23 Jan Self Starters: The Web Factory | Web Bandit’s Coding Service for Creatives
Posted at 14:00h
Web Bandit, which was established by Chad Hudson and Chris Lendrum (the same guys who brought us Dirty Collective), has recently created The Web Factory – an online service aimed at graphic designers, ad agencies and creatives which takes care of the coding that is vital in any website creation process. The Web Factory is a simple online aid that helps bridge the gap between attractive design and the functional code needed for any effective website; converting your vision into a high quality, cross browser compatible, fully responsive website in a matter of days. We had to know more! We chatted to the founding team about their new venture.
Please tell us what The Web Factory is all about?
The Web Factory is a ‘Digital Factory’ (the first of its kind) that delivers high-end, affordable Internet related services to freelance designers, creative agencies and the like; that are looking to expand their service offerings and generate alternative revenue streams without the risk of capital outlay on staff and equipment. We have a system established that will allow us to offer website development, hosting, marketing, and maintenance of the same calibre that large companies take advantage of, and at a very affordable rate. These services are on offer for our clients to repackage and re-sell, ultimately helping them make more money and grow their businesses.
The idea is quite simple really; a client (creative) would submit a design that has been created and saved in PSD format, Web Bandit then converts the client’s vision into a high quality, cross browser compatible, fully responsive website in a matter of days.
What prompted the creation of The Web Factory?
Coming from a freelance background, and moving up in the ranks of a small digital agency we are very aware of the struggles most designers face when taking the step to work for themselves or the difficulties small creative agencies experience when the need arises to expand. Seeing as corporate identity development forms a core part of any freelance designers repertoire it only seems right for them to upsell their services and create further value by including web design and development. Similarly, you will find small creative agencies have the scope to acquire 1 or 2 websites a month but this does not warrant them to hire as the return on that salary will not be high enough. The Web Factory is pretty much like a plug-in to their business where they would only use us when needed.
How does the site work?
The Web Factory requires you to sign up before you can access any of its functionality, this is due to the fact that we would like to keep it exclusive to those in need (a designers’ club for web development if you will). We have limited the number of members so we can guarantee that every single user we deal with gets the best possible service. By using The Web Factory, designers can sign up on the website and submit jobs to get real time quotes. Web Bandit lends a helping hand by suggesting a re-sale amount that the designer should be charging to ensure that the website is not over priced and the job is accepted by the client. Once all systems are go the job can be uploaded to the website and you can monitor the progress of your development online! Each job is assigned a project manager which ensures everything runs smoothly from start to finish; managing client expectations and prompt service is a big part of our process!
What makes the service unique?
Right now there is nothing like it in South Africa… PSD conversion has been around for a while overseas but for some reason has not taken much of a stage here. The service allows designers or small creative agencies to have complete control over the build of their client’s website without having to hire a web developer in house to help out. They design, submit the job and we develop… it really is that simple! Because our prices are fixed and designers can get the quotes they need immediately it takes the pain of waiting for quotes away and leaves them in the driver’s seat to mark up the website and sell it to their client however they please (Even though we do recommend a re-sale price!).
We are committed to providing the best possible development prices which allow for the designers that use our system to make a decent mark up; ultimately filling their pockets and keeping web design and development profitable and affordable for everyone!
Who should be using it?
Freelance graphic designers, small creative agencies, entrepreneurs, and anyone who needs a website and has a basic understanding of how Photoshop works! For those that are not the creative type they can get in touch with our agency and we can help you with a full digital solution.
The Web Factory focuses on the coding side of things while the user provides the creative direction, does the team provide aesthetic input if it’s desired?
Of course! As mentioned above we are graphic designers so if we think certain aesthetic aspects of a design could be altered to improve the user experience we would be more than willing to lend a helping hand if asked to.. And sometimes even when we aren’t.
What are the advantages and challenges of starting a digital company in South Africa?
The advantages are vast. Personally, we love the challenge of conceptualizing a brand’s position in the deep space, which is the World Wide Web. Each product and/or service is unique; meaning that it takes a tailored and intimate approach in correctly placing it online, and in front of the right audience. All this whilst staying on point and cultivating digital relationships between brands and their consumers in an incredible yet highly fickle eco-system.
The challenge is to stay with the curve; forget trying to always be ahead of it. Gone are the days where execution techniques (marketing) were taught for years, if not decades. The evolution of the digital marketing industry requires those that make a living from it, to constantly stay in tune with its ever morphing presence. Algorithms change weekly and platforms are always updating and re-modelling themselves. Best practice and elegant execution are key, yet almost undefinable because they change as often as the weather does.. You need to be constantly learning and updating your cerebral software.
What’s next from Web Bandit?
Mars.. Only kidding. To quote the comedian Tim Minchin; “Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you… If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye.” For now our focus is solely on launching our Digital Factory. When we see the shiny object out the corner of our eye, we’ll let you know.