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449 – 3 Day Professional Blog Design

Posted By Darren Rowse 23rd of July 2006 Blog Design 0 Comments

Chris-GarrettChris Garrett (not the Chris Garrett from Performancing… there’s two of them out there!) emailed me this morning to tell me about a new service he’s put together for his blog design business.

It’s called 449 and is a service that promises to deliver you a professional blog design for £449 (at present that’s just over $834 USD or around $1100 AUD).

For that price you get a WordPress blog with free hosting and domain name for a year as well as the blog’s design.

Previous work from Chris can be seen here, here and here.

It’ll be interesting to see how his service goes. In my experience dealing with bloggers – there are a lot who aspire to professionally designed blogs but in most cases I find when I mention the type of prices that designers charge that people decide to either give the design a go themselves or go for a free template.

Is this a good deal?

I guess it comes down to personal taste (if you like his work), your own design ability, your blogging goals and aspirations as well as your budget. $834 isn’t the cheapest I’ve seen blog design advertised at but by no means is it the most expensive.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • I wish him luck. He’s done some nice designs and the prices are very good, BUT the blogosphere is populated with lots of people with no money and no hope of ever making any.

    They got into blogging because the entry fee was almost nil.

    There are better ways for him to use these talents though. He could create and host blogs for all the service industry businesses in his area or he could do catablogs for all the artists in his local area.

    I’ve done several posts outlining this method and am now doing several blogs for local businsses and have several more in the pipeline.

    The local corporate community and local businesses need help and will pay. MOST of the blogosphere can not and will not.

  • He has designed some nice blogs, but don’t you think that the price is a bit high ?

  • Not worth it. I’d rather spend the money on a do-it-yourself book and make one of my own.

  • Thanks for the mention Darren, very much appreciated.

    Mike, I don’t just focus on blog design, I’m actually doing alot of design work for web applications at the moment, I just felt it was an area that I needed to make more of a fuss about really.

  • Their logo reminds me of this one:

  • Mike,

    I think you’ve got a good point. Bloggers probably wouldn’t be the best audience. A blogger who is motivated enough to start their own blog seriously are probably going to be resourceful enough to find a free design that works for them or be able to tweak one to their taste.

    But what about the local businesses who haven’t found blogging yet. There are a lot of businesses who aren’t as technically savvy and wouldn’t mind putting this task on someone else’s shoulders. A local clothes retailer might wonder what it takes to start a product blog. A small staffing firm might use a blog for recruitment. These kinds of people wouldn’t necessarily have the internal resources to get a blog going.

  • For the average Problogger reader(and I still don’t know what that is, but I suspect it’s anwhere from neophyte to to intermediate), you’re probably looking at more raw content without much regard (or perceived value) for branding and the like, so sure, the price may seem a bit high for them.

    But for people who see their blogs as a business (or part of their business) in the traditional sense, I think the price is very reasonable.

  • Shawn– you are EXACTLY right. Just since my first comment, a company has asked me to create a blog to recruit salesmen in 3 cities. They’re in my industry and saw one of the blogs I get paid to write.

    That money’s a helluva lot easier to make than using contextual ads and one leads to another and to another and …..

    Hey Chris – I wasn’t dissing you or the idea, I’m just trying to get people to see that if they’ll take their topic and dig it deeper and narrower, it’ll work better than if you go wide and shallow. That’s how they drill oil wells – narrow and deep ! Oil wells = money !

    The two remarks after mine were EXACTLY what I had expected from bloggers. Just wanted to keep them from making you sorry that you were doing what you were doing.

    You are to be commended for actually taking action, rather than potshots.

    The wish you luck remark was because I already know how cheap and half-ass a lot of bloggers are.

    Congrats ! And feel free to holler if you’d like to expand upon what I was talking about.

  • It’s depends on the personal needs of the blogger actually. That price may be good for some and may be too high for some.

