Many graphic designers design websites in Photoshop and then pass their designs on to developers to be coded into functional sites. Accordingly, an abundant number of PSD to HTML services have cropped up to satisfy the need for white-label development. It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship: designers design, coders code and both get paid. Such an arrangement allows a graphic designer to launch a full-fledged web design agency without having to know a lick of code; the caveat, of course, is that designers must stake at least part of their reputations on the quality of their contracted developers. This begs the question: what is the best PSD to HTML service?
The answer isn’t as straight-forward as you might think. It would be easy for me to list 10 or 20 or 100 PSD to HTML services, but that wouldn’t help you determine which is best. Instead, I’ll offer the following criteria on which to grade potential services so you can make an informed decision that does not jeopardize your own business but rather bolsters it.
1. Visual quality-of-work
Start by shortlisting a few potential web development partners, then compare examples of their work. Take note of any PSD to HTML services that have coded websites that feature outstanding design work. The design work itself isn’t indicative of their coding prowess, of course, but a service that is trusted by other excellent designers has likely done everything necessary to earn their business. Seeing is believing, reviews are worthless (or manufactured), so when great designers use a given PSD to HTML service you can be more confident said service will do a good job for you.
2. Functional and performance quality of work
Next, check the functional and performance quality of work. You can do this by clicking on links, running applications, filling out forms, etc. Browse the site as the intended user would to find any potential issues. Delve further into the functionality of the sites by comparing website speed (I like Pingdom), search engine optimization (SEO Site Checkup is one such tool you can use) and accessibility (try AC Checker). Compare multiple sites from each PSD to HTML service on your shortlist, because individual clients may or may not have ordered code optimization in these areas. Cut your shortlist to those services that code performance-optimized sites.
3. White label guarantee
Most PSD to HTML service guarantee white label status; that is to say, their involvement will be transparent and your clients will perceive the entire coding to have been done by your company.
4. Communication skills
Contact the PSD to HTML services that have passed your tests so far and see how quickly and accurately they respond to your queries. Don’t use their online forms to request a quote; rather, send them an email with your detailed specifications. Their forms don’t cover everything you could want, and you want to know how they’ll handle customization work outside of their form scope. Ultimately, you want to work with someone you feel comfortable with and can rely on to perform the work as-stated.
Finally, consider price. If you have two or three PSD to HTML services left on your shortlist, price could be the determining factor. You don’t always get what you pay for, and there is no reason to be raked over the coals for a service you can get cheaper elsewhere. It’s likely the cheapest service isn’t the best, but neither is the most expensive service. Any savings can be passed on to your clients or added to your bottom line.
Finally, keep in mind that you don’t have to work with a well-marketed PSD to HTML service. You might find a freelance contractor that’s just as talented and features better communication skills for a better price. PSD to HTML services can operate like factories; in my experience, individual freelancers are more dedicated to delivering outstanding work and earning your long-term business.
What’s your favorite PSD to HTML service?