Fasthosts Reveals That Small Businesses are Cutting Web Design Budgets

By Fasthosts, PRNE
Sunday, December 12, 2010

GLOUCESTER, England, December 13, 2010 - Fasthosts has revealed that British web designers continue to face tough
market conditions, according to recently conducted research.

The study of 300 web design firms* by Fasthosts, a leading web hosting
( provider, finds that whilst 72 per cent
have seen an increase in expectations from their SME clients, the majority
are struggling with lower budgets and under-cutting by cut-price competitors.
71 per cent of web designers believe that insufficient investment is holding
back SME websites.

In the past two years, 1 in 3 web pros have been expected to supply more
out-of-hours work, whilst half have performed work free of charge to
demonstrate its benefits to SMEs. More positively, the majority of web pros
believe their clients value them as business advisors, and 56 per cent have
seen their advice to clients lead to the significant development of those

Fasthosts ( Web Design Industry Audit reveals
that UK web designers and developers have faced significant challenges over
the past 2 years. The average web design firm surveyed serves 20 SME-sized
clients. Whilst two thirds are now working with smaller budgets, 1 in 3 has
slashed its hourly rates. 44 per cent have seen a reduction in new clients
being won. Over half of web pros (56 per cent) report that they have been
negatively impacted by an increase in cut-price competitors. 43 per cent of
web designers wish that SME clients would more carefully consider the
financial needs of their web design partner as well as their own.

In addition to tough financial conditions, it appears that web designers
face ever-increasing expectations. In recent years, 44 per cent have seen an
increase in the amount of day-to-day support that clients expect from them,
with 1 in 3 now expected to provide more out-of-hours. It appears that the
way in which SMEs are briefing web professionals may be holding back the
success of their websites. 46 per cent report that increasingly, their work
is being impeded by SME clients making changes to briefs as a project

Significantly, 71 per cent of web designers believe that insufficient
investment is holding back SMEs' success on the web, and 73 per cent report
that their clients under-estimate the maintenance required for a website
following its launch. Insufficient time with clients is a problem for 1 in 3
web designers, and 54 per cent believe that a low technical understanding
from the client has impacted the success of web projects they have created in
recent years.

Steve Holford, marketing director, Fasthosts Internet Ltd., said: "For
many small firms, using external web professionals is a very sensible and
rewarding option. It's clear that in recent years, web designers have worked
hard to adapt to the needs of clients and demonstrate the value they can
deliver. With the right approach from both small businesses and the web
design community, online revenues can be successfully built and so help the
UK economy in its return to growth."

About Fasthosts:

As a leading web hosting provider, and Technology Sponsor of The Great
Exhibition 2012, Fasthosts offers a comprehensive range of web solutions
including domain name registrations, ( email solutions
(including mobile email services), shared web hosting, virtual servers,
( dedicated servers, secure
online storage, online payment services, reseller web hosting ( and feature-rich broadband packages.
Fasthosts is well placed to deliver a high quality service. All data is
hosted in Fasthosts' state-of-the-art UK based data centre.

Notes to Editors:

* 301 UK web design companies surveyed via electronic feedback form.

    PR Contact:

    Richard Stevenson
    Discovery House
    154 Southgate Street
    GL1 2EX

PR Contact: Richard Stevenson, Fasthosts, Discovery House, 154 Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 2EX, +44(0)1452-561-857

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