99 Designs strives to offer its customers with the best possible experience and end result product possible. This is made possible by focusing solely on the design aspect of website building process. They have successfully supported the design of nearly one million websites since 2008. With a major stockpile of designers, they offer a wide range of features for their customers.
- Unique experience
- Design options
Working with 99 Designs is a very unique experience for the customer, their process is very different than many other companies. When a customer needs something designed (website, logo, t-shirts, packaging, brand identity, or many others), they bring a list of their basic ideas, needs and wants to 99 Designs. The customer then decides how much they are willing to pay for a design, the price they pay decides how many design options they will receive. Once these things are decided they are placed in a contest for designers to see. If the designer decides to enter the contest, they submit a proposed design for the customer. The design that is ultimately chosen by the customer gets a portion of the money.
This format allows the customer to get a variety of options for the design of their website from one place. While other companies provide a variety of options for design through templates, they are not customized for a specific company. The designs that the customer receives through 99 Designs are completely original and built solely for their company. A customer is not limited to the designs that come back to them from the contest either. They can select some of the designs that they like and suggest changes to the designers to make it exactly what they want. This can happen a few times in order for the website design to be just right.
Once a customer has found the right design for them through their contest, their website is then hosted by another company, Jimdo. Through Jimdo, the customer can add a variety of features to make the website functional. If they need a blog, there are full blogging capabilities available, (same thing for online stores or any other variety of website). If the customer has an issue once their website is published, Jimdo offers a large selection of video tutorials to walk them through common problems. The combination of the two companies provides the customer with a fully customized experience.
- Two companies
- No pre-designed templates
- Designers match pay
Though the design process is a very unique, fun and interesting experience for the customer, there still is the need to work with two separate companies in order to maintain the website. Jimdo is a great hosting company that can meet all of the customer's needs for hosting and maintaining. But it is a separate company, with different policies and procedures. This means that the customer has to do twice the amount of research to make sure both companies provide exactly what they need. The positive of this is that these companies are partners and continually work together, so they have set procedures for transferring their customers.
The design process is designed to give the customers a fully customized site that is exactly what they have pictured. But the issue comes if there is not a design that comes through the contest that the customer is pleased with. There are no pre-designed templates available to fall back on if that is the case. This issue is remedied by the 100% money-back guarantee if the customer is not satisfied. Once the customer has selected a design through the contest and the website has been published through JImdo, they cannot go back and make major changes to the design. The customer can make changes to the content and the customizable options, but no major design changes. This just means that the customer has to make sure the design is exactly what they are looking for before they close the contest and publish the site.
During the contest, customers have the option to choose how much they will put up for the designers. The higher amount they are willing to put up, the more designs they receive to choose from. When a customer pays the lowest amount, $499, they can expect around 30 designs from good designers. When they go up to $699 they can expect around 40 designs from better designers. If they go up to $1,299 they can expect around 50 designs from expert designers, they also get a dedicated account manager. And if they are willing to pay the premium amount $1,999 they get around 40 premium designs from designer handpicked by the 99 Designs and a dedicated account manager. The customer must be willing to pay that large sum in order to get the best designs and all the options they want.
The Bottom Line
From a design standpoint, working with 99 Designs is an exciting opportunity. A group of designers working on a design dedicated to your specifications is unique to this company. An added bonus is the partnership with Jimdo that will manage the upkeep of the beautifully designed site. If you don't mind working with two separate companies to build your website, 99 Designs is a great choice.