Website Design - How Not to Get Ripped Off - Part 1

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Are you planning to have a website build? Are you looking to sell items from the website? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then read on as this article could save you thousands and it could be the difference to having a successful website or going bankrupt! There are a few major factors to take into consideration and some of which are majorly over looked even by web designers and web development companies.
No doubt one of your first thoughts will be cost.
How much will it cost you? This is similar to asking how long a piece of string is, you need to really understand what you want.
Websites prices seriously vary from company to company and this depends on what type of website you are after and whether the company is ethical or not.
Some companies will tweak the quote up depending on the car you drive or what type of watch you ware.
Disgusting I know, but true, I worked for a couple of companies like that! If you have been quoted around 10 thousand pounds or more for an all singing and all dancing website and are about to write the cheque, STOP, you're about to be ripped off.
You may have been told this and that about how their programmers have to write this special bit of code and that bit of code and it will take time.
This is all b****x and a sales ploy to get you to pay top money when the truth of it is that every bit of code your website will ever need has already been written and is free to use, it's called shareware.
If companies are writing code they are living in the dark ages.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel, you get code free and tweak it.
What you are paying for is a artistic chap to design a nice looking site and then a programmer to make it function.
Below is a list of questions you need to ask yourself..
Do you want a static site (one that doesn't change)? Do you want to add more pages over time? Do you need your own domain? the [http://www.<br/>bit] Do you need to buy a domain and hosting (the <a target="_new" rel="nofollow" href="/links/?u=http://www.<br/>name/">http://www.<br/>name</a> and the space on the internet) Do you want a blog? (a online diary for adding news etc) Do you need a shopping cart? Will you want to add new products? And here's the big one..
Do you want to be found in Google? I'll get back to the Google question bit in a minute.
But I can tell you that if you just want a static site that doesn't change you shouldn't have to spend more than a couple of hundred pounds tops.
One option is to have a static site but have a blog put on so you have an area that you can add and create pages yourself.
If you want a blog the only blog you should be thinking about is a wordpress blog.
If you're not bothered about having your own domain (www bit) there are many sites that allow you to build your own website in seconds online for free.
Just type in Google "free websites" moonfruit.
com and weebly.
com are two of the best.
If you need a site that you will be regularly updating (adding products) you will need a content management system (CMS).
Now before you go rushing to Google that phrase beware, because the biggest mistake I have seen is people buying a cms, but then find it too tricky to use and end up using the developer to make the changes! This is very costly as a cms will cost more than a static site and if you end up using a developer to do the updates then the costs will never end.
So make sure you get to road test a cms as it were before you buy.
If you want an updatable website but not an ecommerce site that sells products I would go for a wordpress website.
This shouldn't cost you more that £500.
Also if you need a domain and hosting, look around as you shouldn't have to spend more than £50 a year for a basic static site and not much more for a CMS, as your site grows then you may need more space etc but this still shouldn't cost hundreds.
Now probably more important than what I have written above is the final question "Do you want to be found in Google?" Read Website Design: How not to get ripped off? - Part 2 where this is covered...
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