Hiring a freelance web designer is also a way to ‘shop local’

You know that person that always shops local? They never step foot into a big box store. They buy all their food at farmer’s markets even in February in the midwest. Except you know that’s completely insane, because at some point it’s 3 a.m., you’re regretting that chimichanga you ate for dinner, and Wal-Mart is the only thing open that sells Pepto Bismol.

And much to the chagrin of small towns everywhere, shopping at your Wal-Mart is not “shopping local”.

But shopping local is expensive. Sure you can get some great stuff you can’t get anywhere else, but there’s also a lot of commodity stuff, like candles and cutting boards. Most people want *just* a candle.

Same is true for web designers. I see it a lot here in Indianapolis. People hire a freelance web designer because they have a little money, but not a lot of money, and they want something higher up than a Wix or Weebly site and more affordable than some big 50-person agency that caters to large enterprises.

Most people are in the middle, and everyone likes nice things. But they also appreciate a good value, which is where a lot of local products start to fail. It’s not because they’re not good, but sometimes a $10 difference in the price of soap is hard to ignore. It’s soap, it’s not like it’s going to be handed down through generations.

There are no big-box web design retailers, so hiring anyone is a defecto form of shopping local. Though there are plenty of big agencies, especially in California and New York, and even here in our native Indianapolis.

Hiring a freelancer or small web team is a lot like hiring a plumber. It’s probably cheaper than national brands, more reliable than hiring through a contract with Lowe’s or Home Depot, and you get to keep money in your local economy.

Plus, when’s the last time your local Wal-Mart manager invited you to lunch?

So before you signup for that Wix or Weebly account, try contacting a web shop first. It’ll be good for everyone.

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Justin Harter

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