We originally created our regional cattery directories, onw of which was the Somerset Cattery Directory, because in addition to being website designers, we're cat and dog lovers. The directories were a personal project for us, only ever intended to be small-scale. The directories became known as the best way for cat owners to find a local cattery, and enjoyed a lot of success.
Put simply, we're a group of website designers who live in the UK and Italy, and who work together under the name of BeenDesigned. We learnt how to build websites while we were all living and working in Northern Italy. It started out as a hobby, and we began by building websites for ourselves, then friends and then local businesses. Without planning for it and before we realised it was happening, website design had become both a full-time hobby and a sort of cottage industry. When we ran out of spare time and realised we needed to make a decision, we quit our jobs and started working together as BeenDesigned. It's that simple.
Years later, our group still exists and we still enjoy our work. Some of us have now moved back to the UK, but some still live in Italy. All our work is online, so it makes next to no difference to us, other than not seeing each other so often. We all design websites as our full-time jobs, but we also do a lot of work on personal projects; things like the British Cattery and Kennels directories and charity websites. We have charities that we support and, rather than giving them money, we donate our time, building or managing websites for some of these organisations. We think of ourselves as being lucky, because not many people can say their hobby pays the bills, and designing websites still feels like our hobby.
We like to stick to what we know best, so we only work with HTML and WordPress websites, and we do our own work. That means that if we accept orders from customers, we don't immediately farm the work out to low-cost agencies in India, as many people do these days. We offer a personal service, and once your order has been accepted you'll be able to contact the designer working on your website at any time, with whatever questions you have. Your website is as personal for us as it is for you.
Each website order is dealt with by a single designer - which is more satisfying for us as designers. We don't accept every order we receive, and we rarely accept jobs if they have a very short deadline. We are a small group and we can only handle so much work at any given time, so if you were hoping to get a new website online next week, we're not the right people to speak to. The time it takes to build a website always depends on its complexity, but on average there's a gap of about two weeks between us receiving all the information and material we need to build a website and when the designer can actually start work on it. Of course, if you're not in a rush to get online, please get in touch with us for a quote!