Web Design

Shortcut Your Design Success


Awesome! After a stroll in the spring sunshine you’ve come up with this truly awesome idea for a new website. A great new icon concept. Or alternatively, a great new idea for a theme. But do you have to do all of the work yourself?

When most people consider designing, they tend to think exclusively at one end of the spectrum – entirely bespoke, or copied from elsewhere (copyright theft!) So, there choice as they see it is either very expensive or very cheap (in terms of time and money).

It almost goes without saying that when you get designs done bespoke its expensive – whether in terms of your personal time or your money. Or, perhaps for that matter – both. Moreover, if you copy something from another resource you’ll often fall fowl in terms of copyright infringement.

Both sets, at least in my view, ought to consider the middle ground. A bliss where you can get what you need without the wallet emptying cost and playing by the rules – keeping that awesome new idea completely legit. In fact, pinching those pennies by using licensing or free resources may deliver you something far better than you could have otherwise afforded.

Using Licensing As a Design Shortcut

It’s possible to license fantastic website designs, backgrounds and icons – in whole or in part.

The advantages of licensing over bespoke are:

  • You know what you’re getting
  • It tends to offer cost savings of over 90%
  • It’s much quicker
  • Little stress back and forth with designers
  • It tends to already be web ready
  • You can try out your ideas very quickly rather than waiting for other items to be created

 Disadvantages of Licensing

  • Your license will restrict usage and resale
  • You don’t own what your using

Suggested Resource: Themeforest

Licensing With Modification As a Design Shortcut

Despite the beauty of those licensed images, having something that no one else has on the internet is often rather tempting.

If you want something custom. No one said that you had to start from scratch. Most license types will allow you to heavily or lightly customize the resources provided. This then gives you all the benefits of having something bespoke but for a fraction of the cost.

Outsourcing on a site such as vWorker will enable you to find the people with the skills that you need to do your modifications if you don’t have those skill sets already.

Advantages of Licensing with Modification

  • Quicker than getting items done from scratch
  • Cheaper than entirely bespoke
  • Original look and feel
  • Ability to brand designs better

Disadvantages of Licensing

  • You don’t 100% own the derived works of the images or code


If you have a proven idea or concept, often something bespoke will be able to add value in ways that a licensed generic icon or template won’t be able to offer.

You’ll likely have a specific purpose in mind or perhaps it will need to replace something that you’ve already built. That said, there is no reason why you need to do all of the work yourself. If your idea is profitable, then consider outsourcing. It’s impossible to wear the hat of the designer, programmer, marketer and manager without something getting sacrificed.

Outsourcing, rather than employing someone by contract, is an easy and tax efficient method by which to get a job done.

The advantages of outsourcing over licensing are:

  • Get something unique
  • You can pen the concept and get exactly what you need
  • No other site will have you design, better brand affiliation
  • Can be built already optimized and with your existing software/web applications in mind
  • Can be built to continue on an existing line brand theme

The advantages of outsourcing over doing it yourself are:

  • Use your time for more productive or value adding activities
  • Get expertise in areas that you don’t already have
  • No need to spend large volumes of time gaining knowledge in areas that you don’t have knowledge

Suggested Resource: vWorker

Use Free Resources To Collate Into Something Unique

There are many website and designers that allow you to use their resources and creations free of charge. You can combine these resources to create something completely unique.

This will take a little bit more time and effort.

Do A Bit Of Both

Perhaps you could license your design, but buy bespoke icons and modify the server side scripts on which your website operates. This could offer the best of all the worlds.

Daniel Offer operates the Facebook download site Chit Chat for Facebook. His Facebook related website as well as the Facebook covers that he offers have been bespoke designed,  however, much of the technology within his app is licensed. Chit Chat is one of the most popular Facebook Messenger applications.

Chit Chat for Facebook (Blackberry) Review

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