Website design help

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worthit
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Website design help

Post by worthit » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:03 am

Hello BHs:

I am looking for someone to design a simple 4-5 page website. Nothing fancy - no animations etc. This is for consulting, catering to a professional audience as supposed to leisure audience (hospitality or entertainment). More like a lawyer's or doctor's website to give you an idea. Will be ideal if they can host too. I am currently paying about $265 every 2 years that inludes a self-designed, hosted website (email option is extra) that I think needs an update.

What should I expect to pay? I am seeing a wide variation in fees and charges online. Is there an Angie's List sort of online community where I can peruse and select the service providers for consideration? Looking for the best way to hire someone to design (and perhaps host) to satisfy my needs while being economical.

Thanks in advance.

Unicorn1
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Location: Asheville, NC

Re: Website design help

Post by Unicorn1 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:03 pm

I have been down this same path a few times over the years for our consulting business. From my experience, website build pricing for a nice, professional-looking site (chock full of images, links, etc.) will range from $4,000 to $8,000. If it's just 4-5 pages of text only, probably much less (and perhaps it could be done yourself). Regarding who to hire for this work, my two top sources for candidate firms were based on referrals from my consultant colleagues or from perusing websites of our competitors and reviewing the "smallprint" on the homepage to see who built the site. Regardless of who you find, ask to see samples of their work (preferably for sites similar to yours) and also ask for a detailed estimate upfront. As you say, prices and quality are all over the place.

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Bogle7
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Re: Website design help

Post by Bogle7 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:04 pm

I have been building websites since 1995. At $90/hour I am out of your price range, but I do have some advice.

1. Separate design from hosting. You need to arrange for the hosting and domain registration so you control it. I use GoDaddy for registration and a small local ISP for hosting. GoDaddy provides affordable hosting.

2. Have your website built in plain HTML. No WordPress or other Content Management System (CMS). This way, anyone (including your nephew) can help with changes to your website.

3. You can find very inexpensive designers on https://www.fiverr.com . Their work varies from horrible to excellent.

4. Focus on quality and not price.

knightrider
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Re: Website design help

Post by knightrider » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:52 pm

Find a template you like on templatemonster.com then go to a site like upwork.com to have someone customize it with your text/pictures. I used someone there I can suggest . Expect to pay around $100-150 for that.

renue74
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Re: Website design help

Post by renue74 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:09 pm

I've designed websites since 1999. Actually burned out on the whole client/agency relationship thing and looking to switch up.

My suggestions:

1.) You actually do need a content management system like Wordpress, Drupal, etc. If you ever need to make edits, you can do it and not hire someone to make small edits.

2.) Look at upwork.com. You can post your project and get proposals back. Like the other said....design and development are different animals. In my agency, we have a designer who will design in Adobe Illustrator or Adobe XD.....then hand off the designs to a developer who codes the site.

You can separate out the project in upwork...get a good designer....then a developer.

3.) Lastly....there's been a ton of online design tools like Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix that host your site for $X per month and give you design tools. Squarespace designs are actually very professional. But...you will pay monthly....forever. That model may work for you. Heck....even if you want nothing to do with making the site, you can hire a fiverr or upwork person to design the site in squarespace, etc.

Last suggestion.....good photography makes the website professional. Don't skimp on photography...whether stock or shot.

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FelixTheCat
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Re: Website design help

Post by FelixTheCat » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:15 pm

Build your own website using WordPress. Costs for a template (site layout) is not that much. You simply need to add photos and text. When you get your layout done, you upload it to a hosted server for a small fee each month.

The only time consuming thing is the learning curve.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

jgdsss
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Re: Website design help

Post by jgdsss » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:23 pm

I second SquareSpace. Very easy, tons of templates.

onourway
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Re: Website design help

Post by onourway » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:51 pm

Bogle7 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:04 pm
I have been building websites since 1995. At $90/hour I am out of your price range, but I do have some advice.

1. Separate design from hosting. You need to arrange for the hosting and domain registration so you control it. I use GoDaddy for registration and a small local ISP for hosting. GoDaddy provides affordable hosting.

