On-demand help with web apps

David Head
min read

Every website design platform out there advertises something like this: Easily build a website on your own, no experience necessary!

If you have tried these services yourself, you know that their claim is (technically) true but your website won’t be pretty. There are some fundamental web design rules that are just necessary to building a professional website. You can only learn these through experience.

I know this both as business owner and as a Squarespace Specialist (the title that Squarespace gives the web designers who focus on their platform). I spent so much time working to perfect my business’s website that I woke up one day and didn’t have a business anymore. Instead, I had a line of people wanting me to work on small pieces of THEIR websites. Struggling with this lesson was the reason why I decided to deviate from my first business and focus on designing websites for others.

This is an extreme example, but EVERY DAY I have people email us at my traditional web agency wanting Squarespace help — putting the finishing touches on their websites. For the longest time, we couldn’t help these people and still have a working business. Below is the negotiation process we traditionally dealt with:

People would say that they want a few things fixed.

Then they would ask how much we charge per hour.

Then they would ask how long it would take.

Then they would ask us to cap the project at that amount of hours.

If we took on them as a client, we would perform the work, and in many cases, they still wanted a few things tweaked — which would usually be so small that it would seem ridiculous to create a new invoice. But then there would be more small things that they would ask us to fix and before we knew it we would be overworked.

We would spend just as much time communicating and negotiating as actually performing the work.

Yet there are more and more people who require this kind of help every day. As the average technical skill level of the workforce increases while the skill level necessary to use a website design service like Squarespace decreases, there is a HUGE opportunity to serve a new, massive group of amateur web designers.

So what do we do to serve this markets and survive as a business? Offer the ability to hire Squarespace help to work in real-time via screenshare.

David Head

David Head is a cofounder of Sixty. He started his career as an ecommerce business owner. After experiencing the difficulties of building a quality website, he started freelance web designing, which turned into founding a web agency. Sixty is a product of being in the client, freelancer, and agency's shoes. Sixty's purpose is to make freelance careers more stable and prosperous and client projects more efficient and successful.

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