How a $27 Ebook Made Me $5,500.00

Here’s a message I received recently from Robert Keppel, owner of Applied Colors, explaining how “Save the Pixel” (my best-selling ebook on graphic design principles for the web) saved him five and a half thousand dollars!

I sell professional grade equipment for cleaning cars.

This was my site in March:


The feedback I got from customers, friends, colleagues was that my site looked like a blog, and not like a store.

Plus, we were trying to do so many things on the home page (educate, ask for email, present reviews, present our articles) but it wasn’t clear what our PRIORITIES were.

I paid a few designers for “mockups.”  To implement them was around $6k, including the shopping cart software (big commerce)

They were good.

I bought Save the Pixel with the intention of guiding THEM as they built the new site.

But, instead, I designed a version of my own in Photoshop, implementing the concepts of…

  • simplicity
  • space
  • color
  • contrast
  • navigation
  • size

… to make the site more “gettable” and make it clear that, above all, we wanted our customers to learn about and buy our great equipment

I’m not a designer by trade (I cleaned and painted cars for many years), but have adequate Photoshop skills.  Most of the elements you see in the home page were bought from Graphic River.

I presented the designs to my customers and they overwhelmingly chose MINE!

So I had a programmer convert the design to a WordPress theme for $500.

I then learned WooCommerce and implemented the shopping cart myself.

So essentially I saved $5500 between your book, hiring a coder, and using Graphic River!

I didn’t think I had an eye for “Design” but after reading your book, it gave me confidence to make designs for my own sites — and gain more control of my marketing.


Robert Keppel

What I love about this story is how it supports my conviction that the real skills in web design are really marketing skills, and the functional techniques required to publish online are now in the hands of any business owner.

Robert did the smart thing — the right thing!

  • He educated himself about what really mattered in visual design (through “Save the Pixel”)
  • He purchased graphic resources (from Graphic River) instead of paying a designer to create them by hand
  • And he learned how to use a simple e-commerce plugin!

The net result is a website that looks and works great, for a fraction of the price it would have cost a few years ago.

For more about this, read my recent post: Web Designers, Quit Reinventing the Wheel, Today!.

About the author

Ben Hunt

Ben has over 20 years' experience in web design and marketing, and is one of the most influential figures on the subject of effective web design. He has written a bunch of books and spoken at multiple conferences internationally. In 2015, Ben created Open-Source Marketing, which promises to turn the practice of marketing upside down.. Find out more at

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