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dwhitmore says

Hi guys,

I’m thinking of taking on some freelance web design projects, and like many others I’d probably use TF templates for certain projects.

When you’re pitching to a prospect, how do you sell the ‘site’ you’re providing, when in reality you’re using a TF template?

Obviously, your skill is required to make specific amendments, customisations, get the content in there, etc. but ideally you want to maximise your revenue by selling it as ‘a design just for them’.

It would be tricky to charge a good whack if you let them know up-front that you’re using a generic template, but you also don’t want to pass it off as your own design (which would be unethical) – and if you charge a lot of money for their site, what happens if one day they discover TF and realise their site was simply a template that can be bought for $20, rather than £x,xxx’s?

I’d love to know how you guys approach this, in a fair and ethical way, whilst still (obviously) making as much money as possible?

Dan

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_rohan says

I’ve never actually used one of the TF templates, but I’d imagine that people buy them not to just customise, but use parts from several templates to build a new one that has no relation to the components.

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dwhitmore says

Yea I suppose that’s possible; but let’s say you splice together a few templates to create a ‘custom’ design – it’s still not really your own work is it?

Hopefully a few people on here do sell the exact TF designs, I’d love to hear their approach – and how they broach the subject with their clients.

Dan

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_rohan says
Yea I suppose that’s possible; but let’s say you splice together a few templates to create a ‘custom’ design – it’s still not really your own work is it?

Hopefully a few people on here do sell the exact TF designs, I’d love to hear their approach – and how they broach the subject with their clients.

Dan

Even I’m interested in seeing their responses. Nice idea for a thread.

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eyesea says

So far I have used TF templates for my pro bono work. I occasionally do a pro bono site for a non-profit (all local orgs in my community, a small town) to keep my time down on these, and make it feasible for me to do them. I still customize a bit , but if I understand the licensing correctly you can’t represent these templates as your own work. Have yet to ‘sell’ a TF template. I am also using one on the next iteration of my company website.

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LoewenWeb says

I would just charge customization fees then, and let the client know they are getting a template. There’s a chance they’ll run into it either on someone elses site, or (more likely) on themeforest. And that’s a chance you don’t want to take since it would likely prevent the client from using your services again, and mislead them.

Something clients would appreciate is giving them two options, one for a ‘from scratch’ solution done by you, or a discounted price with a template. If you don’t have the skill to create from scratch, you should still let them know you are using a template.

Even though using a template can look generic, there are plenty of customizations you can do to make them look unique.

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CyberShot says

I have put together a site for a customer. I told them that I was using a template. I told them to come here and pick one out and I would get it up and running. They ended up buying two templates. One they did not use and that template is still with me. So because I set it up the way I did, I was able to save them a bunch of money and get their business. The other great thing is that the people who make these templates usually make updates to improve them and you get those updates for free. Honesty is always the best policy.

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RobbyDesigns says

I’m more a graphics guy myself so I tell my website design clients up-front that I use templates as the basis of website designs and that’s why I’m affordable. This goes one of two ways – they groan and ask the price for a bespoke or they love it because they get a rough idea of how their site will look before I tune it for them.

Template editing isn’t that hard so you wont make much money out of that; it’s tuning that template to match exactly what your client needs that makes the £/$. When you take into account the graphics changes, text changes, SEO etc you do still spend a fair amount of time on it.

Remember a template is exactly that. A template. A starting point. It’s up to you to finish it off. I’ve worked with templates that you’d never recognise once I’m done and I’ve worked with templates that I’ve done very little to. It depends on the budget of the client and the brand, etc.

If you want to charge a ‘good whack’ then I’d say you’ve got to be the designer, not the tuner and if you charge top $ for something you’ve hardly touched then I’d be surprised if it doesn’t backfire some day.

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JJenZz says

I haven’t read all the replies in here, so apologies if someone has already pointed this out…

Buying a template for $20 (Regular License) and then selling it for more is actually breaking the terms of the Regular License. The Regular License states that you may purchase a template on BEHALF of a client and RECOUP the cost (of $20 say) but you MAY NOT resell. This means you cannot resell the template (claiming that it is your work) and especially not for more than what you purchased it for.

If however, you are prepared to pay around $500 for a template, then that will give you the Extended License which enables you to resell as you have described above for as much as you like.

PLEASE ensure you obey the terms of the licenses you purchase otherwise you could end up being taken to court.

So, in response to your original question… If I were you, I’d just tell your client that the payment due equates to the cost of the template plus your time spent customizing it.

All the best =)

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TylorSkory says

I just tell the client that I will purchase a template for them from a commercial database of website templates. Hope that helps!

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