of their reviews http://www.adoloma.com/Reviews/sytable.com

  13. Avoid Creative Happy if you don’t want to be scammed! Mike Bailey the owner didn’t even get around to offering me a scam template- he simply ran off with my 50% deposit! Now I’m fighting to get it back but he’s a slippery fish cos his website (www.creativehappy.com) has no contact details apart from an non working Maltese phone number. Dodgy. Looking at his past work its now clear to me they were copies from template sites.

  14. This post is really anti-web designer/web developer.

    I own a web design company and we have contracts in place for both the developer and the client. We were forced to start using complex contracts when clients would give you the go ahead to start designing a website and then when the site is nearly finished decide it is not what they are looking for or they just want to keep changing the design at your cost. They refuse to pay for any work done and you are left after completing 4-5 weeks of work with nothing. They refuse to pay for any work which was completed.

    We have found a contract really sorts out who is serious about creating a Website and who is just thinking they might want a Website. (The tire kickers)

    There is no problems using a template if the design the customer was looking for is similar in design of the template. The template was custom built by a developer in the first place.

    We are a Development Agency who are passionate about our work and we are creating a front for clients business’s. We are not about just taking your money, we enjoy what we do and hope that our work gives you great success in your business.

  15. @Nicole, I agree with the contracts part. Detailed contracts are great as they (usually) help protect both sides and should outline everything you can expect.

    I think the problem lies with people who are unfamiliar with the design process. Web designers may intentionally leave out the part of using a template vs a custom design.

    A tip for all customers would be to ask the designer directly that you’re going to be getting a 100% custom design and not a template. You can also request for them to add that specifically in the contract.

  16. I hired a web developer, Becky McManus/Rebekah Christensen Clarke, located in the UK to perfom SEO for my business. She advised we switch platforms to a platform that would provide more features for SEO, to which we agreed to do.

    She stated she would perform image resize/touch-up, write product descriptions, perform Facebook updates, create an SEO plan and strategy, drive lots of traffic to the site and perform the migration. During the length of her employment, she stated that she’d done some of the things she had committed to (Facebook updates, SEO linking, picture resize and touch-up, product description write up) and asked for payment for the work she’d done and stated that she’d do the migration over the coming weekend.

    She received payment and then quit. She said she would send the work she’d done within a couple days so that the business could continue the things that were in process. She sent nothing and has blocked my emails.

    She was paid a considerable amount of money for work she claimed to have done and upon receiving the payment, she quit and didn’t provide anything for the payment she received.

    I’d advise not making payment until you have either seen progress or the site is complete.

  17. How about scammers stealing designs from online portfolios to make their scammer templates?

  18. Jessica Bolin (if that is her real name) has scammed me out of 755$ by promising all this web design and doing nothing. DO NOT HIRE! What have I learned? Do my homework – know the person I’m dealing with and deal only locally or at least in state. Good luck out there – its a bad world fulll of bad people.

  19. @sammi i have a similar situation with mike, is there a private email i can contact you at? id like to discuss a proposal with you. thanks!

  20. I’m in process of hiring a pro on guru.com, how can i make sure they don;t use a template? I mean I can look into templetmonster, however there are hundreds of templates.. Is there any other way to see if that a template?


  21. Web designer comes to my house to train me, talks me into redesign, with drafts/approvals/and communication. Takes money, hides from me and says he’ll let me know when the design is done…


    I noticed a lot of web designers, that promise communication and joint effort, then duck you and say they don’t want to show an unfinished product.
    If a high percentage use the same lines can’t this be a 60 minutes industry exposal?

  22. I would keep trying to get the code, there are tools that do that.

  23. Jessica Bolin is a crook. Motion City Media MotionCityMedia.com is a rip off. Motion City Hosting MotionCityHosting.com is a rip off. Jessica Bolin.com stole my money and gave me nothing in return, she is a crook.

  24. Hello Ricky, well have a question also: want to know if templatemonster they offer just buying not the buyout, but instead the regular template they charge more money once you want to make small adjustments to the regular template? for your response i will really appreciate it from Bogota Colombia.

  25. As everyone knows, there are going to be a few times in a company’s existence that they run into a disgruntled and/or impossible customer that cannot be pleased no matter what you do for them. Unfortunately, I have had one of each of those in the last two years. That would be the total number for an entire 12 years! I have kept in contact and tried to work things out with these customers, but instead, they want to go on a rampage acting as if myself and my company are some horrifying villain.

