I am a Sr. Graphic Designer in the publication/creative development department of a global energy company of more than 30k employees. I am also an experienced multimedia designer and freelance web designer with a degree in graphic design from the International Academy of Design and Technology, Tampa FL. I am contributing this report out of disgust with a situation I became involved with when my neighbor asked me to make a few simple updates to his existing web site. The site was designed, and hosted by Farrells Creative Designs. Note: Anytime I use the term designed in this report, you can assume Im speaking in my most sarcastic tone possible. My neighbor came to me with a few simple changes he wanted done to his site. I wanted to help him out, so I instructed him to acquire his ftp hosting login credentials so I could upload the changes to his web hosting server.
When he approached Donna Farrell for the information his request was denied in the most unprofessional fashion a small business owner could imagine. It is my understanding that she was very upset that he wanted anyone but her to work on the site. She also stated that she owned my neighbors web site files and would not be providing the host, username, and password needed in order to upload design changes via FTP. I can only imagine that Farrell was reluctant to provide the requested information out of fear that her fraudulent design claims would surely be exposed by a real experienced web designer.
On her web site Donna Farrell claims to be a creative artist and web designer. Her being a creative artist is a matter of opinion, but I can assure you she is not a real web designer. Farrell's Creative Designs claims to have created over 350 web sites. A quick view of the source code from any of the sites they claim to have designed shows that Farrell's uses an amateur DIY web design tool for non-designers with no web design or coding experience. The tool is called EZGenerator and is supported by over 2800 free web site templates.
Farrell's likely manipulates these free templates via the EZGenerator software and then resells to unsuspecting clients as "custom web site designs". Aside from the sites in their portfolio actually representing a small portion of the free EZGenerator web site templates, they are also some of the least visually appealing and poorly done layouts youll find on the internet. Total cookie cutter designs as a result of the free templates they resell to clients at a disgusting premium and then try to pass off as their own.
Here is an excerpt from www.farrellswebdesigns.com home page:
Donna creates "Clean & Clear Web Designs", and all the sites are always easy to navigate. Donna has created over 350 website designs in the last 5 years and has many years experience in the marketing/designn and printing field to bring to the table.
Every site is custom designed just for your alone. Our portfolio contains some of our lastest design projects for various companies that we work with.
You will find over 55 clickable live website samples a slide show of some screen shots of even more. Ask about our unique SEO program ind our montly posting program on the world largest newspaper on line.
These samples below are priced anywhere between $500.00 - $3200.00. However, I can start you off a at price as low as $199.00 for a smaller website to start!
Sorry Donna, but a real designer would have a much better eye for detail and actually proof read their copy before going live on a site loaded with typos and grammatical errors. I count at least 3 spelling errors in the 5 sentences above. Thats quality content right there... Exactly what I want to see from someone Im trusting to design my web presence and market my business online.
Dare I even ask what makes your SEO program unique? If youre using EZGenerator and a bunch of free templates to call yourself a web designer, I suspect you dont really know much about what a real SEO Engineering spec actually entails.
I told my neighbor not to worry. Farrell is a reseller for Hostgator, a well known web hosting company. Its mind boggling to me that anyone would handcuff a client to a hosting account by holding their site files hostage all for a tiny monthly commission. I did a little research and found that he registered his domain through GoDaddy.com. I also discovered that he WAS ALREADY PAYING TO HOST THE SITE with GoDaddy.com. So now I find out that Farrell duped my neighbor into paying her to host his web site through Hostgator while he was already paying to host at GoDaddy.
I now had enough information to free my neighbor from the handcuffs of the wicked web design witch. I told him not to worry because I already ripped what content I needed from his existing site and would use it to develop a new, easy to manage CUSTOM Wordpress web site based on the Thesis framework. I simply changed his name servers to point to GoDaddy servers rather than Hostgator. I then developed a custom web site with a complete SEO Engineering spec, and new text content meeting common SEO criteria. His business is now represented with a much more professional looking web presence; And, consistent organic search rankings in the top 10 for Google results page for any keyword related to his business in the region he serves.
I dont go out of my way to trash talk other service providers in my field. The majority are good designers, honest business people, and a pleasure to work with. However, when people like Donna Farrell are allowed to operate a so called web design firm based on fraudulent claims, it hurts everyone else who design, manage projects, and run a business the right way in this field. Im pretty sure charging unsuspecting clients $500 to $3200 for a template based web site counts as FRAUD. Too many people get burned by designers like Donna Farrell. If I can save 1 person the headache and hassle of dealing with wannabe designer like Donna Farrell, while pushing them in the direction of a professional who will actually help their business grow online, the time I took to write this report was worth it.