How much does a web site cost?
Full packages including hosting, design, e-mail, spam filter and visitor tracking start at $1695. All you need to do is supply the words and images. It also helps if you already have a domain name registered.
How do I work with you?
The first step is a phone call or e-mail. I’ll ask you a few questions about your business and what you want to achieve with your web site. If you like, I can meet with you to gather this information in an interview situation (I’ll even buy the coffee). Other useful stuff I can use includes your brochures, ads and other marketing material you have used in the past. I’m also interested in your competitors and how you believe you are different to them.
How are you different?
My key point of difference is that I know marketing and know how a web site can be used effectively as part of the “marketing mix”. If you’re thinking that by having a web site customers will come flocking to your door, you’re dead wrong. A web site is just one important part of the marketing mix.
I’m also a solid copywriter who can express in words your key selling benefits. I do this work for a number of reasons. Firstly it’s a well-paid hobby. Secondly I get to meet lots of interesting “can-do” people and often make great friends out of my clients. Thirdly I get personal satisfaction out of applying a range of skills I have acquired at university and through my working life working for large and small businesses.
Why are your prices so reasonable?
My goal in running this business is to do three to four web sites per month. The truth is I don’t have many overheads. My competitors who charge $5000 to $7,500 for the same service have sales reps on $65K per year (plus commission), receptionists on $45K per year, project managers on 85K, commercial rents of $5K – $10K per month and lots of other costs to feed. I don’t have those costs which means I can charge less for the same profit.
Besides, by having reasonable prices I believe I can serve the small business community and get most of my business from referrals. Value sells value.
Be careful. Some web site design companies charge nothing up front, but then a monthly fee. The trouble with this system is you often pay more in the end and will find it difficult to take your business elsewhere.
Do you do corporate and government web sites?
No. Large companies and government agencies are a horror-show to deal with. I’ll leave that sort of business to the whiz-kids. I also don’t do work for not-for-profits, clubs and associations. They usually work through a badly managed committee and have conflicting goals and priorities. The whiz-kids can have that business, and the ulcers that go with it too.
Do you do other work like software, hardware or networks?
No. I focus on building web sites for small businesses and sole traders. I’d rather do one thing really well than lots of things badly. I find that companies that say ‘yes’ to everything are desperate for business because they are not good at any one thing.
What information do I need to supply?
I will give you a worksheet to fill in that will ask questions like: location, contact details, product and service description, pricing, unique selling proposition, testimonials, and so on. If you already have a domain name and/or web site, I will also need your web site address and access passwords (you can change the passwords once I have finished).
Are you qualified to do this work?
Yes. I have been working in electronic commerce since September 1988 including work with Telstra, Medicare and CITEC. I have a Bachelors Degree in Communication with majors in Marketing and Advertising. For what they’re worth, I also hold Associate Diplomas in Engineering and Training Systems Design.
I don’t know much about computers, is that a problem?
No, that’s not a problem. So long as you know what you want to achieve with your web site and understand your business and industry, I can build you a decent web site from scratch. I can also arrange all the domain name and all the web hosting stuff.
What is a content management system?
A content management system, commonly called CMS, is software that resides on a computer that delivered web pages to the Internet. The major purpose of a CMS is to make it very easy to edit, add and delete web pages. It’s also very easy to change menu structures and page layouts.
Can you provide references?
Yes I can. I’ve done work for insurance brokers, IT firms and a range of small businesses. Have a look at tcdentalstudio.com.au This is a good example of an inexpensive site that is easy to navigate and makes an excellent use of photographs.
Business to business is another area I do. Have a look at fastofficefurniture.com.au This package included an online product catalogue and web hosting.Total cost? Less than $1900. Please call the contact numbers listed for each of these sites for an honest opinion of the value I gave them.
What sort of business do you like working with?
I like working with retailers, dentists, physiotherapists, tradespeople, restaurants, service providers, the sorts of businesses who advertise in the local paper and have certificates of appreciation from local schools and sporting clubs stuck up on their walls.
What sort of businesses do you avoid?
There are a number of businesses I don’t do work for based on hard-learned experience and my own personal prejudices. These include: multi-level marketing representatives, life coaches and internet dreamers who think they can make money out of the Internet quickly and with little work. I’m not a moralist and I am happy to do work for pubs, clubs, tobacconists, adult service providers, debt collectors, jugglers, stand-up comedians, and politicians.
How long does it take to get my web site running?
Depending on my current work-load it usually takes 1-2 weeks from the initial fact-finding interview. If you are organised and know what you want to say, I can usually have your new web site up and running in 3-4 days.
Once my web site is finished, can I update it myself or use someone else?
Yes. The designs I use are very easy to update. I usually use a content management system that makes updating very fast.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is a unique identifier for your web site on the Internet. No two domain names can be the same. Well known domain names include yahoo.com, yellowpages.com.au, abc.net.au and ebay.com. Internet users type your domain name into their browser software to view your web pages (as you are doing now).
Do I own the design copyright on my web site?
Yes, absolutely. Once it’s complete and paid for it is all yours. You’ll even get a copy of all the pages on CD or floppy disk.
What is web hosting?
A web host is a computer system connected to the Internet from which your web pages are delivered to Internet viewers. If required, I can organise web hosting for you. If you have an e-mail address, you probably already have some web space that you can use.
Are you going to charge me an arm and a leg to make changes later on?
No, I’m not. If you like I can show you how to make your own changes. If that isn’t your preference I can make small changes for less than $60 per time. I suggest that you keep track of your changes and then do them in one batch.
What is search engine optimisation?
Search engine optimisation is the process by which web page designers and copy writers structure the layout and content of web pages so that search engines place those pages at the top of search results when certain keywords are entered. This means that more people are likely to click on those links and read those pages.
For example, my web pages have been optimised for the following keyword combination: brisbane web design . If you go to Google and use those key words, you will probably find my web site will appear in the top 10 sites listed. Basic on-site SEO is included in all web design packages.