    I believe that my large portfolio and testimonials speak for themselves. Each one on my website is real and legitimate. Each one can be contacted and asked for a reference. There are no lies and no scams going on there. The number of real and verifiable happy clients I have far surpasses and outweighs the negative posts made by one or two people who are just repeating themselves everywhere on the Internet. I can also proudly say that I have never had, nor have now, legal actions against myself or my business.

    I just ask that anyone reading this would see that there are no old posts about me or my company within my entire 12 year span of doing business. I have had an impeccable reputation and everything negative posted about me recently is just the same two re-posting over and over. One of them is just angry because they breached our contract after work had been done, they behaved like a crazy person, and then they expected a refund which they are not entitled to.

    Myself and Motion CIty Media provide detailed contracts for all work performed that clearly include all information needed to protect our clients from any harm on our part. Every client is protected by our refund policy in our contracts so there is absolutely no reason why anyone would be “robbed” by us.

    I have been providing web development service for a very long time. I have clients worldwide. My presence is all over the Internet as a verifiable developer and member of the web development community. My work ethics and standards are highly professional.

    Best regards,

    Jessica Bolin

  26. Don Carey aka WholeLeaf aka Whole Leaf Tobacco aka Fair Trade Tobacco
    hired me to develop a website for him. During the project, things
    didn’t work out as planned. I tried to work with him to see this
    project completed, then offered a refund just to make him go away, but
    he chose to be uncooperative and try to ruin my good name and reputation
    all over the Internet. Watch out for this guy because he doesn’t care
    if you had a glowing reputation prior to meeting him. He will set out
    to destroy you for his own gratification.

    These are his websites:


    Best regards,

    Jessica Bolin
    Motion City Media

  27. I was Scammed By Sasch Mayer http://www.icegiant.co.uk IceGiant Web Design Services , These guys are scammers operating from different countries, I have hired them in Cyprus to design my website http://www.forextradersunion.com and they charged me $4000 then after months of lies and misleading they have done nothing and they deny all my contact attempts, beware of Sasch Mayer and IceGiant Web Services as it is a Scam Business.

  28. I am totally aware of this scam. It’s amazing how many fake web designers are out there.

  29. I have some real questions about the whole Jessica Bolin thing. First off, why would anyone be “out” $755? Wouldn’t you have had the web designer, maybe with a small deposit, go ahead and create a non-working model to show you how it would look, then get the rest of the money on delivery? What, did you just fork over $755 and nothing happened? I don’t believe that, and if you did, you’re an idiot.

    As far as wholeleaftobacco.com is concerned, just checked out that site. Looks like something I would have done with a free HTML editor in 1999, with a puke ugly background, and a pre-packaged forum. I’ll bet he paid his retired dad $50 to put something together and learned as he went.

    There are bad companies out there, and lousy customers as well.

  30. It’s only a scam if the developer does not make it clear at the start that they will be using a template. I am a classically trained graphic designer who fell in to web design and seo 12 years ago, I have built and designed (from scratch) over 1000 websites. However these days with so much competition, a global recession and the importance of search engine optimisation I freely offer my clients either a bespoke design that can be anything from $4000+ or a template design from Themeforest (notice they look like your custom designed site) for anything from $1000 – $2000 depending on the customisation, on-site optimisation and monthly link building and social campaigns. It makes sense to me as a businessman and is reflected in my 3/4 closure ratio that most customers on a budget would be happy to buy a template for $40 that cost $6000 to build to then spend their money on making it appear high in Google!

  31. This thread has been around a while but I thought I’d add my November 2012 experience. My neighbor owns a bakery and paid a lady $3000 (with another $800 due) for a “custom” website and ended up getting a (really, really ugly) WordPress site with a Weaver II theme. She might have gotten away with it if she had A.) used a prettier theme and/or B.) customized the heck out of it to make it look good. This drove home two lessons (here we go again with the A and the B)….A.) Don’t hire anyone without a very clear contract. An email does not cut it. B.) Don’t agree to spend $3800 without doing some basic research.

  32. I am currently being scammed and would love to know what recourse I have. I’ve reviewed the contract and it is loosely worded. He did not use the word “custom” just re-design. I went on the website listed above and found the EXACT template he is using! It is $65 to buy and he is going to charge me $1400. Does anyone have any experience with calling the scammer out and getting any results?


