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  1. #1
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    Hello everyone,

    I would like to know if there is a concrete definition out there that constitutes a full service web design firm or do people just arbitrarily call their company a "full service"?

    Thank you in advance for the help!

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    Nuts to bolts, e.g. registration to hosting to design to implementation to support to changes / upgrades, not to mention talking to the owner and finding the right fit for said business.
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  4. #3
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    This usually also means; logo, business cards, title heads, print, HTML email templates. There are many things that companies need, and full service means that they provide this, and within the flow of what Wired said.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Excellent question

    I don't think there is a concrete "complete" answer to this question, but I do know there are thousands out their that claim to be "full service", but have a hard time explaining to potential clients the difference between a shared hosting platform or a dedicated server, much less understanding themselves the actual need for one or the other.

    A "full service" ( in my opinion ) design firm, should be able to not only provide a finished design, but be able to setup, maintain hosting and support their design in every aspect of the word "support", as well as take a site that someone else started and fix or create possible workarounds to make the site functional.

    To add to this, a web design firm should be able to educate their clients on best practices as well as counsel them on "newest trends", and the impact to their business. Social marketing has become the newest "bastardized" buzzword on the Internet, but not "EVERY BUSINESS"', should have a Facebook fan page or twitter feed. No really, not every business out there can benefit from them. And to some it's just a giant waste of time and money.

    A good "full service" web design firm should be able to handle any customer questions regarding not just the site that they might provide, but anything related.

    I had a client recently ask if there was anything that could be done about several sites that were using that companies trademark without permission. Luckily, all of the sites they told me about were hosted on US based web servers, so after filling out DMCA request and sending them to the appropriate parties, those were resolved. But I also had to inform them that if those servers were in any of a number of countries, they would more than likely have to enlist legal assistance in that country, as the DMCA request are usually only honored by US based hosting companies or those that have a US operation.

    Those are just a few of the things I consider to be on the list of things a company should be able to do if they consider themselves a "full service" web design company.

  6. #5
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    I think full service as Webzarus states is what it means, along with what Wired and I said. Today many people throw around those buzzwords like "Social Media Expert", no one is a social media expert. Facebook can't even keep there users happy, though they don't really care if there happy or not there isn't an alternative. But that isn't the point, people say they are an expert in a field, well the problem is you'll never be an "expert" and if you throw around you're an expert i see it as a big red flag, because you have to tell people you, they can't see it. I have 700 twitter followers (closer to 650 now) but I'm not anyone special or interesting, by my point of view. I don't post any really exciting stuff, well not recently. But what I'm saying is, be careful what you say about your self or your company. Don't be overly bold about yourself, save that for your cover letter of your resume. Your company needs to say what it does, your portfolio should show it. The saying "A picture is worth a thousand words." Well this saying is true, you can say a thousand words about how amazing you are, but show a person one picture of what you've done, and you won't have to say a single word.

    This is off topic I know, but I think people need to see that no one wants to hear that you're full service yet aren't able to do what they need or ask, or to continually serve them on a need basis (as long as they are paying you etc). Use buzzwords carefully, and don't be overly bold about your company. Use some humility, and let your portfolio do the talking, because in the end those words mean nothing if your portfolio is nothing.

    So if you are using full service on your site, take a page out of Webzarus's book and try and incorporate what Wired and I said. Because that is full service, providing everything that a company needs within the realm of your business statement/mission statement. If your business statements says you do print, logo design and social media. Then perform those tasks. The problem with these buzzwords is that they aren't cut and dry like in Gas station terms full service means, they wash your windows, fill up the fuel and maybe even check your oil. But on the internet there are many different meanings of full service.
    TheGAME1264 likes this.

  7. #6
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    To me, whether or not it's an arbitrary term depends on whether the company in question uses the term and then describes their services or whether the company throws out additional buzzwords within the same context.

    For example, a "full service web design firm offering web design, development, hosting and maintenance services" could actually be considered a full-service web design firm.
    On the other hand, a "full service web design firm with a scalable, robust infrastructure with a team of internationally renowned experts with the ability to adapt to the ever-changing paradigms of a global marketplace" is probably completely full of crap and used the term arbitrarily along with a bunch of other big words to make the company sound intelligent and corporate.

    I would extend mafiya's statement one step further. Use buzzwords carefully, and if you can find a way to word something that actually makes you sound like a human being and not some corporate idiot trying to protect his/her job with jargon, then swap out the buzzwords.
    mafiya likes this.
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  8. #7
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    I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond. I was not sure if sticking to website design (as a start-up), social media marketing, and custom logo design could qualify as full service. I will leave that out of my marketing material and business plan. Again, thank you!!

  9. #8
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Who's your target market? Would they be suitably impressed by that? If not, don't mention it.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)


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