Revolutionising Web Creation: How Co-Creation Compares to Traditional Design

Cocreation vs Traditional web design

Hello there, incase you are new here –  my name is Orla and for about 20 years I was a traditional, freelance web and graphic designer. I started with html & CSS and eventually became a custom WordPress website designer.

Change has always been an intrinsic part of my industry but the pace of change lately has been astounding. New technologies, expanded knowledge, tightening regulations and minuscule attention spans have fundamentally changed the face of business.

My own life changed fundamentally, becoming a parent twice and learning about my own neuro-divergency made me question how I was working. The stress, deadlines, communication issues and tightening margins were making my work unsustainable. It just wan’t working for me anymore.

Around this time, I started working live with some of my clients because I didn’t have the time to take on longer term project based work. These sessions were incredibly fast, fun and productive. I found they gave me energy and the designs we were co-creating were far more aligned and empowering for my clients – I felt excited about what I do again.

What is Co-Creation

This video explains what co-creation is and compares it with traditional web design options.

Co-Creation is the process of partnering to create your online presence.  Instead of putting together a detailed brief, we work together to design your logo and website in live, fast and fun online sessions.  You are seeing my screen throughout the design process – you get a backseat pass to watch all of the design taking place.  You are involved in the creation of all elements of your design.  This way of creating design makes far more sense to me now because no one knows more about your business than you yet, the experience and skills I bring allow us to bring your business to life in a way that feels aligned, beautiful and professional.

I do have to say at the outset that Co-Creation is not for everyone and I will go into this in more detail later, it is most suited to small business owners either starting out or in the middle of messy change who need advice and support as much as need technical skills. This is an deeply personal, intuitive and supportive service that brings together all of my experience from design to innovation strategy, to technical expertise and accountability coaching. When you are starting out – you need a more holistic service. Pressing publish often means learning to deal with visibility, perfectionism and the fear of being wrong. Having a supportive partner on the journey to walk along side you is invaluable.

The differences

So lets get into the differences. I am going to tackle these under the following headings:

1. Control
2. Confidence
3. Communication
4. Design
5. Speed
6. Cost
7. Who this is NOT for!

1. Control

The first thing to note is that you will retain full control over your own domain and website with this service. Typically traditional web design services have ongoing maintenance fees. These are an important part of their service to ensure your site is secure, up to date and fast. Not every business needs custom design, in-fact, custom design is often stifling for small business owners who need the freedom to change their business as it grows without constantly incurring cost. I specifically recommend services that needs very little technical maintenance to keep ongoing costs as low as possible while still retaining creative control.

2. Confidence

This industry can be overwhelming. There are so many experts, so many loud voices telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. SEO, social media, blogging, newsletters, schedulers, memberships, courses. It is exhausting and everyone seems to contradict each other.

It doesn’t matter how much research you do – the only way to gain confidence with your business or idea is to put it out there but the sad reality is that many incredible people never take that step. Even those that do, struggle to find ‘product market fit’ – an audience for their product or service and feel alone and confused by the journey.

Co-creation is like having an outsourced business partner, someone to refine your idea, make educated decisions based on experience and develop confidence in your own abilities and business. The entire purpose of co-creation is to empower you to both be a part of the design and build but to also have the confidence to continue to evolve your online presence. After all – who knows your business better than you?

I often hear professionals say *”You don’t need a website to be successful”* and while this is strictly true, if you are not a natural sales person – having a website that you are proud of gives you a level of confidence and authority that can be invaluable. The process of creating your online presence forces you to refine your service or product offer through three lenses – your personal values, your client’s needs and commercial sustainability. I hold these lenses for you throughout the project so the end result is always a website that you are proud to refer people to.

3. Communication

Co-creation is all done live – there is no waiting for days or even weeks for a response to questions – they are answered immediately on your live session. Additionally, there are far fewer misunderstandings around design as decisions are made together in a fun, exciting and relaxed live build environment. No questions are off limit!

4. Design

You do not need innovative design when you are starting out. You need a professional website that feels aligned with who you are, communicates your offerings clearly to your clients and is easy for you to keep updated. With co-creation the design and build happens with you – there are no nasty surprises. It is an intuitive and collaborative design process that is flexible. Your online presence encompasses your branding, emails, social media presence and your website and co-creation gives you an insiders view of the creation of all of these – you will be viewing my screen through out the process.

Co-creation is iterative, your idea and business is not static and your website shouldn’t be either. For the first few years of any business, there are a lot of changes and it is important that your online presence reflects those changes while still keeping a level of consistency and reliability.

5. Speed

This is the main difference between traditional and co-creation is the speed. There is no long, drawn out planning process, we do our planning live on the build session – we are not reinventing the wheel. There are well worn design and content principles that we lean on as well as taking advantage of exciting new assistive technologies like AI and image creation to speed up the process.