  34. This is my final warning. I know who you are. The same person pretending to be multiple people, continuing to post false information about me after you have been officially warned in writing. It will not be hard to obtain your ip address from these websites and trace these posts back to your location and computer. A court order will make that easy. I already have evidence of your illegal activities since you were so bold as to post this garbage on other websites I have admin access to. I WILL obtain a restraining order and sue you for slander and harassment! If you think you have a case, then be an adult about it and take me to court. All of my projects have clearly written refund policies, enforceable in a court of law, should I breach contract. This is just a clear indication that you have no grounds for your claims. ~ Jessica Bolin, Motion City Media

  35. I had assigned
    to someone in the USA to create a site for me, at the time I agreed with him, he
    was operating a site that was creating sites. After a long time of waiting with
    only promise’s we created a site that was just from a ready template that was not what we
    agreed on. Of course after a few days the developer’s site was down LIKE IT WAS
    NEVER THERE. After a long time I found him and gave him a heavy complain that I want
    my money back so he convinced me that he will pay part of the money to another
    developer in India to fix my site from the beginning. Now again he is not paying the new site and is
    not answering to my emails or calls.

    These are
    people who give a bad name to people that really want to work

    advise me of what can I do I have emails and chats from skype.

  36. Nation wide state licensing requirement for all businesses advertising web design and all those who touch a web design project. Like any professional dealing in numbers like these 5,000 6,000 dollars . Each liscence to be renewed by testing every three years at an initial cost of 350.00 and three year renewal fee of 150. That will weed out these scumb who have taken me for 3 grand. Lets see how they like criminal legal action when they misrepresent or do shoddy work. Much like an electrician needs a contract and is accountable to the state through liscence restrictions and substantial remedies to the state for prying on customers. Yea, watch the little scammer rats go scurrieng when they are asked to take a test on coding and real back end customization. That will weed out this filth, this Vermon who act openly with no chance of any consequences. Sick of it, you scumb no who you are, I know you peruse the complaint boards to see if you pop up, why, ? Because you know you are crooked dirty thieves. Your day will come.

  37. […] You might get scammed. Here’s a great guide on how not to… And here’s another one – How web designer asked $2000 for a site that costs $30. […]

  38. http://www.theukwebdesigncompany.com is a total fraud. Never trust them. They make you buy leads for price 100 times the market price and their leads are all fake


    Dear Volusion

    I will spend the next few days reporting this to the correct organization and every organization in the uk and usa. I will keep you imformed as to the government and public orgasnizations

    cc: http://www.ombudsman-services.org/

    cc: http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/

    I am going ahead taking any action required to get fully refunded as you told me months ago this bandwidth usage an impossibility and to get my website which I own the rights to the content released by your company!

    I have tried and emailed for details of the ceo and of management but they refuse to disclose.


    I have been horrified at the service offered by a particular
    big overseas companies.

    I understand our market and or other emerging markets or
    countries with small economies only make up maybe 0.001 of your revenues.

    Dear Volusion.com – Your Company told me lies when I
    first enquired as to using your products and features locally in South Africa.
    Then besides all the lies you are charging me 10x the amount I was quoted.

    Please don’t mention my data usage. I have after much
    difficulty spoken to you sales manager and in English he told me I am correct
    using 30GB on a website selling 2-4 products a month is impossible. He also
    told me that the traffic was not human! And something was very wrong, he would
    immediately look into the matter and he would have these funds reversed as this
    had been going on for months.



    I have been horrified at the service offered by A particular
    big overseas companies.

    Dear Volusion.com – Your Company told me lies when I
    first enquired as to using your products and features locally in South Africa.
    Then besides all the lies you are charging me 10x the amount I was quoted.

    Please don’t mention my data usage. I have after much
    difficulty spoken to you sales manager and in English he told me I am correct
    using 30GB on a website selling 2-4 products a month is impossible. He also
    told me that the traffic was not human! And something was very wrong, he would
    immediately look into the matter and he would have these funds reversed as this
    had been going on for months.

    Dear Volusion

    I will spend the next few days reporting this to the correct organization and every organization in the uk and usa. I will keep you imformed as to the government and public orgasnizations

    cc: http://www.ombudsman-services.org/

    cc: http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/

    I am going ahead taking any action required to get fully refunded as you told me months ago this bandwidth usage an impossibility and to get my website which I own the rights to the content released by your company!

    I have tried and emailed for details of the ceo and of management but they refuse to disclose.


