This blog is more of a personal one since it’s something that almost all web developers and graphic designers will experience at some point in their career.


Even though my costs are typically lower than most Toronto-based web design agencies, I find myself in rare situations where I have a potential client trying to haggle me down in price.

We’ve all heard the famous saying “You get what you pay for” but surprisingly today this cliche still eludes many people. If you are one of the lucky people who find a developer who is willing to sacrifice their time or trying to build their portfolio – good for you. Unfortunately like many, this is how I make a living and I’m NOT looking to compete with students, overseas developers, people who undervalue themselves or preconceived notions of what my time is worth.

After 10 years of helping business achieve online success, I still come across the odd client who tries to get me to work for some absurdly low cost without any idea of the hard work and passion I put into building each website in an effort to help them achieve online success. It’s downright insulting or at the very least uncomfortable when potential clients try to compare my services to someone who just graduated college and likely hasn’t gone through the years of learning & challenges faced by a seasoned web developer.

Chances are if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Choose-WiselyIf you think you can get a $20K website for $500 then think again. If you’re an agency or freelancer in this situation you’ll probably want to pass on these types of clients or you may potentially be shaking hands with the devil.

Last year I actually had a person meet me at a restaurant and tell me about their amazing idea of building a site of the magnitude of LinkedIn on a budget of $1500. In that exact moment I fantasized about being Batman and having just seen the bat signal in the sky.

Much like companies who carefully select their employees, it’s just as important that freelancers know when to accept or turn down projects.

If someone is trying to unreasonably haggle costs, has lofty expectations and you have a strong feeling it’s not a project worth taking on then it’s probably best to just walk away like Robert DeNiro said in the movie Heat.

Remember, your time is valuable and there are plenty of opportunities out there if you are good at what you do.


As a company, it’s your responsibility to do your due diligence when hiring freelancers or agencies. One big mistake companies looking to hire someone for their web project¬† is not asking the right questions or looking into their freelancers track record or portfolio.

I do feel bad for businesses who have been ripped off in the past, who have entrusted web design agencies that have set high expectations or false claims and in the end didn’t deliver on their promise or provided a poor result.

In the past I’ve worked for several marketing agencies who relied heavily on outsourcing. NOT ALL, but most would just churn out high volumes of piss-poor websites that were ineffective and provided nothing but a pretty interface doomed to get little to no traffic or conversions.


Think again. If you don’t have a technical background don’t bother. Sites like Fiverr and Upwork are some of the popular outsourcing sites that sometimes remind me a pool of hungry sharks looking for their next victim.

I seldom outsource, but my years of web expertise allows me to spot when someone is submitting poorly coded solutions or isn’t following web standards.


Business relationships need to be beneficial for both parties. Freelancers deserve to be paid fairly for the work they provide and businesses deserve to see a positive ROI from their online investment.