What to Expect
Building even a simple website used to involve writing in code and it was a specialist subject. Now it's much easier using any of the clever Content Management Systems (CMS) available these days.
However not everyone has the time or the inclination to figure out how to use the software, how to adhere to best practices and online protocol, or to learn of the many extra features available through using apps.
What I can offer is experience, I'm a qualified Wix Webmaster and I have HTML training which helps me appreciate what's going on in the background. I've been running an online jewellery shop since 2009 and know the ins and outs of selling on the internet. I can set up your SEO (see below), connect it to your domain name and make sure it's all up and running correctly. I also have some teacher training and have been the unofficial daily IT troubleshooter and trainer in every job I've ever had.
I think a website should be as simple and usable as possible for the visitor AND for the business running it. With content management systems that's now possible.
Using the Wix Content Management System
Using The Software
I mostly use the Wix content management system to build websites for small businesses that they can manage by themselves. It's easy to teach and learn, it's intuitive to use, it's smartphone and tablet friendly, and they have a good support centre.
If you're familiar with Microsoft Office applications, particularly Word and Powerpoint, you should have no problem learning how to update text and photographs. In fact if you're confident you could have a go at building a website yourself right now, maybe you don't need me.
If you're not used to working with these kinds of applications you may struggle with updating it yourself, in which case I could build a static site for you that doesn't need much attention, like a brochure on the internet. Or maybe you have a computer-savvy friend, and I could train them instead.
There are annual running costs for a website and charges that you may not have considered, so here are some examples below.
Wix 'Combo' - about £75 per year.
Wix will host your site built with their software for free, but I recommend this hosting package. It removes their advertisements and you can connect your site to your own domain name.
Online Shop - from £150 - £250+ per year.
If you want an online shop the cost will depend on which platform is best for your business (e.g. Wix or Shopify). There are often additional costs, including a percentage of sales going through the site and payment processing costs.
Domain name - from about £4.20 per year.
(.co.uk) to about £13 (.com) per year.
Domain privacy - about £6 per year - varies.
I recommend this, it keeps your registration details and your address private.
Apps - from about £30 per year and up (each).
Apps add cool functions to your website. Some are free, some you have to pay for.
Email - about £60 per year.
If you want a new email address connected to your domain e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you'd like me to build it for you...
Me - from £950 one off cost.
To build a simple site and train you to update the content. More for more complex projects.
Florence Basilica - by Patrick Mills
In truth, you will have to do a lot of the work. A website's main strength is its content which you'll need to provide. We can work on design together and though I can advise on it, all the text copy and the photographs, the logo, all the material that you want on your site must come from you and be owned by you.
Thereafter, keeping your website fresh and relevant, using social media and publicising your site will also be up to you, and you should consider this when managing your expectations. An out of date website really doesn't look good, so if you don't have much time to invest in it, consider having a more static website where you need to make only occasional changes.
A scene from 'Mowgli' - by Hamlet Productions
Following an initial free meeting to assess whether I'm the right person to build your website, I charge on a project basis.
My quote will include: a second briefing meeting where we can confirm designs and structure and agree delivery dates for our respective tasks; building your website with discussion back and forth on email and further meetings if necessary; connecting your website to your domain name; setting up SEO and Google Analytics (so you can see visitor statistics); adding social media settings; site testing, and a face-to-face lesson on how to update the site yourself.
Should you need me after this I charge £60 an hour, and I'll keep adding to the resources page on this site with helpful tips.
Kensington Gardeners' Club
SEO and Appearing in Google
For your website to be found in Google and other search engines it needs to do more than just exist. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of making your site rank higher in the Google results page than your competitors when people who don't know about you search for your services.
I can set up basic SEO for you, but to achieve good rankings you would need to put time and energy into keeping your content fresh and making your presence known in cyberspace, also using social media to promote your business and website. There's a good overview here.
You and Me, Formally
Please take a look at an example of my service agreement here.
I've tried to keep it as informal as possible and easy to understand.
If you want to hire someone else to take photographs for your website, or you need help writing the copy, or maybe you want a video made for it, I can put you in touch with good people.
Tom Byam Shaw - photo by Jemma Allett