Several weeks ago, I wrote a review of 99designs, which hosts an online designer marketplace where you can crowdsource your design needs such as logos, graphics, website designs, and business cards. One question that came to mind while reviewing 99designs was, after you receive your new website design, then what? I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to spend the time coding it myself. Thankfully, this is where HTML/CSS conversion companies come in handy — they take your web design and transform it into a static, hand-coded HTML/CSS markup. This type of service is also useful to professional or hobbyist designers who want to focus their time and money on what they’re best at — designing, not coding.
Where can you go to find HTML/CSS conversion specialists? They’re not hard to find — a simple Google search will pop up far more than you ever thought existed. Of all the ones that do exist, one seems to get a lot of hype — CSSRockstars. Despite the fact that I haven’t actually used or interviewed this company, I decided to investigate and report my findings to you anyway. (By the way, I did request a Q&A session with CSSRockstars but received a decline. Actually, the request was completely ignored. I feel so rejected.)
Process — The conversion service is broken down into three simple steps. In Step 1, you place an order and upload your design files (accepted file formats: PSD, PNG, JPG, TIFF, and AI) directly on the site. In Step 2, CSSRockstars codes your design into HTML/CSS markup. In the final step, Step 3, the company sends you the coded file.
Standards — The mark-up code that you receive conforms to a number of key standards, including World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Section 508 (U.S.), and Disability Discrimination Act (U.K.).
Price — The standard price you’re charged for the conversion service is $149 for the main page and $79 for each additional page. Volume discounts and custom quotes (in case you have special requirements) are available.
Delivery Time — It only takes two business days for CSSRockstars to turn your order around.
On-going Support — The company provides 30 days of code-level support after your initial project is completed and permanent passive support, which is fee-based, thereafter.
Other Services — In addition to HTML/CSS conversion, CSSRockstars can implement your design for a wide-variety of CMS, blog, and cart system platforms: WordPress ($219, 3-day turnaround); Shopify ($289, 5-day turnaround); Joomla ($309, 5-day turnaround); VBulletin ($399, 6-day turnaround); Pligg ($359, 6-day turnaround); PHPBB3 ($439, 6-day turnaround); Vanilla ($379, 6-day turnaround); EE ($359, 5-day turnaround); and Blogger ($339, 4-day turnaround).
CSSRockstars has completed a number of client projects to-date. Here’s a sampling of their work:
Reviews of CSSRockstars have turned up both positive and negative, as you can read for yourself:
- Positive — “With little instruction [CSSRockstars] was able to produce fantastic results and went beyond our expectations.” Source: Vandelay Design
- Negative — “CSSROCKSTARS or CSS ROCKSTARS by Twenty Six Media LLC ended up canceling my order on the promised delivery day… Horrible horrible experience and don’t recommend using them if you are ever on a deadline.” Source: topseos.com
- Positive — “CSSRockStars cranked out some great code also. I had no issues at all….” Source: Vandelay Design
- Negative — “I’d avoid CSSRockStars.com as they delayed us for 2 weeks after promising to deliver in a few days and then ended up refunding the deposit without any explanations.” Source: Vandelay Design
- Positive — “I thought these guys were friendly, competitively priced and a good overall value – I’ll use them again. I still would like phone support, but it doesn’t seem like anyone’s providing it…and these guys responded quickly over email.” Source: Vandelay Design
- Negative — “I’ve had serious problems with CSS rockstars in that they do not ever come back to me. I have major issues with the menu system they put on my page, but over a month later and they just refuse to give me any solutions.” Source: Vandelay Design
Key Company Facts
Launched by the company TwentySix Media in 2008, CSSRockstars currently has ten full-time employees (all virtual) and is on pace to generate an annual revenue of somewhere in between $250k and $999k, according to topseos.com. Major clients have included Website Doctor, Nicole Christopher, Nocella Roofing, Plots Plus, and Vegas Blond.
Other HTML/CSS Conversion Companies
As I mentioned in the beginning, there are more than 50 other companies that perform HTML/CSS conversion, with each offering varying prices, turnaround times, and service options. Topseos.com maintains a list of the top ten, with CSSRockstars ranking #6 behind XhtmlMagic (#1), DeSlice (#2), XHTMLGenius (#3), PSD 2 HTML (#4), and PSDgator (#5). My own digging uncovered some fantastic-looking companies not included in topseos.com’s rankings — W3 <MARKUP/>, XHTMLizers, PSDChopstick, and XHTML Slicer. Certainly, there are a lot of options to choose from, and chances are you won’t regret going with any of the companies just mentioned.
Though I haven’t used CSSRockstars myself, the company certainly seems like a worthy contender among the sea of HTML/CSS conversion service providers. Although I must admit, the negative customer feedback the company’s received on more than one occasion spooks me to the point that I’d probably consider other options like XHTMLizers, XhtmlMagic, or PSDChopstick first. What about you?
Image credit: kr7ysztof / iStockphoto
Chris Cairns contributed to this post.