2. Have your website built in plain HTML. No WordPress or other Content Management System (CMS). This way, anyone (including your nephew) can help with changes to your website.

3. You can find very inexpensive designers on https://www.fiverr.com . Their work varies from horrible to excellent.

4. Focus on quality and not price.
The site should absolutely not be built in HTML. That means paying a professional any time even a small change is needed. A CMS is exactly what someone in his position should be using. There is zero reason to reinvent the wheel here. Paying ‘anyone (including your nephew)’ to make changes is directly in conflict with your point #4 which I generally agree with.

If you go with a reputable firm, they will probably have a preference on who you host with. That’s fine and there is no reason not to let them choose here. You will still remain in control of registration and hosting, just using the providers they prefer.

@worthit - the real work in building most websites like you describe is in coming up with the content to fill it, and putting that together in a cohesive design. Who will provide the copy (text), the images, diagrams, or whatnot that fills the site? Maybe you already have this in spades. If not, you need to figure this out before even approaching someone to build the site for you. Building a site like you are asking for is the easy part - although I still expect the quotes you got above are in the ballpark - more if your vision is not exceptionally clear at the start.

CascadiaSoonish
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Re: Website design help

Post by CascadiaSoonish » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:04 pm

I'm in this industry. For what you're talking about, I think SquareSpace and other self-serve options probably provide the best value.

X528
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Re: Website design help

Post by X528 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:21 pm

How does one show ownership of a website (a website name)? I have a website domain name that I pay yahoo annually for. Do owners get a domain name certificate or something?

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Bogle7
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Domains

Post by Bogle7 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:37 pm

X528 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:21 pm
How does one show ownership of a website (a website name)? I have a website domain name that I pay yahoo annually for. Do owners get a domain name certificate or something?
1. website name - domain or domain name. For example: ibm.com
2. No certificate.
3. Go to https://whois.icann.org/en and enter your domain name.

KyleAAA
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Re: Website design help

Post by KyleAAA » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:44 pm

Would one of the out-of-the-box experiences from Squarespace or Wix not work? Then you don't have to worry about hosting or any of the tech stuff. And it will likely be FAR cheaper than paying a freelancer to build it in the long term.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: Website design help

Post by HawkeyePierce » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:47 pm

Another vote for Squarespace. Let them deal with the heavy lifting of hosting, security, design, etc. These are not things you want distracting you from your business.

X528
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Re: Domains

Post by X528 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:49 pm

Bogle7 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:37 pm
X528 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:21 pm
How does one show ownership of a website (a website name)? I have a website domain name that I pay yahoo annually for. Do owners get a domain name certificate or something?
1. website name - domain or domain name. For example: ibm.com
2. No certificate.
3. Go to https://whois.icann.org/en and enter your domain name.
I looked up my domain name using the website at 3, but my name does not appear. How do I show that the website is registered and owned by me? I've been paying an annual fee to yahoo for this site, but I have not started using it. I will start this year.

KyleAAA
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Re: Domains

Post by KyleAAA » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:52 pm

X528 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:49 pm
Bogle7 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:37 pm
X528 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:21 pm
How does one show ownership of a website (a website name)? I have a website domain name that I pay yahoo annually for. Do owners get a domain name certificate or something?
1. website name - domain or domain name. For example: ibm.com
2. No certificate.
3. Go to https://whois.icann.org/en and enter your domain name.
I looked up my domain name using the website at 3, but my name does not appear. How do I show that the website is registered and owned by me? I've been paying an annual fee to yahoo for this site, but I have not started using it. I will start this year.
Why do you want to do that? By default, the owner is public info but many people pay extra to turn it off for privacy reasons. There's probably a checkbox you checked when you bought the domain (or forgot to uncheck if it was defaulted) that causes this. You have to change this through your registrar. There is no advantage to having this info public unless you WANT people to reach out to you. Typically you'd do this if you were trying to sell a domain and wanted to be easy to reach. And if your info is public, people WILL contact you for various, sometimes nefarious, reasons.

