Got the Design? Now Get the Code

If you want your website to have an air of professionalism about it, you’re going to want some professionals to help you put it together.

A graphic artist can tell you which colors work best with one another and what sort of layout is most pleasing to the eye. A freelance writer (like myself) can put together some content that will jump out at the reader, captivating their interest and pulling them deeper into your site. A very critical component to the whole website creation process, though, is the coding. And this is where a service like that offered by XHTML/CSS ( comes into play.

You Do the Design, We Do the Code

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. There are tons of way for you to attract attention to your new company, whether it be an Adwords campaign or a blog contest, but what better way to get over 6000 targeted readers than to order a ReviewMe on John Chow dot Com. There’s great exposure to be had, as well as a few useful tidbits to help you improve. In this way, Johnny and Steve have taken a very smart first step with their custom coding website.


Their service is actually very simple. You provide them with a website design of some kind — whether it was created by you or a professional graphic artist is another issue — and then they’ll interpret that visual representation into something the Internet can understand, so to speak, guaranteeing that it will have 100% valid XHTML and 100% valid CSS (hence the name of their site). This can be an excellent service for anyone who either can’t be bothered to code something themselves or don’t know how to. (I fall into the latter category.)

And the best part? The whole process is completed in just three days.

How Much Does This Cost?

Given the speedy turnaround and the promise that the code will be clean and easy-to-use (and hence easy to update and edit in the future), the starting price of $150 for the first page is fair. Additional pages are less and integration into WordPress comes in at $250.


To some people, this might sound like a lot of money, but think about this way. Instead of using a WordPress template that everyone has access to — check out the proliferation of MistyLook, probably thanks to the root of all evil — you can get a blog with a completely unique look. This helps a lot in terms of branding and individuality, and without some custom XHTML and CSS coding on your side, this just wouldn’t be possible.

On a side note, they do require pre-payment and will not begin working on the code until your payment has been received. XHTML/CSS accepts a variety of credit cards and other payment methods, so getting the money their way shouldn’t be an issue. There will obviously be some concerns about their legitimacy, however, and some potential customers may be turned off by this approach.


But It’s So Plain Looking

That was my first impression. They’re supposed to be offering a professional service — “We love coding and we love clean code.” — yet the associated website looks so boring and basic. Where’s the flashy sales pitch?

Well, there isn’t one and that might be one of their best selling points. Johnny and Steve (giving last names would add some professionalism and legitimacy to the site) promise clean code with no frills. The custom code will be simple and to the point, just like their website. It even says on the About page: “What? No Images? That’s right; we do code not design.” Their punctuation and capitalization may need some work, but you get the idea.

Shop Around, You’ll Be Back

XHTML/CSS is so confident in their abilities and their pricing that they provide you with direct links to their competitors. They encourage you to check out the other guy, because they’re certain that you’ll come back. Is this confidence or cockiness? Either way, they’ve got guts.


Overall, it seems like XHTML/CSS is ready to tackle the custom code world. In fact, they’ve already been featured on CSS Mania, CSS Tux, and CSS Impress.

If you’re ready to give them a whirl, go ahead and get started by sending them your website design (they accept all sorts of file formats, including PNG, PSD, JPG, and AI). Let us know if all this clean code hullabaloo is for real.

67 thoughts on “Got the Design? Now Get the Code”

  1. Finally, maybe these coders and start upping the price standards for freelancers. I’m so sick of people offering CSS/XHTML coding for only 35$. It’s disgusting.

    1. simon says:

      So who offer CSS/XHTML coding for only 35$?

    2. Michael Kwan says:

      I agree with Austin on this front. Believe me, it’s the same thing with freelance writing. There are so many outsourcing agencies that hire writers from Dubai, Pakistan, India, etc. and these guys are willing to write articles for $1 a pop.

      The old adage holds true: You get what you pay for.

