FAQ - Website Design & Development
How much does it cost to build (or redesign) a website?
It depends on what you want. Searching online, you'll see prices all over the map.
A few years ago a prospective client was referred to us after being quoted a price of $90,000(!) by a competing web development firm. We sat down with this prospective client and determined we could develop their site for a fraction of that amount. Obviously they hired us, and they got exactly what they wanted--but for WAY less than $90k.
Most of the sites we develop for clients are less than $10,000 ... often between $4,000-10,000. Every so often we do larger projects like the one mentioned above. But the majority of sites we develop are well within the range of what most small businesses can afford.
For more information on website pricing, please click here.
What factors determine the cost to build a website?
Two things >> volume and customization.
Volume is simply the # of pages on your site. All things being equal, a 10-page website is going to be less expensive than a 95-page site.
Customization can mean ...
- Custom content. Do you already have written content for your site or does it need to be developed?
- Custom design. Do you want a highly unique or unusual layout for your site that requires re-engineering the underlying site structure?
- Custom images and graphics. Do your images and graphics require specialized Photoshop effects, above and beyond standard cropping and resizing?
- Custom programming. Does your site require integration and rigorous testing with a 3rd-party application like a shopping cart or client scheduling system?
It's fine if you want a high degree of customization. Just understand that it increases the cost of your project.
How does the web development process work?
Building a website is a lot like building a house. There are multiple, well-defined steps. Here’s how our website development process works:
- Discovery. What media and assets do you currently have for your new site? What’s missing and still needs to be gathered or created?
- Design. In the design phase we draft the blueprint (i.e. mockup) for your new website so you can see what it will look like before it’s actually built. This is where you request changes or modifications to your site's design.
- Develop. At this point your work is done. We now take the blueprint from the previous step and actually develop and code your site.
- Launch. Once your site is built and thoroughly tested, it’s time to go live on the internet.
Start to finish, our website projects typically take 30-60 days. If it takes longer than this, it’s usually due to a delay in our client getting us the media (ad copy, images, videos, etc) we need to build their site.
For additional information, get a free copy of Mark Brinker’s book, “The Modern Website Makeover”. (Note: The information in Mark’s book is valid for website redesigns as well as brand new website construction.)
What is WordPress?
Think of WordPress as the “operating system” of your website, just like a desktop PC uses Windows or an iPhone uses iOS. WordPress is the platform we use exclusively to build websites. It’s used on millions of sites worldwide.
What exactly is a CMS (Content Management System)?
A CMS allows you to add, remove or update content on your website without high level technical training. WordPress is an example of a CMS.
Is there an objective way to determine if I need a website redesign?”
Yes. We have a detailed blog post titled, "How To Decide When It’s Time For A Website Redesign" that will help you answer this question. This blog post also contains a comprehensive Website Redesign Checklist to help you assess and score your site.
Why shouldn't I just build my website with an inexpensive site builder like Wix, SquareSpace, GoDaddy or Weebly?
There's nothing wrong with building your website on a platform like Wix or SquareSpace. If you want to keep costs down and your site isn't overly complex, those are perfectly fine options.
However, you're going to be limited on your site's level of customization -- either aesthetically or functionally -- when using a platform like Wix or SquareSpace.
For example, let's say you wanted to offer online courses from your website using custom LMS (learning management system) or let's say you see a cool effect on another website that you'd like to use on your website ... you're going to be restricted/prevented from doing what you want to do.
That's why all the sites we build are self-hosted WordPress websites because this gives you freedom to do whatever you want to do.
Why is it so important to have a good website?
Two words – trust and credibility. If you want colleagues and prospective clients to take you seriously, you need a modern, professional website. In addition, if you want to use any type of digital advertising or marketing to promote your business online, you’re going to need a good website.
What exactly does responsive web design mean?
A responsive website means that it “responds” and automatically adapts to the size of the device it’s being viewed on. Specifically, that means a responsive site is easy to read and navigate whether you’re viewing it on a desktop, tablet or phone.
Why do I need a mobile responsive website?
Having a website that’s not mobile responsive (i.e. mobile-friendly) is one of the quickest ways to make people feel you’re behind the times and out of touch. It’s all about perception.
- A 2016 report from comScore shows that 65% of all digital media time is spent on mobile and 35% on desktop.
- In late 2016 the mobile tipping point was reached, meaning mobile/tablet internet usage overtook desktop usage for the first time worldwide.
A mobile-ready website is no longer “a nice thing to have”. People now expect to have a good experience when visiting your website on their phone.
What if I don’t have photos for my website?
Then you’ll need to get some because your site absolutely needs pictures. There are 3 ways to get images for your site:
- Buy them. You can purchase affordable, high-quality, royalty-free images from sites like BigStockPhoto, iStockPhoto or ShutterStock.
- Take them yourself. The cameras on today’s smartphones are amazing.
- Hire a professional. If it’s in your budget, you can always hire a professional photographer or videographer to produce the digital media needed for your site.
Why do you use StudioPress themes exclusively to build clients' sites?
It's not that we haven't developed sites with themes from other developers. We have. Lots of them. Avada, Karma, Thesis, Divi ... to name a few.
The reasons why we like StudioPress are:
- Well-engineered on the inside. Solid, clean code "under the hood". It's build on the Genesis framework which powers over 500,000 sites. Seamlessly works with most 3rd-party plugins and integrations.
- Well-designed on the outside. StudioPress has some of the most talented designers in the industry creating sites that are both modern & stylish, as well as functional and highly-customizable.
- Solid company. The digital landscape is constantly changing and you want a company like StudioPress that's going to be around to support their products and update them when needed. There's no worse feeling than when a company suddenly goes out of business leaving you high and dry to fend for yourself.
- Consistency. All WordPress themes are not created equal and theme developers have their own way of doing things such as internal coding and organization of their sites. When you build and support as many client sites as we do, it's important to have consistency to maintain a smooth and steady workflow. Consistency is also important for quickly answering clients' questions if they are self-managing their own sites. We want to know exactly where everything is located and how it works. And if we're ever thrown a curveball, there's a huge developer community well-versed in StudioPress themes and the Genesis framework.
Will my website have technology that will last for several years?
Yes. Unless some new technology unexpectedly comes out of nowhere and takes the world by storm, WordPress technology will be good for years.
What exactly is website hosting?
In order for your website to be live on the internet, it needs to be hosted on a web server. It’s kind of like if you want to build a house (i.e. website), you need a piece of land (i.e. web hosting) to build your house on.
What's the difference between website hosting and domain registration?
Website hosting. To have a website on the internet, it needs to be hosted on a web server — kind of like to build a house, you need a piece of land to build your house on.
Domain registration. Just like you need to register your vehicle with the Secretary Of State, you need to register your website domain name with an authorized domain registrar. There are many domain registrars online. We’ve used Namecheap.com since 2011 and recommend them to our clients.
What's the difference between website hosting and website maintenance?
They sound similar, but they're very different.
Website hosting is merely renting space on a web server. It's where all of the files for your website reside.
Website maintenance involves the ongoing technical things you have to do to keep your website up/running and secure.
How do I update and manage my website after it launches?”
Here are the two most common ways to update your site after it launches:
- Do-it-yourself (DIY). If you're somewhat tech-savvy, you can update and add new content yourself. There are tons of WordPress tutorials and how-to videos online.
- Hire someone. If you have neither the time nor desire to update and manage your website, you can hire a professional to do this for you. This is a service we offer to our clients after we launch their site.