How much does a professional website design cost?

The cost for a website design can be very broad.  There are simple tools for designing your website like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and WordPress that are all free or cost less than $20 a month. You can design it yourself.  Creating web designs does require a significant investment of time and without graphic design skills and in depth understanding of the web design tools, results are often much less than what was hoped for.

But you probably are looking for an affordable, professional website, that looks great and achieves your business goals.  The cost for that depends on the type of business and business goals.  The range for a sole practitioner can go from $1000 to $10,000 depending on a whether you want a basic or a high end website design.

Cost for larger businesses from $3,000 and up. If you are looking for more information on the best web design for your buck, please check out this resource: How Much Should a Website Cost?

How do I work with a website designing company?

A web designing company should be there to help you through the process of creating your professional website.  They should help you understand your business objectives and how they impact the web design and all of the online marketing factors related to it.  You should be ready to tell your web designer at a minimum:

  • what you are trying to achieve
  • what you want your website design to look like
  • provide them with your content (or a framework of the content that you want so they can write it for you)

If you are looking for a broader understanding of what you should discuss with your website designer, please check out the Website Buyer’s Checklist.

What’s a CMS (Content Management System)?

A Content Management System (CMS) is a website system that has an interface to allow you to publish, modify and organize from a user interface. Using a CMS typically doesn’t require programming knowledge.

The most popular content management system is WordPress with about 39% marketshare. Drupal is next with 9% (statistics provided by Built With). Work with your web designer to determine which CMS is best your website development project.

For further information on Content Management Systems for web development, check out Wikipedia.

What is WordPress and why would I want my website developed on WordPress?

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS). A CMS is an interface for helping to develop and manage a website.

WordPress is free and open-source CMS. More than 60 million website designs have been developed in WordPress.  For more information on WordPress, check out Wikipedia.

What’s a website BLOG and do I need one for my web design?

A blog is a regularly updated website. This normally means that the website is being updated with content on a regular basis.  Often people think of a blog as content that is informally or casually written and it updates regularly (daily, weekly or monthly) with the information.

The BLOG is usually one section of a website, called a BLOG (or something similar like “Resources”)

A blog should be consistent in the kind of information that it discusses. Here’s some examples of some blogs you can check out:

Startup Quote [Images + Quotes] – wisdom about making things

Salesforce Training – Advice on improving sales skills and skills using salesforce.com

The Story Web Design & Marketing Web Blog – Resources for improving web design and success online

The best, most popular and easiest BLOG platform is WordPress.

How do I get the website design look that I want?

In order to get the website look you want, you need to be able to describe it to your web designer.  Here are 3 things you can do to help your web designer understand what you want.

  • Find 3-5 websites that you like the look of. Put together a list of what you like and don’t like with each of the sites
  • Provide any existing photos and graphics that you have that you want included in the website
  • Describe the kind of images you want to have on your website (Is there a theme? What message are you trying to get across with the images?)

Can I update my website myself?

If your website is built on a content management system like WordPress, the answer is “yes”. But I would first suggest you ask yourself a few questions: How often do I expect to be updating?  How much time am I ready to spend making the updates?  Are the updates simple or complex?

A Content Management System is made to be simple, so that a user, without programming knowledge, can make changes to your website design.  However, it is still a new system that takes a bit of time to understand.  If you are doing updates weekly, you will quickly understand what you need to do and should be efficient and effective at your updates.  However, if you are only doing a few updates a year, you will likely forget how to use the system in between updates, so that you have to relearn each time you want to update.

If your updates are simple, such as editing text or adding new content, those are pretty basic functions. If you want to change how the website looks, that’s typically something more difficult.

There are all kinds of resources on the web to helping you understand how to use WordPress, such as WP Beginner or one of many YouTube videos: How to Make a Website Properly with WordPress.

A good web design firm should help you understand what’s best for you based on your expected changes.

What’s the difference between a dedicated mobile website and a responsible website?

Both responsive and dedicated mobile designs are considered mobile friendly.

A Responsive Web Design’s is aim is to provide optimal viewing, reading and navigation across large and small screen sizes.  The website will reformat and resize text areas and images for smaller screen sizes.  It will also change the menu system to use a navigate on smaller screens.  You can view a simple example at w3schools.com.

A Dedicated Mobile Web Design is dedicated solely to working on small screens.  The design, menu and content (usually this means less text) are all optimized, typically for smart phones.

Whether you go with a dedicate mobile or responsive design, it’s essential that you choose one of them, since most searches today are happening from mobile devices. And companies like Google, are penalizing the search engine rankings of companies that don’t have mobile friendly websites.  Check out the Google Deadline for Mobile Friendly or go to get your mobile friendly test on Google.