How much does a website cost? If you are visiting this page looking for a definitive answer then I am going to disappoint because pricing a website can be a complicated process but it is a question on every potential client’s mind. The cost of a web site is a little bit like the cost of a house, the bigger and more complex the heftier the price tag. So lets break things down a bit to give you an insight as to where the costs lie and walk through some client scenarios.
Lets first consider the type of company quoting your project. A design agency with a portfolio full of fortune 500 companies and a trendy studio in a skyscraper in down town Chicago is going to charge more …well.. because they have to to cover their costs. If you are large company with mega$$ they may be a good fit. An offshore, say, Indian based web design company, may give you an unbelievably cheap quote but how comfortable are you doing business that way?
A good approach to selecting a company to quote your project is to take a good look at their portfolio and services and if their offerings match what you are after, they are worth a call. Also don’t be afraid to check out any testimonials.
Any decent web design company will lead you through a discovery process (ours is free) to understand what it is you want to accomplish with your web presence. Come prepared to talk about your marketing objectives, the type of functionality you’d like on your site ( e.g shopping cart, content management, video integration, social media, blogging capabilities etc.), who your customers are, who you competition is and what makes you unique. The more information you can provide at this stage the better, as the information will be used to create a comprehensive proposal which will outline the best plan of action to achieve your goals and a realistic price.
Whatever the goals of the project, the cost to create it can generally be broken down into the following categories
- A captivating design to engage you site visitors
- Home page and inner pages of the site
- email template design
- Imagery selection
- Navigation design
- Definition of branding assets e.g color palette, typefaces
- Working from a predefined brand style guide
- Converting your design to a form which can be understood by web browsers
- Integrating all content
- Building and integrating functionality e.g shopping carts, databases
- Integrating with a Content Management System (CMS) e.g WordPress
- Integrating 3rd party application e.g newsletter management, Google analytics
- Mobile version of site
- Browser compatibility testing
- Domain registration/configuration
- Hosting setup
- Email setup
- Upload to server
- SSL certificate
- uploading data ( e.g for e commerce)
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Submission to basic search engines
- More extensive search engine, directory, portal submission e.g Targeting Local directories
- Social media profiles e.g Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest
- Email campaigns
- Paid Advertising Campaigns e.g Google Adwords
- RSS subscription
Now not every project is going to require all aspects of these categories so lets take a look at a few client scenarios
Client A: Online Brochure Website
A small interior design business requires a simple online brochure type website to market their services. They would like to set up a Facebook page, an email management tool so they can send out a newsletter and a Pinterst account to pin photographs of their design work. They serve a local area and would like to rank well for anyone carrying out a local search for an interior designer- they are not interested in paid advertising although this may change depending upon the site traffic. They already have an offline brand image but require a domain name. The site will be between 10 and 12 pages in total.
Design: 12 hrs
Programing: 18 hrs
Launch: 4 hrs
Marketing: 10 hrs
Total: 44 hrs = $4,400
Client B: Content Management Website
A company offering summer camps wants a web site they can manage themselves. The would like to upload photographs of camp events and allow parents to register their children – they already have an online application to allow this through a 3rd party but this need to be integrated seamlessly into the site. They would also like to be able to write a blog. They have a Facebook profile already set up but this to be linked to the site. Most of their customers are by word of mouth but they would like a basic SEO and search engine submission. They have a comprehensive offline style guide and already have a domain name. The site will be approximately 25 pages.
Design: 24 hrs
Programming: 50 hrs
Launch: 8 hrs
Total: 87 hrs = $8,700
Client C: E commerce Website
A small business want to launch an online store to sell their products. They also want the ability for their clients to sign up for an e-newsletter which will offer monthly promotions. They need assistance in selecting a provider for these email blasts and a custom template designed for the newsletter.They already have a merchant account set up and are interested in paid advertising to generate traffic. They have a logo and all copy for the website ready.
Design: 35 hrs
Programming: 70 hrs
Launch: 20 hrs
Marketing: 20 hrs
Total: 145 hrs = $14,500
As you can see the price range for a website can vary dramatically depending on what you want it do do and want to achieve. If you would like us to quote on your next website give “The Chicago web Designer” a call at 847 607 8679, we may be a Chicago web design company but we don’t have a trendy studio in the city and don’t charge ridiculous prices!
in Chicago Web Designer, Facebook, Free!, Internet Marketing, Miscellaneous, Pinterest, SEO, Social Media, Social Networking, Testimonials, Wordpress
A good website is a “living” marketing tool that can evolve to accommodate different approaches to engage with it’s users. Our long standing client, The Rockwood, a St Louis retirement community, understands this and recently asked us to revisit their site and make suggestions on how it could be improved.
