What should I include on my website?
The possibilities are almost endless.
- As a minimum, you should have information about you and what you do. You should also include a contact form so people can make enquiries (this is better than displaying an email address, because you are far less likely to receive spam).
- If you provide a service or sell products, you should include examples of your work and a gallery of images where appropriate. If you are a photographer, illustrator, artist, etc, there are means of ensuring your valuable images are not ‘stolen’ from your website, e.g. by adding watermarks to them and by not providing high-resolution versions.
- If you run a guest house or hotel, you could have a calendar that shows room vacancies and other relevant information. You could also have an online reservation system or booking system.
- If you are a church, you could have an events calendar so that people know when and where your meetings are. You could also have downloadable recordings of talks
- If you are a charity, perhaps you would like a feature which enables people to donate money.
- A blog or ‘latest news’ feature is a good idea, as it keeps your website fresh and provides regular new material for you to share on social media (if you choose to use this), which can be beneficial in attracting traffic to your site. If you can’t write a blog, consider providing information about your latest project. You can also include social media sharing buttons directly on your site, so that other people can share it for you.
Will my website work on phones and tablets?
All new websites should ideally be designed to work on phones and hand-held devices as well as on desktop computers. This is normally done using a technique called responsive design, where the layout of the site automatically responds to the size of the device it is being viewed on. Using this technique means that the same content is used for mobile and desktop layouts of your site, so you only have to be concerned with updating one site, not two.
Unless requested to do otherwise, Wesley will always build future sites using responsive design. Existing websites can often be converted to use responsive layout without many adjustments being made to the content and Wesley is pleased to offer this service.
Will someone have to update it for me?
No, once your site is up and running, you will be able to update the content yourself as often as you like, using an easy interface.
How much does a website cost?
This is dependent on how much effort is needed to achieve your requirements. If you want one simple layout that will be used for all pages, plus a contact form, the price may be around Â£700. Generally, the more specifically-designed individual pages there are and the more interactive and dynamic features the site has, the higher the cost would be. A small to medium sized business would probably need to budget Â£1,000 to Â£5,000 for a site that covers their requirements.
Because Wesley is a freelancer, he doesn’t have large overheads, meaning you could be paying significantly less than you would to a larger company, and in addition you will have a more personal service.
How long will it take?
A small website could take three or four weeks. A larger one could take two or three months or more. It also depends on how busy Wesley is at the time.
What is the process?
Following an initial enquiry by you as a potential client, Wesley would normally proceed as follows:
- Some form of discussion to determine your requirements and for Wesley to provide suggestions or recommendations based on current best-practice and what is possible and available. This could be by meeting up in person, a phone call, Skype session, or a series of emails.
- Wesley would write a brief project proposal, summarising the results of the discussion and outlining how he would design and build the site, how long it should take and what the costs would be, including the costs of third-party services such as web hosting fees and any necessary commercial plug-ins. This part (along with the initial discussion) would be completely free of charge with no obligation.
- You would be free to choose whether to go ahead with the project. If you were to go ahead, an initial payment would be due on commencement. The rest of the fees would be due either at the end of the project, or at regular intervals throughout, depending on the project size.
- Wesley would produce two or three layouts/graphical designs for you to choose from. (The graphic design and layout are actually done by a graphic designer who he works with).
- Wesley would proceed with building the site, which involves creating the layout based on your chosen design and implementing the functionality. Normally he would also populate the site with the initial content and media and/or transfer data as appropriate from your existing site if one exists.
- Wesley also works with someone who specialises in search-engine-optimisation and writing copy, so at some point in the process, they will ensure that your site’s content and meta data are suitably written and structured for the web, consulting with you if anything should be changed.
- Once the site is built and you are happy with the demonstration version, Wesley will do what is necessary to set it up live on the Internet, including having the domain name and hosting set up if they don’t already exist.
- If you have opted for any kind of ongoing support, this will be available as soon as the site has gone live.
As with any project, the customer’s ideas and requirements sometimes change after the design and building process has got under way. This should not be a problem and there is normally still some flexibility for change. If there are changes which would incur a cost, Wesley would notify you ahead of time and would not proceed without receiving approval from you.