    3. Hawaii SEO says:

      I call B.S. on Austin Overton – Where can you get the same thing for $35? (Where is the link) 😈

    4. Mybloggo says:

      35 Looks cheap

      1. ouchs says:

        35 is cheap…

        1. Jeff Kee says:

          I’m a professional Web developer who knows HTML CSS PHP Java MySQL and all..

          If I can get valid XHTML poppped out of my Photoshop layouts for $35 i’d outsource it too. But I find it hard to believe.

          1. Mybloggo says:

            If this possible,will be a good news

    5. Debo Hobo says:

      But their site does not look all that professional.

    6. ritchie says:

      Are you talking about Chinese coders here?

    7. A little late on this but pop over to and look in the market place. It’s sad!

  2. This was a great review. I wonder how the quality of their work will be. I know it’s so hard to find a good coder these days. Someone that is willing to work for a reasonable price.

  3. Divan says:

    Looks good. 😛

    1. Jez says:

      Looks crap you mean,

      No way I would pay up front to those guys. Who are they? What is their experience, WHERE IS THERE PORTFOLIO???

      I suspect these guys are very young, and their experience is based on stuff they have done on their own sites… not professional work / contracting.

      That is not to say they aren’t any good….. just that they are mad if they think they can compete with at site like that, with no portfolio and asking for money up front….

      1. it’s a lot of money to get a new look

        i’d rather stay with the free ones

        1. Jez says:

          If you were going to pay for a theme though, their prices are actually pretty good….

          1. Debo Hobo says:

            I am sticking with the free stuff for now as well. Granted it looks like everyone elses’, but I will eventually move up in rank and be able to afford to pay $$$ for a professional original look.

        2. ritchie says:

          I started modifying free themes a while a go; that taught me enough about them structures to build my current one nearly from scratch.

      2. A design portfolio would be nice — at least we get to see what they are really capable of.

      3. Casey says:

        I was wondering the same thing Jez. They should have a showcase of their work done if they really want to reel in customers.

  4. aribowo says:

    yeah i think the price is to high for job like that

    1. Hawaii SEO says:

      Hi Aribowo, To High? So… Where can you get the same thing cheaper? And… don’t “cop out” and name some random marketplace service like Elance or rent-a-coder. Name some names and post some links.

      1. i agree, well, i don’t the review here will help them much in terms of making some sales

        1. Marc says:

          I find the price to be quite sensible as well. With regards to the quality of the work, I have no idea. At the end of the day that’s what will determine what is and isn’t worth it.

    2. I wouldn’t mind shelling out a lot of money if I KNEW what I was getting for it exactly. If it’s all just talk and up-in-the-air ideas, it would be difficult to convince potential clients about their pre-payment policy.

      1. ritchie says:

        When it comes to design, it’s always hard to know upfront exactly what you gonna get (at least if it’s supposed to be something new.)

  5. Matt says:

    It’s usually better to give 50% upfront, and 50% on completion and presentation.

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      That’s what I typically operate on if I’m not familiar with the customer already.

  6. Ehsan says:

    Hmm looks nice i am a designer and i am always in need of coders lol may be i will try them out sometime

    1. I am also in the XHTML/CSS business. I am in the process of getting my company set up. I will do it for $145 …

  7. Sergio says:

    Am I blind, or do I not see some of their work? If I am blind, then they should make more of an effort to make their portfolio stick out.

    1. they do make their price stick out

      1. Marc says:

        Put your best foot forward… That’s what I was always told 😉

        1. It’s kinda hard to buy something we haven’t really even seen.

          A preview? A sample page? Anything?

  8. This service is good and the prices are low enough even for a startup business blogger :).

    But they should publish some of their works. I want to see their portfolio. I would like to know how they work. Then I will be ready to order.

    1. ritchie says:

      It’s affordable, but I still believe that do-it-yourself is more fun.

  9. Paul B says:

    I posted recently about how hard it is to strike the right balance when deciding what to charge for a global service like this. Outsourcing is a real problem for those of us who live in developed countries with a fairly high cost of living, or in my case extortinate cost of living, I think the lads are just about right with their pricing.