  41. Madiha Saad
    Aydin Solutions

    M : 92 321 5000202
    S : Madiha1024
    Office : 92 51 5491160
    E- mail: marketing@aydinsolutions.com
    MSN: madiha_saad@hotmail.com
    Gmail: saad.madiha@gmail.com
    Yahoo: midz_1024@yahoo.com
    URL: http://www.aydinsolutions.com

  42. My boss was ripped off by Siteons (www.siteons.com). They approached her by email shortly after she registered her domain name, so they obviously use domain name registries as a marketing tool. We’ve had some great experiences working with offshore companies for various things lately so she thought she’d give them a go. The rate was cheap but they were off-shore so it didn’tring any major alarm bells.
    My team put the requirements together, and they were pretty detailed and specific both on functionality and design. Siteons said that 95% of them would be no problem and offered a staggered payment, something like 20% then two 40% based on progress.
    Basically at the first checkpoint the design was non-existent, just pictures and text on a white background, and the usability was rubbish. Boss went through everything in detail, they made assurances that everything would be fixed in the next iteration. Boss thought they sounded legit so paid the next instalment. Siteons went completely offline and didn’t return emails for a few weeks, then suddenly reappeared with an update which met maybe 50% of the requirements but missed all the really fundamental usability ones, and still hadn’t sorted out the design.
    They came up with some sob story and more assurances, boss went through another detailed walk-though and listed all the outstanding requirements. They swore that they could meet all the really important ones, and a couple of others were taken out of the list for ‘later development’.
    Boss was a bit soft and thought that it was fair enough that it wouldn’t be 100% at this stage so paid the final instalment.
    After that it was months of ignored emails, no contact, no-shows at meetings and finally they admitted that they couldn’t actually do the things they had promised with the tool they were using, but would give a free upgrade to a better tool and redo it again.
    Weeks more of trying to get hold of them, new demo came up and it’s the slowest thing you’ve ever seen in your life. It wasn’t possible to import stock and each item took nearly ten minutes to load manually (we’ve got about 90 stock items) – plus the site was ridiculously slow to use, so no good for customers.
    I drafted an email for the boss to send to Siteons. They did another round of not replying, not confirming meeting times to discuss, then went completely off the radar and are now impossible to get hold of.
    So, basically, they were probably a couple of school kids operating out of their bedrooms.

  43. hottietemplates or hottiewebsitedesign…FRAUD!!! They take your entire website and content you create and if you do not continue with their hosting, they deleted it and do not return any information back! Beware!!!

  44. PoweredBy247.com offer a variety of Web Services, including, but not limited to: Web Design, Web Development, PHP, PHP5, HTML, HTML5, Python, Code Igniter, MySQL, SEO, SMM, SEM, Google Adwords and all kinds of online marketing support.

  45. Hi all,

    I recently engaged Mr Niki Antonio to build an ecommerce based website only to realize that he had already been identified as a scammer by another unfortunate entrepreneur.

    I tried my hardest to contact NIKI ANTONIO several times at his provided address with absolutely no luck.

    I agreed stupidly to progress payments and an upfront good faith payment of $500 USD.

    Do not be conned by this smooth talker.




    I’m loathed to complain, but I want to be on the look out for this type of person on your behalf. It cost me thousands of dollars and I don’t want it to cost you.


  46. The problem with this business is not the cost of the website nor the webmasters. It is the obliviousness of the customers when being engaged by mediocre “professionals” and scam artists.

    I’m a webmaster and I use Joomla. I inform my customers I use templates, and I charge per hour. If the project is too complex, and the customer doesn’t want a template, I don’t even hesitate to think to myself, “my friend, neither I have the time to make your project, nor you have the money to pay me” and simply say, “ok well I see what I can do”, not accept any payment, and leave. One Joomla website with 5 buttons = $200. And I have to charge this because it takes time to set it all up. I’m a strong believer that one mustn’t reinvent the wheel.

    Last time I check, a web developer charges $150 per hour. This market is not for the “Walmarters” that go and buy television sets at Walmart. THAT is the problem. If you do not know what you want, do not expect anyone to take you seriously when you make business with them. And if it means you must pay thousands, consider this: would you go to Johnny Cheeseface’s Jewelry to pay for a $10,000 wedding ring? NO. Customers, be smart!

  47. easily over 99% are fake

  48. You are right. Because of budget restrictions sometimes we need to customise up a great template/theme rather then designing and building a fully 100% bespoke solution…

    However I believe the post was more about these fake web designers who just take a few hours to 1. do the WP 5 min install, 2. uploaded a free/bought theme, 3. copy and paste some text from other websites and then 4. pass in on as a custom design with a £3000 bill.

  49. Unfortunately its hard to spot these guys unless you are a web designer yourself. If you know what you are doing its easy to spot these templates by looks themselves or checking the source code to see links to theme css files.

    For example if you check out my website (actually its single page application) at https://webappdesigner.co.uk/ and check out the source you can see that is its 100% bespoke.

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Ricky is a skilled programmer who is a very good communicator and responds to calls and emails quickly, expedites his work and usually completes the job before the deadline, and has a very good work ethic in general. He appears “hungry” for additional work and seems eager to remain challenged. I look forward to continue working with him for a long time!
David Phillips
SEO Project Manager