I am based in Ilkeston with offices in Derby and Nottingham.
See my company website about Derby/Nottingham business website design. (Opens in new window)
My services are mainly website design although there are many marketing and technology tools that are used as part of the website design process.
Before you make any financial decisions, let me tell you where I stand and what you can expect if you are to work with me.
So… Why Have a Website?
- Do you need a website?
- Do you have a promotional or marketing strategy?
- Can digital marketing fit your business?
A website is a business communications tool. It is not just for generating leads but for talking to your customers. As a business owner you should be looking to establish a relationship, build visibility, create familiarity and earn a reputation.
Let your business website build trust in the minds of prospects.
A website doesn’t have to be like a billboard. A website design and marketing strategy depends on who you serve and how those customers want to be talked to.
Before you think about creating a website, you might want to do some research on your competitors using many of the free excellent tools available online. A little bit of electronic surveillance can give you a competitive advantage.
Have a look at these 16 sneaky snooping tools for spying on competitors.
Mobile Friendly Design
I started creating mobile website design in 2013 after much evidence emerged forecasting a change in search engine results in response to user expectations and the developing mobile market.
Google went on to roll out the April 2015 “Mobilegeddon” mobile algorithm. Google then pushed the envelope even furthur with AMP.
A mobile optimised site displays differently across different devices, essentially giving you several different layouts in one website.
What you see on your desktop machine is different to way you would view it on a mobile phone or tablet design. I’m glad to say that I create mobile websites as standard whether the client asks for it or not. There’s no reason to create fixed width sites any longer.
Managed Website or Static Website?
Most people having a website built need to ask themselves if they want to add to it and update it themselves, or if they want to have their web designer update it but only infrequently.
If you want to update written content yourself, this is a managed website, and you’ll be using something called a content management system (CMS).
If you’re looking to have a basic site not updated frequently, your best choice is to go for a static HTML built site and pay your website designer to add to it on an ad hoc basis.
Managed Website (CMS)
Assuming you decide to purchase a package involving the development, design and build of a content management system, your best bet is to consider using WordPress. While other content management systems exist (like Drupal and Joomla), WordPress is very popular and widely supported.
A content management system allows publishing, editing, modifying content, organising, deleting and maintenance from a central visual interface.
It is great for managing workflow in a collaborative environment. More often than not I advise a CMS as the route that clients take.
You will be given secure login credentials that give you access to a visual user dashboard with various options for changing your website.
You will still need to hire a designer/developer/coder in many cases because the web design aspect is still carried out by a professional.
However, if you’re wanting to change a phone number, address, written text etc, that can usually be done by yourself.
A static website means there is no content management. Instead of username/password login credentials, the site is manually editing page by page using a code editor such as Dreamweaver.
Without knowledge of web coding languages, it’s extremely difficult to edit, save and upload the pages.
If you’d like a self managed website, you should use WordPress.
This well known, well loved publishing platform is ideal for those savvy enough to make design and content alterations on their own.
It uses a dynamic template layout, meaning that the headers, sidebar and footer are called automatically when you create a new blog post or page.
You can add new pages easily and the layout is created from the template design I would have set up for you.
The best way to get started in WordPress to have me supply you with an offline version of WordPress that you can run on your computer locally. It’s analogous to a child’s sand pit or play pen; a way to experiment without causing any damage in the real world, or in this case, avoiding making any blunders on a website that is running live and open for business.
While WordPress is fantastic, there’s a few things I like to do to improve it for clients. For example, the media uploader thumbnail cropping and the additional security measures with username logins.
Testing & Developing WordPress Offline
An offline sandbox like the two I just mentioned is a safe way to create new additions for a website or test code. It is much more preferable to editing a live website on the fly.
There’s also the issue of regular backups. Believe me, you don’t want to ever get into a position where your live site “breaks” or gets hacked, having not backed up.
A backup gives piece of mind because you know you can restore the last known good configuration (after identifying and addressing any problems).
How Your Site Will Be Created
I’ve written a document we use at Ilkeston Web Design as a procedure checklist. I’m letting you see what I’m typically thinking about during the construction of a client website.
I’m trying to show you “how the sausage is made”.
There’s also an optional on page SEO spreadsheet for organising webpage hierarchy, document titles, permalink names, meta descriptions, canonical tags.
This is not some silver bullet to search engine success – rather it’s good housekeeping and common sense at a basic level.
You can download the spreadsheet for free and use it for your own project if you wish. You’re welcome!
Website Design & Build: How Much?
I charge £25 per hour to build a site with an initial free consultation. After the website has been built, hourly web design time or consultation time can be bought for £25.
I accept BACs, secure Direct Debit or PayPal.
Before website creation work commences I’ll quote you based on your requirements for an accurate price.
- The average cost for a small business website using 10 or so pages is £500
- All projects require a 30% deposit before work begins
- Every site I design and develop is mobile responsive
- I will set up your hosting
- I will set up your Google Search Console
Before work commences I’ll send you an invoice for 30% of the quoted cost.
If major additional features or revisions are requested throughout the project, the extra cost will be added to the outstanding balance.
Hosting the Website
If you’d like to sign up for your own host after purchasing your website and having the files supplied to you by me, you’ll probably want to look into shared hosting.
Most small/local businesses who serve a targeted area do not expect to have a lot of traffic, as compared to a business such as a supermarket, who use vast server resources.
At present, I am using two hosts for my websites. These are
- DreamHost – Considered to be one of the best hosts in the world and one I use myself. It is user friendly.
- GoDaddy – Mixed reviews on their hosting services although Small Biz Geek is currently doing fine with it.
Buying Your URL & Email
Purchasing a URL is obviously important. Do not use those terrible free subdomains that services like Blogger or Wix offer.
You need to own every aspect of your website in the way that you own a property. Some people “rent” services, (such as a free Wix or Yola account) which is just about acceptable but not preferable for someone who considers themselves a professional.
Buy yourself a proper domain – they’re relatively inexpensive – and be sure to get a professional top level domain email service atthe same time.
I use GoDaddy for my own personal URLs and email at present. You can combine the URL provider with a different hosting provider.
It is an effective way to demo the project and show progress.
Such sessions are useful for something like a design discussion, a content marketing brainstorm or a web development solution to a problem you are facing.
Note: any consultation required AFTER the website project has been delivered and signed off will be charged for.
Get Started with Your Website
Before any work commences, I must ask you read a planning guide and complete a questionnaire to help me understand your needs and build a project brief.
A contract agreement will also be compiled for you and this must be signed and returned to me together with a 30% deposit.
If you’re ready to get started you can contact me.