  10. Fable says:

    Great article, Michael. I personally think the team over at XHTML/CSS have got a great idea with their service. Good luck to ’em, I say! 😉


  11. cooliojones says:

    Anyone know of any coders that do pro bono work? :mrgreen:

    1. what’s pro bono work?

      1. Pro bono — doing the work for free.

        1. I think her question was rhetorical/humorous.

      2. Marc says:

        Means to do it for free for the less fortunate.

    2. Mybloggo says:

      I dont think is available

  12. Divan says:

    pro bono – Provided for free. Isn’t it?

  13. Divan says:

    Pro bono, is a Latin phrase meaning “for the good”, it is sometimes stated as pro bono publico, for the good of the public. It is a term used to designate legal or other professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment, as a public service. 😎

    1. ritchie says:

      Those latins sure knew how to express themselves :mrgreen:

  14. When you said “And the best part? The whole process is…” I seriously thought you were going to say FREE. LOL This was an awesome review, Michael, keep up the good work! 🙂

  15. Funny part about this company is Tyler Cruz did a Review Me for them, and they had 3 of their 5 or so pages not contain valid XHTML. Hard to tell people you can code in valid XHTML when your sites aren’t even coded that way.

    I also agree with the design. I know it says they do not do design, but come on, pay someone to do it.

  16. Marc says:

    I have the opposite problem. I can code, but I can’t design.

  17. bob says:

    You design we code! Integration into WordPress comes in at usd250. xhtmlslashcss Cheap? yes, cheap. Good luck 😉

    Me too provide same services.. but free 😆

  18. Jason says:

    I would only use it if I was a big business owner who had no extra time. But creating your own web stuff does save you a lot of money.

  19. MrBlogger says:

    😈 I am $35 per hour valid xtml/css/flashbanner/php/javascript coder. if your site is very simple then it will equal to $35 😈

    xhtmlslashcss must employ a designer on their team in order to be more professional IMHO. It’s gonna be difficult if not frustrating to have a 3 party arrangement client-designer-xhtmlslashcss.

  20. Creeo says:

    I used them a few weeks ago and they did a great work for me. It wasn’t too complicated that design but they delivered it in 2-3 hours and the code was great too. I was very satsified. I really recommend them 😉

    1. Hawaii SEO says:

      Who are you? ❓
      Let’s see the work. Post a link.

      1. tash says:

        most likely that’s the people who own the site in question giving themselves good rep 😉
        Prove me wrong

  21. these guy are professionals !

  22. Hament says:

    I heard only good things about them and that they are professionals. I would prefer to pay more to get high quality.

    1. Hawaii SEO says:

      Hmmm… A second person with no name who says they do good work… 🙄

      1. tash says:

        it’s a conspiracy 😉

  23. Jeff Kee says:

    This is a very debatable thing. I do professiona custom designed websites (very few templated jobs..) and I prefer to do everything on my own.

    However, if it can save me a lot of time, $150 isn’t that bad, as long as they can do a proper job of it. Once that’s laid out, I’d use PHP to cut it up into header footer body and then do the rest of the pages on my own.

    When it comes to free templates – there’s limitations.

  24. Sajro says:

    I don’t see why it’s a problem, the $35. I personally think web design is overpriced.

    If people weren’t so anal retentive about coding standards, they could get the same quality work for less than half the cost.

    Coding standards…I’ll never understand.

    All my pages work fine and dandy. I use PHP with HTML, not XHTML. No problems. I cut a corner, make a quick table layout on an area, looks the same.

  25. Sergio says:

    I’ve gotten an entire design coded for $30. I got what I paid for, but with my simple css knowledge I managed to make it better and seo friendly. I saved a lot of money.

    1. Cracker says:

      Looks like you got ripped off….. ❗

      1. Hawaii SEO says:

        More anonymous comments… 🙄
        I’m starting to think these comments are posted by Johnny and Steve.

  26. tash says:

    I don’t think I could pay upfront for a design. 50% upfront is the most I would do. And I wouldn’t even do that if there were no prior examples to look at

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