As a result, your website is designed, built and published in one single, live session, avoiding the stagnation of perfectionism. I had many experiences of waiting for so long for content from clients that their services had changed by the time we got close to publishing resulting in the launch date being pushed out repeatedly.

I prioritise action over perfection, this is something even I cannot do for myself – I need external accountability for this, we all do. Your website will never be perfect, you will never have the perfect number of testimonials or photography. There is no substitute for going live and adjusting as you go. The main benefit of co-creation is that you gain the confidence to make those changes and you always have an outsourced partner in design to fall back on when you need me 🙂.

7. Cost

Let’s talk about what is on everyone’s mind when starting a business: cost. Yep, I get it. Money matters, it matters to me as a small business owner also. But fear not, because I’m all about transparency and this includes for pricing. Web design services can seem like a black hole of add on services and costs and that is something I do my very best to avoid by making my services clearly priced and providing payment plans.

Ongoing Fees

Now, let’s talk about ongoing fees. The only ongoing fees are your platform fees and these ensure that you retain 100% control over your online presence. We will discuss these at the start of the project and agree on what works for you but aim to budget from €50 – €300 per year, depending on the platforms you want to work with.

Scope Creep

Next up, Scope Creep – from sneaky fees that just land on your bill or ‘must have’ services that you feel pressurised to sign up to – that is just not my style. When we agree on the deliverables for our sessions, that is what you get. No sneaky add-ons or unexpected charges. Plus, if you decide you want to sprinkle a little extra magic onto your project later on, no problem – add on another session! No penalty, no arm-twisting—just pure flexibility.

Budget Constraints

I’m all about working with your budget constraints. The world of web design has moved on so much – there are options for every wallet size. So, if money’s feeling a bit tight, just book yourself a one-off strategy session, and together we will design the best low-cost strategy tailored just for you.

So, there you have it, folks. Transparent pricing, no scope creep, no ongoing fees, and a budget-friendly approach. It’s like the golden ticket to business success, and I really look forward to helping you create your sustainable online presence.

Who this is not for!

Lastly, I really want you to understand who this service is for and who it is not for. Lets start with who it is not suitable for:

Someone who wants to slap together a website real quick and on the cheap.

This service requires an investment of your time into crafting something truly authentic and aligned. It’s not just about the end result; it’s about the journey, the learning, the growth. So, if you’re not ready to roll up your sleeves and dive deep, this might not be the service for you.

Someone looking for some next-level, out-of-this-world design wizardry and conversion magic.

There are some seriously talented designers out there just waiting to make your dreams come true. My focus here is on co-creating genuine, flexible and aligned solutions for early stage businesses. Most of my clients are still discovering who their audience is, their website needs to be flexible enough to move with them as they find product-market fit. But if you are someone who knows your audience and have the budget you should be working with the incredible design and conversion pros that will skyrocket your success.

Someone who wants SEO – Search Engine Optimisation!

There are a lot of myths about SEO and how easy it is to be found once you find the right ‘magic words’. The truth is that SEO takes time, effort, and a whole lot of up to date know-how. And while I’m all about helping you shine online, optimising for keywords right now is not a good use of your precious time and resources as your target market and marketing will likely change as you grow with your business. I’m more about building solid foundations and creating aligned content that will have the audience you bring coming back for more.

An organisation with multiple decision-makers.

I work best with individuals or businesses where there’s one decision maker who is personally engaged with the success of the business or idea. Decisions are made instantly with support and advice, there is no waiting around for days or even weeks for design by committee where everyone ends up a a little unhappy with a mediocre result. This service is fast, supportive and intuitive. We work together as a team to bring what is unique and exciting about your business to your clients.

So, there you have if you’re looking for a quick and impersonal website, next-level design magic, an overnight SEO success story, or you’re part of a decision-making circus, this is not the right service for you. And hey, that’s great to know – there are an unlimited array of exceptionally talented and experienced designers out there for you to choose from and they will do a far better job for you than I could.


Thank you so much for staying with me until the end of this – my very first YouTube video, I hope it has been helpful. Whether you’ve decided that co-creation is the perfect fit for your business or you’ve realised it might not be quite what you’re looking for, your time and attention mean the world to me. Remember, no matter where you are on your entrepreneurial path, there is a solution out there that can be tailored just for you.

So, keep exploring, keep learning, and keep pushing your boundaries and if you ever need a guiding hand or a friendly ear, book in for a free discovery call to see if we would work well together – Hopefully, together, we can create a sustainable, authentic and aligned online presence and strategy for your business.

Let me know if you have any questions here or by sending me an email to and see you next time 🙂!


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