Web sites can be built, broadly, one of two ways and making the right choice is about understanding the intended purpose of the site and the needs of the client. Dezine-Host will advise on the most appropriate option on an individual basis but here’s a rough guide to the pros and cons on each.
The style of site you get is up to you, you’re the client so it’s your choice! While Dezine-Host will guide, suggest and help you decide on the look, feel and styling of your site, ultimately you are in control. Past requests have ranged from formal to cartoon-like.
Some clients know exactly which font they want to use, others want a light and approachable site free of formality and regimentated alignment. Dezine-Host is happy designing to whatever brief you give, after all variety is the spice of life and that’s never been better demonstrated than on the web – you don’t want your site to look like all the others!
Scratch built sites are just that, the design process starts from a blank page. These types of sites are equally ideal for simple sites and those which require many bespoke elements. The one key point about this type of site is that generally this type of site cannot be modified by the client and any alterations necessary require further design work by Dezine-Host.
While its not the ideal solution in terms of content updates it does allow full design control over every last aspect of the site which completely avoids the square peg, round hole problem of fitting varied content into a standard template. Pages can be styled alike but they don’t have to be and each page can be individually crafted to look just right.
So, if your site isn’t going to be updated very often, this offers the ideal route to a highly customised site.
CMS (Content Management System) Based
With a CMS the foundations of the website already exist in the form of a MySQL database and website structure built around it. While there remains a plenty of flexibility in the design of how the site actually looks, it is all based on the underlying framework.
Once the design is done, the content is simply loaded into the database and each page is dynamically created on the fly. Updating the site is a matter of adding, editing and removing content from the database making it possible for the client to update the site’s content at will with little or no support.
Other benefits are that additional features and options can be bolted on with ease and part of the on going support packages for this type of site involves being offered these bolt on options at reduced prices.
This isn’t always the best solution as there can be problems when the desired look and feel doesn’t easily fit with standard template pages. Thus you lose some of the finer control over how pages look and to an extent they can all look too alike.
The classic question… ‘How much will a web site cost?’
Unfortunately that’s not an easy question to answer because it depends heavily on what you want. While each individual case differs, broadly these prices hold:
All prices INCLUDE the first year’s web hosting on high quality, reliable servers with all the features you could want and more!
Basic, single page site – this is the bare minimum presence on the web possible, ideal for small business’ or as a starting point – £99 to £150
Modest website (e.g. 10 pages) – typically suitable for those wanting to document their life, work, publications, interests etc. or small business promoting services or products (not full e-commerce – e.g. small number of PayPal buttons etc.) – £200-£500
Larger, more complex sites and those including full e-commerce functionality (shopping cart and integration to Paypal) and preloading inventory – from £1000
In all cases, it’s best to look at other sites and create a list of sites which demonstrate what you want or a particular bit of what you want your site to do/look like. For example, perhaps one site has the colour palette you want used, another the functionality and a third the fonts, decoration and styling. Being able to see these will allow me as a designer to understand your vision and quote correctly for the work required to achieve the result you are looking for.
Alternatively, you can turn it on your head and say, this is my budget, what can I get for this much money and I’ll offer you the best site possible for the money available.
One thing to remember is that much of the work involved is in the design, the number of pages doesn’t have a proportial relationship with required effort and therefore not price.
Site Maintenance & On-going Development
Websites are not static things as they need to grow and adapt to their changing remit. Whether it be changes in contact details, available products or complete revamps and changes of direction, site maintenance is an important aspect of your site.
Every site is different and Dezine-Host understands that, this is why there are various options available for post-build site maintenance.
Support starts with the no committment option of further commissioning Dezine-Host as and when changes become necessary. In this instance each update/change will be quoted for individually dependant upon the required work subject to a minimum charge of £25. This is ideal for infrequent and substantial alterations or periodic updates of a site.
For those sites which require more regular updates, Dezine-Host offers a range of monthly packages. These offer the benefit of lower charges and greater flexibility. Minor alterations, additional pages etc. can be quickly and cheaply added to your site and in effect, your site can grow and adapt month by month at a minimal cost.
For sites requiring higher levels of maintenance, for example where a site requires daily updates and managing, Dezine-Host offers a per hour rate which also applies for all out of monthly plan works requested.
Dezine-Host recognises that such plans are not always necessary immediately after a site is completed. Equally, when a site is finished, the client is given access to it and is free to make their own adjustments, additions etc. as they see fit.
All the maintenance options remain open to clients and the choice between the various options can be made at the time of the first need. All monthly plans are subject to a one-year contract but clients can opt to move up to a larger plan at any point during the year with a pro-rata charge for the remaining period of the contact. At contract renewal, the client may switch to any plan if they feel their needs have altered. In addition, should further, major changes be necessary, this can be quoted for at any time. In such a circumstance, the fact that the client is already on a monthly plan would affect the quoted price to be more favourable than otherwise would be the case.
This table summarises the options.
|Support Type||Plan Price*||Details|
|As and when||n/a||Whenever you need something altered on the site and you can’t do it yourself, we will quote for the work required. You also pay full price for any additional features we may be offering from time to time. Minimum charge £25.|
|Basic cover||£3.99/month||Entitles you to discounted rates on additional features offered, free content updates for existing pages or one additional page per month.|
|Advanced cover||£4.99/month||As per Basic cover but with up to 3 additional pages per month.|
|Webmaster plus||From £5.99/month||For those who want someone to actively maintain their site and keep it running smoothly by performing routine checks and maintenance.|
|Content Plus||£9.99/hr||Full website management services including regularly adding/removing/updating products on an e-commerce site.|
*Hosting and Support is billed annually in advance. Extras and additional fees incurred by altering hosting or support options will be billed at the time of the change or at renewal depending on the amount outstanding.