As a web designer, the vast majority of my new projects are original creations. The process goes a little something like this: I create a mockup, make revisions until my client is happy, then move on to building the website (usually with WordPress).
But there are occasions where I receive a mockup from another designer, then build a custom WordPress theme to match. While this makes up a relatively small portion of my business, I generally end up building around a half-dozen sites like this each year.
From a distance, you may look at each of these scenarios and conclude that the latter would cost significantly less than the former. However, that’s not usually the case. In fact, I tend to charge around the same fee, regardless of who created the mockup.
A closer look at the challenges involved will explain why:
A Similar Investment of Time
Everyone has their own unique style and works in the way that suits them. That being said, taking someone else’s vision and making it a reality (err, virtual reality) isn’t easy. Just ask any developer who’s had to take a PSD or Sketch mockup and make a pixel-perfect recreation across browsers and devices.
This is especially challenging when the original designer isn’t a member of your organization. In these cases, there are no established procedures for, say, naming (or even ordering) PSD layers or spacing out design elements to fit within a specific layout system.
The fallout from this is that a great deal of time is spent trying make heads or tails of the document on my screen. If the designer has included notes, that can be a big help. But even then, there are still details to hunt down.
Granted, some designers are more organized than others. The more they implement things such as clear labeling or even a list of fonts, the easier the process of building the website.
Designing something on your own, however, is a smoother ride (at least, it should be). And it seems like any …