Need a website designer?

I’m happy to chat about potential projects. Questions on cost or timescales are difficult to answer accurately on first contact, but I can often offer a ‘ballpark’ figure or refer you to similar projects with an indication of cost.

Call me : +44 (0)1738 563255/ 07850 207155.

Things I’m asked.

More stuff :

Testimonials. Case studies. Thoughts.

For instance…

  • How long will it take to build my site?

    Hard to say without a wee chat first.

    But when I calculate time required for the various aspects of the site – design, coding and content creation, I estimate in working hours, whereas clients are typically thinking in terms of weeks or months.

    The reality is two sites of similar specification can each take the same number of hours spent on the project, but can vary widely in the calendar period from start to finish.

    Very often the most significant delays are when I’m waiting for clients to provide feedback/ information/ photographs, or the copy.

    This site has been designed and built over the last 9 weeks, but then I’m in total control of the content. A site with a very similar spec I built earlier this year required roughly the same number of hours, but took 5 months to complete because of delays in supplying photography.

    Sadly my accountant maintains I can only charge for the actual hours spent with no waiting charges. Taxi drivers aren’t daft.

  • What do you need to get started?

    As much info as possible about the project and what you want to achieve with the website. I need to know about your target audience, what you want to tell them and what you want them to think or do.

    Next is defining the site structure. Think of it like building a house, if you want 4 bedrooms it’s probably best to tell the architect that right at the start – even though you might not use them all immediately or haven’t chosen the curtain fabric yet.

    Ideally, I’d have all the content at this point, but on most projects there are inevitably a number of gaps. Hopefully they are indeed ‘gaps’ and not yawning chasms.

  • Will my site look cool?

    If ‘cool’ is part of the brief, it most certainly will. If, on the other hand, you’re a funeral director, ‘cool’ may not represent the optimum approach.

    Your site should reflect the brand personality and ‘tone of voice’ of your business.

    Getting that message across effectively is what ‘website design’ as I define it is about, not bolting chunks of code together like a flat-pack table from Ikea.

  • Can I/we update the site ourselves?

    Possibly. I used to say ‘yes’ automatically, but often clients say ‘yes please’ to a CMS (Content Management System) then rarely or never use it. Not because of any ‘technofear’ issues – clients often have the desire but neither the time or resources to manage the updates. It can prove simpler and cheaper just to ask me to make occasional changes. Several clients have reverted to non-CMS enabled sites, preferring I create content and update the website while they focus on social media.

    Some sites of course do require a full CMS, which will normally be immediately evident. Around half the sites I build these days are CMS-enabled from the outset.

    A CMS does add complexity and therefore both time and cost to the project – so be sure you actually need one. It’s normally possible to ‘retrofit’ at a later stage if your needs change.

  • How much will this cost?

    As with ‘how long,’ that’s difficult to answer without knowing what you need. I mean, how much is ‘a house?’ If we have a chat, I can normally refer you to broadly similar examples and explain what they cost. But to get an accurate figure really needs a little more thought.

    At the time of writing, current sites in progress have budgets of £1.6k, £2.4k and £6.6k respectively. Yours will probably be different to any of those, but at this point, who knows?

    There are web ‘designers’ out there who offer a unit cost per page, but while I think that type of commodity pricing is admirably suited for buying, say, lengths of plastic pipe, I don’t think it works for creative services. The thing is, plastic pipes (and off-the-shelf template websites) all tend to look identical. Probably doesn’t matter too much with the pipe, but it’s hard to make your website distinctive or memorable if it’s a clone of millions of others.

    All prices are ex VAT.

  • What’s the payment schedule?

    I require a minimum of 50% of the core project fee in advance. After that, it’s monthly progress invoices until the site is complete. On larger/ long-term projects, we can agree a stage payment plan (typically on sites costing more than £10k). I do offer a 10% discount for full payment in advance on larger projects.

    All prices are ex VAT.

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