    I had problems looking for a wordpress designer so I ended up learning CSS and doing the design myself for my blogs. So far so good. I help friends design their own blogs now.

    If you plan to tweak your own blog, I suggest that you pick a good wordpress template (there are tons of WordPress templates) and study the CSS part of it. You will eventually get the drift after a week or so. I picked the Ads-Minded template by and studied the whole thing since he makes very detailed, clean and organized codes.

    If you don’t want to go through this, you can always hire a blog designer to design some custom templates for you.

  • cat

    There are a number of very decent blog designers out there. I love what Chris from Performancing puts out. His blogs are pure quality. I’m a web designer, and after checking out his rates.I’d say that for the well thought out designs he produces, it’s an extremely good deal. You get what you pay for, and I feel that with Chris, you get that bit more. I drool over his work. Megga stuff.

    Of course not everyone sees the value in a custom design. Nor does everyone need one with all the free themes out there. But with a company, one who is serious about their business, I always advise going for custom rather than off the shelf.

    I’m sure Darren has two well designed blogs for a reason. The one here at ProBlogger and his new photography blog –>>

    In my opinion, going that extra mile does pay off.

    Two other design companies creating blogs that I admire are:

    Moxi Design Studios (they are usually booked up)

    And the Blog Studio


  • As with any design, it is a subjective thing. And as with price range, it’s also subjective. But I do know one thing for sure…”You Pay Peanuts, You Get MONKEYS”

    I’m SO VERY done with those so called blog designers I’ve encountered. I wonder if these two words “work ethic” and “delivery” are in their vocabulary.

  • Graeme Cook

    Chris’s work is gorgeous. 449 ukp is peanuts for design of this calibre.

  • For a small business or someone who wants to have a custom design to build their brand, this price is perfect, great work Chris.

    Don’t want to pay? Here are your options.

    1. Get a free template/theme and try to customize it yourself. Beleive me, I’ve been doing html and web design for 10+ years now and it’s not as easy as it looks.

    2. Get a template from But be warned, they are pretty, but require a TON of customization and fixes once you get them.

    I would reommend Chris’s service to anyone who wants to do it right, without hassle. That’s the true value in my eyes. Professional, beautiful, customizable to my brand, and hassle free. Just start blogging.

  • I have enjoyed working with Chris on a few occassions, so I recommend him too, and with many other professional blog designs ranging in the 2000+, I think its a bargain. Good luck Chris.

  • Good luck Chris. :-)

  • It is very interesting to see the price Chris is charging for a wordpress template design. I have just relocated from South Africa to the UK for one year, where I am procuring more web design work for my South African based company.

    I would say his price is a bit steep, but then again you pay for quality, and his templates look good quality.

    If you are looking for a blog design have a look at some competition before signing up for the 449 deal. My hyperlink is above :)

  • Chris does indeed do great work. He’s worked with us at The Blog Studio on a couple of projects to date, and will certainly do more in the future.

    His price of 449 pounds is extremely reasonable. I suspect that it will be a relatively short lived offer, as Chris learns just how much work it actually takes to produce these templates (hint: design and coding only takes up half of the total time; dealing with clients, answering email and phone, and generally running a business eats up the rest).

    I’ve written a post about pricing here: Pricing of design in general is a contentious issue. It seems particularly so with bloggers (especially probloggers). Speaking from experience, this seems odd; we’ve demonstrated time and again that top notch design actually improves the bottom line for probloggers.

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  • THe price is very high! I wouldn’t pay it for wordpress!

  • Funny, I was just thinking about this the other day. My idea was a collection of Blog Tops (header replacements for the Kubrick default). Along with an instruction book for how to customize the bottom bits….

  • That price seems high but I guess it would depend on the traffic you recieve.

  • Great logo design can often have a high price this is something many of us designers and web bloggers have realized throughout purchasing these kind of logos. I often create logos for myself so I do not have to worry about this cost but if it was great logo design I believe 449 EURO would not be to bad. Depends on the person not website I believe.