The site has now been overhauled so it performs better in the search engines and offers interactions with it’s users through social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. We also built them a custom WordPress blog which was seamlessly integrated into the site.
© Chicago Web Designer
in Blogging, Facebook, St Louis Web Designer, STL Marketing, Web Design Projects, Wordpress
The New Year often give pause to thought on how you are conducting your business. Are you making the most of your opportunities, using your time efficiently, attracting the right sort of clients? It is a time for reviewing and updating and I have a number of things I will be updating over the next few weeks for my own business.
On the agenda today was my email signature and as much of my business communication is done via email, it is an important little snippet at the bottom of every email I send. It essentially acts as an electronic business card.
What are the elements of a good email signature?
- Your name
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Fax Number
- A very brief statement on what you do and offer
- Link to company web site
- Links to social media profiles such as Twitter and Facebook
- Keeping the signature short and sweet
In my signature I also have my logo and also the word “Thanks” so I don’t have to type it out every time. The signature can also be edited on a per email basis, so if I need to have a more formal finish I can easily delete “Thanks” and replace with something more appropriate. The same goes for adding my surname.
Here is how it looks.
Setting up an email signature in Outlook is easy and there are great instruction on how to do so here.
© 2012 Chicago Web Designer
in Facebook, Indigo Image Tips, Miscellaneous, Twitter
Facebook will make it’s new timeline approach to profile pages default on December 22nd. The look and feel of the profile page will change and additional functionality to visit past posts via a timeline, will be introduced. If you don’t want to wait you can easily get the new timeline visiting here , a clicking the “get timeline now” button.
The new profile page features a large cover photo which you will need to set. You can use one of your existing photos or upload something new.
The dimension of the cover photo is 850px by 315 px, if the image you select is smaller that that it will end up being stretched and not sharp.
I created a montage of contemporary graphics for my cover photo, they are the same as the ones I used to create the “Color Punch” igoogle theme.
To get you started I am offering three contemporary graphics you can use on your own Facebook profile. Download by clicking on the image and saving to your computer. They are sized correctly and ready to go.
© 2011 Chicago web designer
in Chicago Web Designer, Design Snippets, Facebook, Free!
Here is a list of 7 things you, as a small business owner, can do TODAY, to increase the visibility of your web site. The better visibility, the better rankings in the search engines . End result more site visitors.
- Start a Blog
Google’s blogger or WordPress.com are both good candidates for the novice blogger. They are easy to setup and require no technical knowledge . Ideally your blog should be integrated into your web site and given the same look/ feel for a seamless branded image (we can definitely help you with this). However having a standalone blog gives you a great platform to test the blogging waters and find your voice. Write regular blog posts relevant to your business expertise or product offering and make sure to create linksto your web site. Here are some articles on blogging which will help you get the most out of your blog.
- Comment on blog posts
Commenting on blog posts is a great way to increase the visibility of your site. A fitting comment and a relevant link to your site where applicable can lead to considerable traffic. Tread carefully though and do not spam.
- Open a Twitter account
Twitter is a micro blogging tool, each Tweet, or post can have a maximum of 140 characters. Spend a little time setting up your profile which can include a picture, an all important link to your web site and a short bio. Next find some people to follow using the tools offered on the Twitter web site, then tweet away. The more you interact the more you will get of Twitter.
- Create a Facebook Fan Page for your business
To get started with Facebook you first need to create a personal account. Then visit this page https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
Select a good name and populate the info section of the profile with your business information. You are now free to start sharing your thoughts, ideas, products, links, video and anything else you think is relevant to your business via the Facebook status window. You will need to build up your fan base so include a Facebook “like button” wherever you can e.g In your email signature, on your blog, on your web site.
- Get listed on YELP
Yelp is a local directory allowing users to search for all sorts of services, everything from hair dressers to website designers. Once you are a member (free) you can post reviews on any listing.
See our listing on Yelp
- Upload a video to YouTube
YouTube is the world’s 2nd most popular search engine ( Google is the 1st) so it stands to reason a presence there is worth the time and effort. Creating your free account is easy and uploading a video a breeze.
