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The "No Jargon" Logical Approach to Website Design

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Can I get a cheap website for €100 - €300?

A good professional website, no matter what it's size, takes careful planning, preparation, design, optimisation and testing.

Whilst it is possible to create a basic zero-optimised and un-tested website quickly and cheaply using a template; logically, it is not financially viable to create a successful website, which meets your business's and your customer's needs, for less than around €500.

Any so-called web designer charging less than €300 is undoubtedly cutting corners, through any combination of poor to non-existent planning, inadequate optimisation, lack of testing, or the use of free templates downloaded from the internet.

Mobile Web Pages

Mobile web browsers read sites differently and many cannot support special functionality, large images, slideshows, etc. A miniaturised scaled-down mobile-friendly version of your website can be added with a couple of extra hours work and a little extra cost. Allow between around €50 to €100 for this extra service.

Blog Websites
for the limited budget

I can create, optimise and host a 3-5 page semi-static business blog website for around €200-€400 if your budget is limited. However, with a blog website your options are much more restrictive and I would only suggest using this type of website if you run a small business and have time available to perform regular updates.

FREE CONSULTATIONS

Take a free initial consultation with me at your computer, during which time, using live examples on the internet, I will demonstrate exactly what is needed for your website to be successful. I will show you exactly what I am able to offer you through my personalised service and I will explain why I take many extra steps to ensure that your website is designed, registered and optimised down to the smallest detail.

How much does a website cost?

Unless you have some experience of website design, optimisation, domain names and hosting, you will not have much knowledge of the work involved in creating an effective and successful website.

Whilst some costs can be fixed or estimated, it is impossible to determine in advance exactly how much your website will cost as each website I design is unique. To quote the cost of a web page, a slideshow or a feature in advance is not feasible as even these individual elements can vary considerably.

For these reasons, I work on an hourly rate of €20 and whilst it is impossible to give an accurate estimate, as a very broad guideline, I will attempt to give you a general breakdown of the essential costs involved in the various development stages of a medium sized 5-10 page website.

Fundamental elements of website design

Euros
Research 100 - 200
Design Planning 100
Coding ~ HTML & CSS 80 - 120
Coding ~ PHP & Javascript 50 - 200
Layout, Colour & Graphics 100
Content & Search Engine Optimisation 50 - 200
Photographs & Images 50 - 100
Troubleshooting, Debugging & Testing 100 - 150
Domain Name (renewable annually) 10
Website Hosting (renewable annually) 50 - 75
The Big Launch!! 20 - 50

In summary, a 5-10 page professional website will cost you anything from around €700 for a nice individual website with some great photos to around €1200 with lots of added functionality. For further details of how these costs are broken down, read on...

Ongoing Costs

Once it is performing well in the search engine results, your want your website to stay there and not to be overtaken by newer, fresher websites. The internet is getting bigger every day and changing frequently. Therefore, unless you know how to do all the maintenance tasks yourself, you may need to allow for at least some ongoing and future costs. I can provide you with either website maintenance training or a maintenance contract tailored to suit your needs. See my website maintenance page for detailed options.

Research

All websites, whether a brand new design from scratch or a website makeover, require some amount of research. For a medium-sized website, featuring a couple of business activities, expect around 5 to 10 hours to be spent on researching your best keywords and phrases; troubleshooting conflicting code; selecting the best 3rd party scripts, add-ons or plug-ins for your special features; etc.

Design Planning

Website design doesn't just relate to creating professional looking pages that you and your visitors see on the internet (front-end). A simple 5-page website consists of lots of documents, files, images, scripts, links, etc that must be carefully and logically organised in various folders on the server (back-end). Condsideration needs to be given to the future plans and developments of your business and your website to avoid the eventual need for costly redesign. The most basic website structure and navigation should be planned with care and I would recommend allowing at least 5 hours for this type of work.

Technical Coding

HTML & CSS

(X)HTML documents, which you will know as web pages, are the fundamental bricks and mortar of information, organisation and delivery to display your website on the internet. CSS is the decoration and determines how those web pages will look. Of course there are tools available to make coding easier if the website developer is familiar with the particular software, but for the most part they either have their limitations or are unnecessarily over-complicated. I personally prefer to write my own code from scratch therefore having full and total control with no reasonable limitations and having the confidence that the code is error free and search engine friendly. The cost of this will vary greatly depending on what features you require and the size of your website and variations in content between website pages. As a guideline only, I would recommend allowing for around 2 hours for the first page and roughly ½ hour for subsequent pages.

