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How to Open a Design Studio with TemplateMonster [Customer Case Study]

Not only freelancers but also design studios use TemplateMonster's themes for their work. Small to medium businesses attain well-coded and professionally designed sites built on the basis of our ready-made website templates. How do they do that? Here comes the story of Manuela Pucher, a web designer whom TemplateMonster's themes held cards in opening her own design studio.

Manuela is one of our most regular reviewers. We have shared her honest feedback in nearly every compilation of our earlier customer's reviews. We have decided that it would be interesting to you to know Manuela and her story better, and asked her for an interview. Here is what she has shared with us.

mella

Name: Manuela Pucher
Occupation: web developer
Location: Athens, Greece
Audience: small to medium sized companies in Greece
Site: http://www.nbw.gr

TemplateMonster: Tell us a couple of words about your company (studio). Where are you located? How big is your team?
Manuela Pucher: We are a small web development studio located in the centre of Athens, Greece. Our team consists of two permanent members. For larger projects, or during times of high work volume, we are assisted by several freelancers.

TemplateMonster: For how many years have you been into web design?
Manuela Pucher: I have been a web developer for 13 years now. Five years ago I opened my own studio.

TemplateMonster: Do you commonly use ready-made website templates in your work or create custom designs as well? (In case you develop custom themes, in what cases do you opt for ready-made solutions?)
Manuela Pucher: For websites, we work with both templates and custom-made themes. The choice is entirely up to the client. We always offer both options in our initial proposal, and explain the pros and cons to the client. In the end, it depends mainly on the client's budget. Since the start of the economic crisis in Greece, we have seen a steep increase in clients who choose readymade templates, since they are considerably cheaper. For e-commerce, we work only with templates.

TemplateMonster: How much time does is normally take you to create a website based on a theme? How fast do custom-made projects launch?
Manuela Pucher: Template based websites launch faster because html and css coding is already done. Depending on the size and complexity of the website, how much customization is needed, amount of data input etc, it can be launched within days. (Provided the client supplies us with all necessary data in a timely manner, which is not always the case).

When we develop a custom made design, the process is considerably longer. First of all, we usually have several client meetings to decide on the layout, make changes and modifications etc before the client is 100% satisfied. Then the layout needs to be translated into html/css and connected to whatever content management system we are using. So we are talking weeks rather than days here.


TemplateMonster: What's an average bill for a theme-based website creation? How much does it cost to launch a custom-made site?
Manuela Pucher: Our invoices are split into and design and development.

For design, we charge what Templatemonster charges for the readymade design (around 70USD for a simple website template) while a custom made one will cost around 800USD.

The charge for development, is not influenced by the type of template, but rather by the size and complexity of the project, and can vary widely.


TemplateMonster: How long have you been with TemplateMonster? How can you evaluate the results of our collaboration?
Manuela Pucher: I cannot remember exactly when I started using Templatemonster, but it was before I opened my own studio, so definitely more than 5 years. I am very satisfied with the templates I have purchased over time, and up to now never had any major problems with any of them. I have come to consider the quality provided very reliable, and it makes my life easier to know that there will not be any unforeseen complications to deal with. In fact, I have come to purchase the vast majority of my ready made templates from Templatemonster for this reason.

TemplateMonster: What do you enjoy the most? What should be changed/enhanced?
Manuela Pucher: Apart from the reliable quality mentioned above, which is most important to me, I appreciate that there are live demos for all templates available. It makes a big difference to the client to be able to see a functioning version of the template, as opposed to just an image. What I would wish for is a bit more innovative design on the templates, at least for website templates (as opposed to e-commerce ones, which are limited because of the underlying coding). One sometimes has the impression to see the same template over and over, only with different images and colours, and for clients who do not want to follow the "Large Image slider on top - 3 to four clickable symbols / small icons below - content boxes further down" recipe, it is sometimes hard to find something suitable. Also, as far as E-Commerce and WordPress templates are concerned, it would be great if they could be updated to work with the latest versions of the software. Often one looks for a certain template and receives 30 suggestions, but as soon as the version is narrowed down, there are 2 left to choose from.

TemplateMonster: What is your audience? What niche do you target? Do you target foreign markets or prefer working with customers from your country only?
Manuela Pucher: We target small to medium sized companies in Greece, mainly in the greater Athens area. This segment makes up 80% of our clientele. We have a few clients abroad, mostly in the Balkan area, mainly subsidiaries of Greek companies who are already our clients.

TemplateMonster: How do you attract new customers and keep them coming back?
Manuela Pucher: We pride ourselves in providing excellent customer service. We want to make sure that our clients are 100% satisfied, and strive to build long-lasting relationships with our clients. Because we cannot compete with larger companies as far as advertising or special offers are concerned, what we try to offer our clients is the personalized support they will not get from a more anonymous provider. This strategy has worked very well for us. At this point most of our new clients are from referrals, and the majority of our existing clients keep coming back to us for upgrades / new websites etc.

Finally, here comes the showcase of sites launched by Manuela's studio and TemplateMonster's themes that were chosen to build them.

***

Civil Engineering Responsive Website Template was used for Power Partner site.

Civil-Engineering-Responsive-Website-Template

Site:

power-partner


***

Air Conditioning Website Template resulted in Module Facility Management site.

Air-Conditioning-Website-Template

Site:

module-facility-management


***

Event Planner Responsive Website Template was used to buildKallina Coordinators wedding planning site.

Event-Planner-Responsive-Website-Template

Site:

kallinacoordinators


***

Religious WordPress Theme became a smarting point for Kontasou psychologyst site.

Religious-WordPress-Theme

Site:

kontasou


***

Responsive Decor Store PrestaShop Theme was chosen for anemoshome.gr linen store.

Responsive-Decor-Store-PrestaShop-Theme

Site:

anemoshome

This was Manuela's story. Are you eager to share yours with us? Then do not hesitate to reach us for an interview and we will publish your success story on the blog. Let the web community know your better with TemplateMonster!


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Katherine Crayon

copywriter reporting on tech news and all aspects of the web design industry. Anyone looking for more inspirational posts, tips and advice or simply the latest industry news, meet her in person on Quora and Twitter.

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