It is easy to think of web design as a scam-proof industry. After all, other forms of designs are fairly scam-proof. It isn’t as if you can call up an interior designer and find out they hadn’t really rearranged your home, but simply used someone else’s designs to make your house look good. When your house looks good, it probably doesn’t matter what it looks like compared to anyone else’s. After all, the people who come to your home aren’t going to look around and see how cheap you are.
With web design, scams are totally a possibility. Web content is easy enough to rip off, and by doing so, many unscrupulous designers make fantastic money by offering work that isn’t their own at massively high prices, charging for custom jobs when they’re just stamping some website with a new brand. This isn’t fair to the consumer, and it isn’t fair to the hard-working web designers who’d never stoop so low as to do this.
What The Scam Entails
A web design scam is very simple. All the scam artists have to do is accept a job to custom design some person or business’s website. Then, once they have the contract secured, they simply find a template, customize and tweak it a very small amount, and sell it to the customer for an exorbitant fee. Using free website templates, scam artists are able to turn thousands of dollars of profit by simply downloading a file, slapping the company’s name on it, and sending it right back. This is not only immoral, it’s extremely unfair to the other people who sell website design. It is also taking the customer for a huge ride. By charging them top dollar, the “designer” is essentially stealing thousands of dollars for work that is not their own.
Why Template Selling is Bad
Some people don’t understand why it’s such a bad idea and a big deal to use templates as examples of original websites. After all, those people say, the templates work. That’s why they’re popular. It seems absurd to make a new website every time when a template works just as well.
This is incorrect for a few reasons. First, the people who rip off free templates are claiming credit for someone else’s work. They are putting their own names on a process with which they had little to do, and claiming the entire thing to be their idea. This is plagiarism, and it’s both illegal and immoral.
Second, when template-theft becomes commonplace, web designers are not trusted nearly as much. It seems foolish to trust a web designer to make you a website when you know for a fact that so many designers charge for the website, no matter whose template it originally was.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to tell whether sites are templates or whether they’re real. Simply look at a large collection of templates, such as DreamWeaver or WordPress. By doing this, you’ll become used to seeing a lot of templates, and the ones that shouldn’t be will really stand out as not-unique.