This website was a long time coming and born out of frustration when trying to find a suitable website design company in Thailand to build my website. I am no expert in the field of IT, but I am a business man and consider myself somewhat successful when it comes to marketing and making money online. The trouble is, most of my income was generated using Ebay as opposed to my own website. So when I decided to “upgrade” my business shall I say, with a custom built website of my own, I found the experience very frustrating, a complete waste of money (initially) and to make matters worse I lost a lot of time that I will never get back. Saying all of that, now that I have a little bit more time on my hands I would like to use that time to help others who may find themselves in the same predicament as me.
But first, a little about me
I have lived in Thailand for a little over 8 years now. I am 25% English, 25% German and 50% Thai. Throw in a little bit of Chinese there somewhere down the line in my Thai blood but I think you get the point. I am fluent in Both English and Thai. I was born here, but moved to the UK with my mother and father while aged 5. So to be honest, a lot of me is English now since I was primarily raised there.
My Ebay selling in it’s prime was a powerhouse. I made a lot of money and that enabled me to live a somewhat comfortable life here back in the country of my birth. I am not going to use this website to give away any secrets I may have from my days as an Ebay seller because to be honest, I don’t have many. I think my online business was a success most in part because Ebay was big back then, I got in early, I worked many hours and had great reviews and I got out when I needed to to give me my time back.
After I moved back to Thailand I had this big idea that I would start a new online business to somewhat rival Ebay and specifically target the Thai market. At that time there wasn’t even Lazada. So I set out with a big business plan and made contact with numerous web design agencies in Thailand and specifically Bangkok and Pattaya. I drove back and fourth between the 2 cities arranging meeting after meeting. I spoke or had meetings with exactly 12 web design companies in Pattaya and 19 web design companies in Bangkok. All this was over the course of a few months.
Now, pay attention to this – I can’t begin to tell you how different every single web design agency were in both their price range and their approach, all with exception as to one Pattaya web design company who I will not name and I will explain why further on.
Firstly, please understand I want this website to be neutral. I want to provide information about my experience with web design agencies in Thailand as well as help anybody who may need a website make a choice on the web design company in Thailand they would like to use. So I will never directly name the web design company who were eventually my saviour. But what I will do is explain just how different they were and how they helped me.
They helped me by not helping me – Who would have thought a web design company can help you by not helping you? Well read on because we will get to that. But first, what about the other 30 web design agencies in Bangkok and Pattaya.
And the Ugly
I spoke to a total of 31 , yes, 31 different web design companies in Pattaya and Bangkok and 30 of them could not wait to get my money, could not wait for me to sign a contract, told me I have an excellent business model and I should do it quickly before someone else starts a similar business. But one company flat right refused to service me and at the time it left me, well, pissed off if I may say so.
Why did they refuse me and what was their reason?
With my business plan in hand on both paper back and saved on my laptop and both fresh and a little tired from a few meetings before with other web design companies refusing to take my money, the one web design company in Pattaya who tried to persuade me to not go ahead with the project calmly explained the reasons.
- You will never be able to compete with Ebay.
- The website is too complex and will ultimately cost you a fortune and the end results will not be enough to recoup your money.
- Putting all your eggs into one basket is too risky for your business model.
- I don’t feel there are many design companies with the skills required to put together a site like this and even if they could, the website maintenance would be longer and more complex than the actual design.
- In the future there will be templates available to build sites like this at a fraction of the costs. Technology is evolving I suggest you hold back a little bit.
Did I listen? No. Should I have yes!!
I foolishly thought at that time that this company may have just liked my idea and wanted to copy me. In a stupid way it made me more determined to move on with my project. So I eventually chose a company in Bangkok to build my site as I wanted to move away from using a Pattaya based web design firm because wait for it…I thought a Bangkok web design company would be the best choice being in the capital etc. Boy was I wrong.
The next part of this story hurts so I won’t make it long. I lost a huge amount of money in a failed project. I invested over 2.2 million baht into my failed Thai Ebay equivalent website. When I say failed, I am talking about the type of money that buys a house or condo and at the end of it all, I didn’t even have a fully functioning website to go with it.
I didn’t just use the one company either. Ultimately I used 3. The first 2 were in Bangkok and the 3rd in Pattaya. All of them failed me, all of them offered a product that neither of them could deliver. Do I blame them? Partly. But I also blame my naive mind at the time and part of my desire to be the next Richard Branson.
Fast forward 5 Years
5 years later I had put my failed online business venture behind me. I had already built up an impressive portfolio of a coffee business, a small guest house and a beach bar/restaurant all tied together. After my initial failure with my Thai Ebay business model I decided to invest my savings wisely and being a Thai national from birth it made sense to buy property and land. But even after having my business for 5 years I never got a website. Business was great at the start but as coup after coup and instability in the country had a big impact on the hotel and tourism industry, I found my business was not as busy or successful as when I first started. I needed help and I thought now is the right time to get online.
A happy ending
Yes, I could think of just one company that to be honest had played on my mind for the last 5 years. The web design agency in Pattaya who refused to build my site, the one who didn’t take my money and make false promises like the rest of them and the one company who I knew were still around and doing well. So I headed back and was surprised in a nice way and thankful way to find the very same owner still in charge. He remembered me. I was in his office for not more than 30 minutes 5 years ago and I had put on a few lbs but he remembered me instantly. That was a good sign. He kindly asked me how did my business venture go and is it still going? I began to tell him my story and he listened patiently. Again, I thought I would get the old “I told you so” – but I didn’t. Instead, the owner explained that I did the right thing. No one could have convinced me at that time that it was not going to work and we all make mistakes but learn from them. Of course it’s an old line but it’s so very true.
I began to explain the predicament that I am in right now with my business losing sales and the owner joked “I would think so without a business website”. I knew from the moment we spoke that I had made the right choice. A few weeks later my website was born and my rooms were almost all fully booked daily and the restaurant was as busy at nights as it was on our opening day.
This is why I am here and why this site was born
It’s 5 years ago today that I failed with my business venture and I have since spoken to many small business owners who have also made the wrong choice when picking a web design company in Thailand. I am so thankful to have gone back to the Pattaya web design company who have taught me so much.
So this is why I started this website. I want to help guide anyone looking to hire a web designer in Thailand to the right place. So I will list the companies in Thailand to give you an idea of who to possible choose and why.
I hope this helps you and you don’t make the same mistakes I made.