$2000 Website: Custom-designed Web Sites on a Budget

2000dollarwebsite

Yesterday saw the launch of $2000 Website, an intriguing design shop in the Bay Area that describes itself as a “self-service” design agency, offering to design, code and publish a custom website within a two-week period.

Users begin by completing a short online questionnaire to help tease out their requirements. The dialog is largely focused on the strategy and goals of the client, rather than technical requirements: questions range from site’s goals, to the company’s “personality”, required calls-to-action, and some simple audience demographics, along with your aesthetic influences.

I’ve seen similar services in the past – including PSD2HTML, XHTMLized and PSD2WordPress – but these have focused on the technical production of an existing creative treatment.

The service is aiming at small businesses with limited budgets, but it’s not hard to envisage it as a labor-saving utility for web workers who need to quickly punch out a microsite for a new product, store, event, community campaign, or even a client of their own.

The company promises to prepare initial design treatments within five days and complete production within another five days. It limits the output to a five-page site, with the option to upsell additional creative services, such as creation of a brand, for another $500.

The creative quality of the modest client portfolio actually looks pretty good given the short time available to the producers, though it’s unclear what the division of work was between the company and the client. There’s nothing here that couldn’t be created with a working knowledge of WordPress, CSS and XHTML, but many web workers aren’t fluent in all those areas, nor have the time to undertake small projects economically.

So, perhaps the notion of web site micro-factories may prove to be a useful toolkit for web workers – what do you all think?

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