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Designing a web site - Advice please

(15 Posts)
slipperandpjsmum Tue 26-Apr-11 16:02:37

I am thinking of setting up a small business in addition to my everyday job. It would need a website but I am rather clueless, other than to know I couldn't do it nor do I know anyone who could.

Does anyone have any rough idea how much it costs? Do you have one? Do you find it brings in much business?

Anything else I should know?

Iloveshoes001 Tue 26-Apr-11 20:53:07

My cousin has a website. It's taken 5 years but it now turns over about £100k... Long slog and loads of trial and error. She says the most important thing is to get a good web designer who will do a good site at a sensible price and not rip you off every time you need a small change or some help. This is her guy's site Pay Monthly Sites it has all the prices and info you need and some examples of the stuff he's done. Hope that helps...

Iloveshoes001 Tue 26-Apr-11 20:53:36

Ps. If you want to sell online you need an ecommerce package.

Thornykate Wed 27-Apr-11 16:01:02

If you are selling you will probably have to spend quite a bit more as Ilove says. IMO more so as most people only want to buy from quality looking sites as well as the technical ecommerce stuff you will need.

When I got quotes for my site (non retail) they ranged from £450-£1700 for 5/9 pages. Big difference in quality though!

thomasbodley Wed 27-Apr-11 16:13:17

That site that Iloveshoes linked to looks awful to me. Why would you employ a web designer whose own shopfront is so amateur?

Slipper My best advice is to trawl through the internet, and try and put together a list of sites that you like, and why. Then get in touch with the owners and ask them who designed their site, how much they paid, and how much they cost to support. Not everyone will be happy to disclose this information, but many will tell you happily. Then hold a 'beauty parade' of the designers you've managed to track down. Sound them out, exchange ideas, see who you click with.

It's no different to any other trade - word of mouth is your best friend. My other bit of advice is to refuse to pay upfront, ever. Agree staged payments so you're happy with the look and feel of the site before you hand over the next tranche of the development money.

Iloveshoes001 Wed 27-Apr-11 20:40:50

Thomas is absolutely right. Their site is seriously fugly BUT just because they like that style and colours doesn't mean they don't do good work and can't put your design ideas into practice.

I asked my cousin and she said her site cost £1000 for the design and build plus hosting and unlimited support for the first year. Year 2 onwards was £400 a year for hosting, unlimited support & changes. She says the reason they're cheap is they are based in India (lower hourly rates). She was quoted between £5000-£10,000 by UK designers for the same shopping cart and design (which ties in with what Thornykate said).

She says being in India has never been a problem but you may not feel comfortable with that.

Thomas is right, find sites you like and ask who built them. Prices vary massively and most people will share if you are non-competing.

Good luck.

Iloveshoes001 Wed 27-Apr-11 20:53:24

What are you planning on selling slippers?

limePy Tue 31-May-11 15:50:36

Disclaimer: I'm an internet marketing professional!

One thing my company has issues with is clients who have sites that are either under designed, so no matter how many people visit the purchase rate doesn't present a good enough ROI or they are over designed, so when Google sees the site, with its math driven robot eyes, it doesn't want to give it the points it deserves.

Ask your webdesigner about their use of flash, cross browser compatability, the xml sitemap and most importantly what phrases the site is intended to rank in Google for.

If you want any more info message or respond and I'll explain more. Don't want to bore everyone!

topsi Tue 31-May-11 17:30:16

Hi LimePy how much would you charge for a good site??

limePy Wed 01-Jun-11 09:23:53

I generally break down into three categories. All this assumes you have somewhere to put the site ie a domain name and some hosting package. Prices increase if things are time sensitive.

1. Personal blog, minimal branding but search engine optimized. That is around 6 hours work for me on average so I charge £200. I do three relatively minor revisions, like changing fonts and colours etc, for free but the design and concept is largely what my graphics friend wants to do.

2. Small business, well branded and search engine optimized. I'll optimize for up to 6 phrases, I will commission content that will support that as well as set up google analytics so that you can track everything. I'll get four different brand ideas done and you pick one, minor changes are ok. The site is designed to drive people to email or phone you and won't handle online transactions. Much harder to cost this one but I tend to charge £400 for the work ups and then at least another £400 to put it live and do the technical work.

Anything bigger than that and I don't take the job on because I mainly do marketing of sites that already exist, it has a better profitability and less pitfalls. Hope that helps!

topsi Wed 01-Jun-11 10:43:03

thanks LimePy do you have a web site??

limePy Thu 02-Jun-11 09:50:39

None that you want to see :-). In truth I havn't built one in around 9 months now so my HTML5 is not what it should be. I'm sure there are plenty of people around who are more up to date.

On the other hand if you want some info on promoting the site when you have it I reccomend www.webmarketinggroup.co.uk for SEO/SEM/PPC.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 03-Jun-11 11:30:13

DH's site - that was revamped for us by Simon of UK Site Builder - cost a couple of hundred
it is merely an information portal so people can book him
it works a treat
the SEO and adwords (monthly budget £5) are the result of years and years of looking at our web stats and rivals header tags

poppydesign Sat 11-Jun-11 14:41:23

Hi Slipper
if you wanted a 5 to 7 page brochure style website (no online selling) you would probably pay about £400 - £600 for a professional site from a design company.
There are plenty of sites out there where you can DIY with a template design but if you need to make a professional impact and your service is B2B I would strongly steer away from that option.

Good luck
Joanne

QuintessentialOldMoo Sat 11-Jun-11 14:48:27

How about this company?

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