A visiting card sans a business website sounds like fried fish without the customary chips that goes in the plate. It is unthinkable, nay a sin. Almost 80% of your prospective customers would check out your website before dialing that 1-800 number on your visiting card. If you are in the business of selling online it is the third most important thing to decide on after you have decided on the business name and made a blueprint of the source of funds.
But, getting a business website designed may be a tag more difficult than you think, especially if you are not that technically enlightened. If you think in similar lines, don’t fret. Read the rest of this article and or check out this online course.
The price for designing a website depends to a large extent on the route you take. You could either do it yourself, in which case a guide like this one would certainly help you to get the work done, right from scratch to finish. Alternatively, you could hire an outside website designer / agency. Either way it will certainly help if you could learn a few aspects of website designing yourself.
So, without further ado here are the five tips which will help you in your adventure to get your website designed.
Tip 1 – Choosing a Domain Name
A domain name is the address of your website on the internet. It is not the physical address, but rather the virtual address, as your domain name can be hosted on any server around the globe. With a host of Top Level Domain (TLDs) names available, you have a wider than ever choice to select something that matches your pursuit. Make a list of 4-5 domain names that you think you like and ask someone you trust to give an opinion.
Once you have finalized the domain name register it without delay to avoid losing it to your competitor. Domains names can set you back by $9.99 to $58.99 a year depending on the TLD (Top Level Domain names) that you are interested in. With newer TLD’s coming in such as .bike or .condos or .photography it is possible to get something that matches with your line of business.
Individuals often book domain names which are actually based on commonly used phrases and are some of the best searched on the internet. Domain names such as ultimatecars.com or indiaweather.com are considered as premium domain names as they are registered and available for resale at a premium price. If you badly need a domain such as above, those can set you back by thousands of dollars. If you are interested in doing a bit of trading yourself in buying and selling domain names check this course we have to get started.
Tip 2 – Knowing Exactly What You Want
Unless you want to keep shifting things around every time your web designing agency is about to finish things and hand over for a trial, know exactly what you want in advance. Changing things around is never an easy thing to manage when the website is almost ready to be submitted for review. Website designing companies almost always work on an hourly rate. They will pass on the delay and the resulting extra hours of work to you. E.g., if your web designer is working at an hourly rate of $20 and changing the design scheme involves an additional 10 hours of work, you have overshot your web design costs by $200. Just because you haven’t planned for everything.
Tip 3 – Setting a Budget
Depending on what you want, the technology that you have opted for and whether or not you need a designing agency, you will need to allocate a budget. The last thing that you would want to see is your website designing costs shooting beyond your estimate. But how to assess the cost? An easy way is to check for prices being asked by designing agencies for similar requirements. Elance.com and oDesk.com are two of the most popular outsourcing platforms where buyers can enlist their requirements and service providers directly bid on them. Check for how much designing agencies are asking for a similar website.
A simple five page static website with fresh content, some custom graphics and little flash animation could cost you around $400 – $500. If you throw in customizable product categories, an option to create product details page with an option to upload multiple images, price (both regular and discount) and coupon options could cost an additional $1000. Add, professionally clicked photos, full site maintenance and SEO optimized pages for the whole site and you could be looking at a budget in excess of $2500. These figures can change depending on the designer. If you hire a professional it is likely to be higher than what a student from Indonesia working on his spare time would charge you. Though these are just ball park figures and the final contract price asked could be different in your case, you have at least a starting idea as to how much you need to budget.
Tip 4 – Choosing a Website Designer
If you do decide to outsource your project to an outside designing agency / contractor there are a few things that you ought to know to reduce your overall cost.
A website designer could be a single guy knowledgeable in web programming. But he is not expected to be a master of all trades, such as content creation, graphic designing, flash / animator, photography (if you need original photos) and so on. If you need all these services together then you are better off hiring an agency which has skilled hands for each of these designing aspects. This way you can get a better deal than having to hire three or four different guys and manage everything yourself. If you need more tips check this resource.
Does he have the time? If your web designer / designing agency is overbooked, you may consider opting for a different provider. There are thousands of qualified and reliable web designers out there who are waiting to do the job. You can bargain and get a job done at a price 10 to 20% less if you hire someone who is looking for work rather than one who is overbooked and has no reason to reduce price.
Don’t fall for the five-pages-for-500-dollars ad. They are just what they preach, mail-order websites that leaves very little room for maneuver. If you need extra features they will charge you a lot for those. Instead, discuss everything you need, face to face with a website designer.
Look at past work. You don’t have to look at all the websites that they have designed. You have better things to do with your time and checking scores of designs from half a dozen web designers would eat away into your time. Instead, ask for the three best websites that they have designed and base your judgment on that. Checking past profile and reassuring yourself that you selected the right candidate can save you hundreds of your hard earned dollars.
Tip 5 – Choosing a Hosting Provider
Choosing a good hosting provider is yet another aspect. Depending on your hosting platform your annual hosting charges can fluctuate a great deal. There are four different types of hosting, Shared, VPS (Virtual Private Server), Dedicated and Cloud.
The least expensive is Shared. It is what the name suggests a shared platform where the resources of a single physical hosting server is used to host several domains. It can be rented at a price as little as under $10 a month. Such hosting is ideal for very small, personal and static websites.
A Dedicated hosting is again, very simply, a physical hosting server, the resources of which are dedicated to host a single domain or account. This is ideal for large ecommerce websites with thousands of pages and tens of thousands of monthly visitors. It can cost anything between $100 to $350 a month depending on the server architecture. A VPS hosting shares the traits of both dedicated and shared hosting platforms and are preferred by website owners who need the economy pricing of shared architecture but the flexibility that comes with having an own server. Pricing can be anywhere between $40 to $150 a month.
Cloud hosting is the most flexible and the best in terms of scalability. These can be compared with pay-as-you-go model. You pay for what you use in terms of bandwidth, storage and other resources. This is opted by websites which have spikes in traffic at differ points of the year as well business which run very large ecommerce websites.
For more input on how to select a good hosting check this course on building your own website.