Many Qualicum Beach and Parksville small business owners gasp when they learn the cost of a good website is usually a couple thousand dollars or more. Sometime’s it’s a case of the web designer over-charging, but it’s often a case of the client just not fully understanding what’s involved on the part of a good web designer to build a stunning digital sales piece for your company.
Don’t get me wrong, some designers do charge way to much and many of them are just computer geeks masquerading as web designers because it’s probably one of the easiest businesses to start without much capital.
In this day and age anyone can watch a couple of YouTube videos on WordPress websites and call themselves a Professional web designer and nobody would ever know. That is until you try and find your website on Google and you don’t find your own business but instead those of your competitors who’ve chosen to work with a professional. We’ll teach you how to spot the Pro’s who can really help your local business.
Good Web Designers Provide Clients With Detailed Proposals
Professional web designers know what it takes to build a successful web presence and will usually provide their potential client a very detailed web site proposal to convey that message. It might be an online proposal you can view, or a PDF document that you can print. Your web proposal should detail many things including:
- What software your website be using.
- How many pages your website will have.
- What the pages will be about.
- Who’s writing the content?
- Who’s providing the photos?
- Is there an existing website?
- Are there any Google penalties from shady tactics in the past?
These are all important items you and your web designer must be clear on before moving forward with the project. From the moment a professional web designer starts creating your proposal they must treat the project like they’ve already got the job. Sometimes the research phase of a proposal can take several hours.
Sorting, Organizing, Resizing and Manipulating Photos
Having relevant imagery on your website helps your website in many ways. It’s more attractive and intriguing you your visitors, photos or videos can allow you to illustrate certain points, and when properly tagged they can also help with your search engine optimization.
If you aren’t providing photos then your web designer will need to purchase stock photography which can range from $2.00 – $10.00 or more for image licensing. When using stock photography you need to account for the time your web designer will spend searching for appropriate photos, cropping the photos, resizing them, writing proper file names, uploading them and positioning them in your content and lastly adding proper Img Alt tags so that search engines can find them. If your web designer is building a 50 page website and you need a photo on every page you can see how this will take your designer several hours in photo editing alone.
Often times clients will provide photos, and this is usually appropriate for businesses like home improvement companies for example who will need to showcase their work, or a local artisan for example.
Graphic Design and Web Graphics Creation
Does your website quote include any time for graphics creation? Your website would look rather plain without some nice graphic work to draw your visitor to important places. Headers, footers, guarantees, warranties, and special offer pages could all benefit from the polish that professional graphics provide.
Graphics can now be purchased from large libraries online and then your designer can edit them with Photoshop or their chosen image editing program. This doesn’t mean it still doesn’t take time for your designer to find the appropriate graphics (or create them from scratch), apply color schemes and edit text, then upload to your site. Graphics work for a small business website can consumer several billable hours of time.
Research For Good Quality Web Content
It’s important to understand that search engines rank web pages, not websites. The pages of your website need to be filled with useful and relevant content to your specific niche. If you are relying on your web designer to write content for you then you’re going to be paying them for their time to research, and write. All content doesn’t equal great content. Some web designers think 300 words of nonsensical repetitive text is the answer to your small business content dilemna. It’s not.
Your content should provide helpful information to your visitors that reinforces your position as the local authority. You’re not going to find that type of writing passion from anyone other than a professional.
Good Web Content Includes:
- Proper optimization with titles and description tags.
- 300 – 1000 words of helpful content relevant to your topic.
- One or more relevant images or videos.
No matter how good a researcher and content writer is, the best content is created when you (the business owner) and your web designer work together. You being the business owner, are the expert in your field. The more point form notes and crudely pieced together content you can provide the better.
Some customers think they save the web designer time if they write the content themselves. It’s usually the opposite. Your web designer will have to edit your writing, and the still spend the time to search engine optimize it. You’re best to just provide notes and information, let the content creator do the writing. A good web designer will be able to take what you provide and build into beautiful pieces of content for your website.
Hosting For Your Website
Do you know who will be hosting your website yet? Many web designers don’t host their clients websites. Instead they get the client to purchase hosting elsewhere and the web designers will work within the clients hosting account to develop their site. Other web designers will provide hosting for their clients as part of the web package they provide.
We choose to provide hosting for our clients on our own dedicated server. This gives us a faster response time when it comes to tech support issues and preventing or recovering websites from anything malicious. We also take care of our clients WordPress updates, plugin updates and any licensing for 3rd party software they might be using with their site.
We charge about $247 annually to host, maintain and technically support our clients websites.
The Cost Of Good Web Design is Cheaper Then a Website Re-Design
Many of our web design clients already have websites when they came to us. They found someone local on the classifieds, or a friend of a friend, or their nephew, or son or daughter built it. Sometimes it was a free site, other times it cost them a few hundred (even a few thousand dollars). The point is, you don’t want to be paying for your website to be rebuilt over-and-over. You want it done right the first time, in such a way that your website can grow as your business grows.
The real question for most business owners isn’t what is the cost of good web design, but instead the question should be “What is NOT having a good web design costing me?!”.
The answer is a lot more than you think but that will depend on how what your profit margin is. A home builder who can acquire 7 new home building clients a year from their website will see a lot more monetary returns than a plumber closing 7 new clients a month.
The value of your customer is something only you’d know.
Who Builds Websites For Small Business in Parksville and Qualicum?
Qualicum Beach Web Design is a full service web design company located in Qualicum Beach. We specialize in website design and Internet marketing for local small business owners in Qualicum, Parksville, Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Courtenay, BC. Give us a call or fill out our request form today if you’d like to schedule your free consultation.