What is a real website?

There are some limitations in what can be achieved when using a customised website like the one I describe below. For example this approach does not allow for complete flexibility in layout so you may not be able to get the exact look that you are after. Similarly, there may also be some limitations in functionality.

 

So if you go for a customised website where you take an existing theme and modify it to fit in with your brand it can save loads of time and effort. However, a bespoke website can be designed to look exactly how you want. This is a more time consuming and costly approach more suited to very large companies or multi-nationals.

Now that you know what a real website is, I can explain all of the things that are involved in building one.

Visitors

Keywords need to be researched and selected so that you can rank highly in Google and attract visitors to your website. This means research, back linking, article writing and content curation to ensure you have the right content to attract visitors attention.

Structure and Conversion

Someone has to think about pages, navigation and usability, and the best way to get users from here to there. Once visitors get to your website the content needs to be styled so that it persuades them to take action on your website – buy that widget, fill in that form etc.

Text

It doesn’t matter if you write the copy yourself or hire a specialised copywriter the text still needs to be collated, spell-checked, proof read before it can be used.

Pictures

Regardles of wether you have your own photos, need them taken, or simply want to use stock images they still have to be resized, retouched, and organised.

Design

There needs to be some thought put into choosing colours, fonts and graphics so they work with your brand and match your other marketing collateral.

Page Layout

The location of headers, footers, sidebars opt-in boxes, and social media icons need to be decided to provide the best possible chance of converting visitors into clients.

Coding

Your website will need good quality code that works quickly and doesn’t crash causing errors, or breaking your website completely.

Compatibility

There are dozens of different web browsers that run on Macs and PC’s that all need to display the website without a glitch. This means coding, testing and fixing all of the issue to provide the best experience for visitors – regardless of what they use.

Mobile

Visitors to your website using mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones will soon make up the bulk of the people looking at your website. This means someone has to ensure your website looks good on different sized screens (responsive) while still being able to be read and used properly.

Social media

Successful online businesses will leverage social media including Facebook, twitter and Google+. So someone needs to integrate your social media accounts into your website and create easy methods to share your content with others.

Go live

Someone has to buy your domain name, install your site on a hosting server, set up the DNS, get your analytics, webmaster tools and sitemaps and make sure everything is working.

It’s a long list of things that need done to ensure you get the best possible website. I haven’t listed them so I can justify putting a large price tag on the cost of a website. No, it is simply to give you a better understanding of the tasks that a web designer has to carry out in order to determine the cost of building your website.

How is your money spent?

You may imagine that the bulk of the costs involved in building a new website would be spent to design, layout, and code it. In the 90’s and early 00’s this may well have been true. However not so much now.

Many of the modern frameworks available have cut the length of time these tasks take meaning that they now eat up far less of your budget. This also means new websites are also far quicker to create as much of the work is pre-built within the framework. ‘Great news’ I hear your shout, ‘it will mean web design costs are going down’. Not quite.

Work still needs to be done to attract visitors and to convert them into clients. After all there is no point in having a fantastic looking website that nobody visits. The best approach is to move the money you save on the development into marketing your website. This means that the overall web costs are about the same but you now have more money to spend on finding and attracting new clients to the new website.

In the past I would have allocated 90% of the budget to the design tasks. Now it is about 25% – 50%. The remainder of the budget should be used on marketing the website so it generates leads and makes money. This makes the website a business asset rather than a liability.

Hope you like this post, help me share to all, it’s good to share!

Kelvin x – OneDigitalMedia 

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