This may apply: https://help.smallbusiness.yahoo.net/s/article/SLN18107

This also may apply: https://help.smallbusiness.yahoo.net/s/article/SLN29334

22twain
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Re: Website design help

Post by 22twain » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:14 pm

X528 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:21 pm
How does one show ownership of a website (a website name)?
You show that you own a domain name by demonstrating that you can control where it points to, by changing settings in your domain registrar's control panel. If you want to move your site to a different web host, you set up your pages at the new host and then change the domain registration settings.
My investing princiPLEs do not include absolutely preserving princiPAL.

X528
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Re: Website design help

Post by X528 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:26 pm

22twain wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:14 pm
X528 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:21 pm
How does one show ownership of a website (a website name)?
You show that you own a domain name by demonstrating that you can control where it points to, by changing settings in your domain registrar's control panel. If you want to move your site to a different web host, you set up your pages at the new host and then change the domain registration settings.
Thanks for all of the responses.

I thought I could show website ownership like having a deed to a house or a title to a car.

If I build a website and it is generating significant revenue and/or is a main portal for a lucrative business, I just was worried about showing legal ownership and control. But I get it now.

tommy85
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Re: Website design help

Post by tommy85 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:14 pm

GoDaddy has good and easy to self do templates as well. Other option is to bid your work on websites like freelancer.com. I believe you can get a website built under $100.

Topic Author
worthit
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:10 pm

Re: Website design help

Post by worthit » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:27 am

OP here.

Thank you all for your valuable suggestions. I am going to look into these. Appreciate it.

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Elric
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Re: Website design help

Post by Elric » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:26 pm

On another point, you want the site to be mobile-friendly. A lot of people these days will be searching and viewing from a smartphone rather than a computer.

I put together a WordPress site for my part-time consulting business when I retired, using a free template. If it was a full-time job I'd have smoothed some rough edges by paying for a template (more flexibility). WordPress, while capable of doing a lot, can run into issues if the site is complex or heavily used. Neither seems like an issue in your case. So, purely as an example, you can checkout www.mcgurrin.com.
"No man is free who works for a living." | Illya Kuryakin

Topic Author
worthit
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:10 pm

Re: Website design help

Post by worthit » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:02 pm

Thank you, Elric. I would need my website to be mobile-friendly. I will take a look at the link. Thanks again.

mud
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Re: Website design help

Post by mud » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:42 pm

I'm a web designer/developer as well.

the squarespace/wix options are one decent for many DIY projects. I tend to prefer Wordpress for more flexibility all around, but that's just me. You can get drag-and-drop flexibility on Wordpress with many of the page-builder tools. I use those for some clients, and it has made certain types of sites more do-able for many clients. Most WP page builders are mobile-friendly by default, so no need to worry about any extra work on that end.

Agree with others about separating hosting and design/development. That's one of the reasons I dislike the Squarespace options -- you are locked into their tool for building and hosting your site. With Wordpress or other CMS options, you can move a site between any of hundreds of host options, and there are millions of folks out there that know how to work on Wordpress sites. You aren't tied to any particular provider or company to keep your site up and running.

One thing to be aware of if you go the route of upwork.com or another of the outsource/freelance sites -- there are good and bad page builder tools. A bad one will unnecessarily bloat your site (slow down its performance) and not leave you a ton of options for addressing site speed. I've seen too many of these cheapo sites that are loaded down with dozens of plugins and are stuck on a bargain basement web host and the site absolutely crawls. Spending $100 on a new site (plus hosting) might give you a site that is technically functional, but there's a lot of stuff that will not be an optimal experience for your site's users.

Lots of considerations to be sure, but try to find someone who is willing to explain things to you to an extent that you want to understand. This stuff doesn't have to be totally foreign to understand. You probably don't need to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to get something that will work for you, but you should probably spend more than a hundred bucks.

good luck.

Topic Author
worthit
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:10 pm

Re: Website design help

Post by worthit » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:56 am

Thank you, mud for taking the time to respond and your suggestions. This is going to my project for the next few weeks.

Thanks all.

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