Javascript & PHP

Whilst HTML and CSS provide the bricks and mortar and decoration for your website, PHP and Javascript are a little more complicated and add an extra layer of functionality and interactivity. A small amount of PHP and/or Javascript is normally used in the simplest of websites. Slideshows, drop-down menus and contact forms, etc are typically more complex than inserting static content into a webpage. Therefore, to incorporate some functionality into your website, allow around 2 to 3 hours of programming for a website with a couple of varying style slideshows up to around 10 hours for lots of slideshows, galleries, contact forms, etc.

Website Design ~ Layout, Colour & Graphics

Your website layout needs to be well-planned so that your web pages are logical, interesting, individual, easy to use and look professional. Fonts and colours need to be selected. Headers, titles, logos and images will need to be included. You may want borders and fancy navigation buttons. With revisions and amendments you can count on at least 5 hours to create a simple 5-page website.

SEO & Content

Your website design is ready, your heading, menus, contact details, etc are all in the right place, now we just need to add your content. For your medium-sized business, unless your budget allows it, you are likely to write the website content yourself, preferably in un-formatted text.

Once written, your content needs to be formatted for the web and be optimised for the search engines. Unless you have some knowledge of SEO you also need to allow for a certain amount of textual changes for optimisation purposes. The html code which forms the backbone of your pages must also be optimised.

SEO is very time-consuming, even for an experienced web designer and more can be found on this subject on my search engine optimisation page. For simple and straightforward population of content with SEO you need to allow anything between ½ hour to 2 hours per page, though this is a very rough estimate.

Photographs, Graphics & Media

The options here are numerous, from simple static photos, banner photos and galleries to basic slideshows and sleek interactive zoom sliders. To give you an idea of my options, a great site to visit which has lots of examples of static photos, galleries and various slideshows is the website I designed for Under the Lime Tree Spa B&B.

Photographs

For formatting the code and uploading your photographs to your website you can allow around €1 maximum per photo if your photos are supplied to exact specifications. For photographs requiring manipulation, cropping or re-sizing you can expect to pay around €5 per photo.

Slideshows

If you would like a simple non-interactive slideshow you can expect to pay the cost of the photographs as above plus around €20 of Javascript coding costs.

The professional slideshows shown on my website portfolio page are purchased from a professional American company and there is an obligatory one-off lifetime licence charge of €20 per website. Depending on your requirements you need to allow for the photo costs as above plus at least €30 of Javascript coding costs (as above)

Testing & Troubleshooting

Once your website design is finished it needs thorough testing to be certain you are reaching all of your potential customers. As well as ensuring all the code conforms to W3C standards, your website needs to be tested for compatibility with all the popular web browsers and on various screen sizes. If something doesn't work properly, then it is necessary to troubleshoot and fix the problem. It is unusual for a website to work perfectly without ironing out a few minor problems. Testing and troubleshooting are essential elements of good website design and to ensure that your website is successful and serves it's purpose, expect this to take at least 5 hours.

NOTE: All website designs by Sites Web France.com are tested for conformity with W3C standards and are Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional and verified .CSS Stylesheets

Domain Names

You may already have a domain name, but if not, this is your unique URL or link which is visible in the address bar of your browser. You can think of this as the address for your website. A typical .com domain name costs around €10 per year, though it is sometimes possible to take it for longer periods.

Website Hosting

Website hosting is your allocated space on a server, which allows your website to be visible on the internet. You may opt to arrange the hosting yourself, in which case I suggest you read my website hosting page first. I use a reputable British hosting company Freezone.co.uk chosen for their back-up support, their help-lines and their response time resolving any issues. The cost of your hosting will vary depending on the size of your website, but for a medium-sized website, expect to pay around €50 to €75 per year with the assurance that I will deal with any issues relating to the server on your behalf.

The Big Launch

If you wish for me to arrange your own hosting I have FTP software to enable the fast and easy transfer of your files. I allow between one and two hours for the configuration of the server, the upload of the files and the registration with the search engines.

As a customer of Sites Web France.com your site is also included on my portfolio page, announced on my blog and included in the Discover South West France website free of charge.

If you would like a free consultation regarding any element of website design or a free SEO analysis of your current website or if you just have a question or would like to leave some feedback please do not hesitate to   e-mail me    comment on my blog   or give me a ring on 0555 09 13 95.