See our videos on YouTube How to select a great Domain Name and How to add video to your Internet Marketing Mix
- Pin something on Pinterest
If you have visually appealing images on your website particularly if they relate to your products or services e.g You are a landscaper and have a portfolio of completed landscape projects, Pinterest is a great place to share them. Pinterest is one of the newest and fastest growing social media platforms. It is a virtual pin board allowing you to organize and share all the fabulous images you find on the web. Boards and images can be shared and repined .
Check out our profile on Pinterest
in Blogging, Facebook, Google, Indigo Image Tips, Internet Marketing, Pinterest, SEO, Social Media, Twitter, Wordpress
Being active on Facebook, or any social network, takes time and effort. You can maximize the return on that effort by growing your followers and making your content widely available. Facebook wall updates can even be displayed on your website so they will be visible to those who aren’t yet following you, and will automatically update as your status changes.
It takes a little effort but here is how you do it.
- Visit your Facebook page and “view source” The method of doing this will vary with which browser you are using but generally if you “right click” the page you will be given an option to “View Source”
- On the page source code you need to look for the Rss feed for that page, try doing a page search for “atom”
- The line of code you find will look like this
where the XXX bit is your page ID
- The line of code needs to rewritten to include the full URL
- If you try a view this feed in a reader it will not work. However if you burn the feed using Feedburner the result is a fully functioning readable feed.
- Within the Feedburner dashboard select Publicize>BuzzBoost, and activate. BuzzBoost republishes your feed as HTML , once configured a snippet of code will be generated which you can paste into your website. The Buzzboost code can be easily styled via CSS to fit the look and feel of any website.
Here is one of our clients using Feedburner to display their Facebook page status updates
© 2011 Chicago Web Designer
I watched my first episode of TLC’s Extreme Couponing last week and was amazed at the ingenuity and lengths some people go to, to get stuff for free. The internet plays a huge part in their ability to get the best deals on all sorts of products.
So in the spirit of that program I thought I’d do a series on Extreme Couponing for web designers.
Let kick off with What you can get for FREE – no coupons required for this stuff
Google Products: Google offers a load of free products, from the igoogle home pageyou can fill with gadgets to manage your bookmarks ( even have a folder for all your coupon web sites), see the weather for the week, read the news etc, to Gmail for your email needs. They even offer free storage of photographs through Picasa and you can build a basic website using Google sites
Content Management Systems
WordPress is being used more and more these days as a CMS system ( I read recently that 14% of all new web site being built today are built using WordPress). Joomla is a great application for building member type web sites, Drupal is another good contender.
Next time coupons for domain names hosting and stock photography.
© 2011 Chicago web designer
in Facebook, Free!, Social Media, Social Networking
Are you making the most of your blog posts?
Did you know that it is really easy to extend the reach of each post you write, by importing your blog feed into your social network profiles like Facebook or LinkedIn. By doing so your new posts get automatically published.
So today we have a little poll.
© 2011 Chicago web designer
After my last post Is your small business on board the social media wagon? I’d thought I’d share with you today some of my clients who are well on board the social media wagon.
Here is a shout out to my clients embracing social media.
- Schilli Plastering
Follow them on Facebook and Twitter
- Loomis Brothers
Become a fan of their Facebook page
- Peter Meder and Company
Connect via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter or enjoy the company blog “a Conversation with Peter“
- Big River Associates
Connect with them on Facebook and LinkedIn
- Roberg Tax Solutions
Read their Blog or become a Facebook fan
- Hardscape STL.com
Subscribe to their blog or follow them Facebook, Twitter or Youtube
- Sarah Grus Weddings
Become a Facebook fan
- Ruth Hasser Wedding Officiant
Visit their Facebook page or read their blog
- Spring Willows Farm
- Become a Facebook fan or enjoy their tweets on Twitter
- St Louis Woman’s Exchange
Connect via Facebook
- Cynthia Reeg
Read her blog and connect via Facebook
- Zagros Robotics
Become a Facebook fan
©: 2011 Chicago Web Designer
The internet is ever evolving and as a web designer an important part of my job is to stay current with the tools and applications. One of the hottest trends over the last few years has been social media. It is a trend that is here to stay.
What can I do with social media
©: 2011 Chicago web designer