Web Design is a perilous profession. There are zealots who believe anything more than a white page and black text (and maybe a “men working” sign on occasion) is too much. They believe pages should load in fractions of a second, and images are evil bandwidth stealing superfluous things.
There are other people who believe that the web is completely interactive. Every choice you make should have multiple destinations, every link should be an image and every time an image moves you should hear a sound. That web pages should only use the newest technologies, and that bandwidth is of no issue.
Neither is correct. Neither is incorrect.
Here at TransparentSmoke we believe that the educated customer has the right to decide what they need for themselves. You’ll notice we said “Educated”. That is half our job. We’ll help educate you to know exactly what you need. Our theory is based on results after an exhaustive look at your business and personality, current web presence and plans for the future. Happy customers prove it to work. We’d be remiss if we did not mention that we need to seriously look at your budget as well.
Web Design Rates
Personalized web pages, for Businesses and Individuals
- $170.00/hour – Professional web design
- $170.00/hour – Custom graphic creation
- $90.00/hour – Web Design and graphics on a continuing contract
Some companies offer website design by the page and with a defined number of graphics. It’s the most prevalent method we’ve seen on the web of enticing customers to use a companies services, as big numbers scare away many prospective customers. But it masks the truth. Ultimately this method is flawed because a single graphic could on occasion take 1 to an unlimited number of hours of work to get exactly perfect. But when done, it may be the key to creating a dynamic site in just a couple of hours.
You have to ask yourself how much work is your designer going to do on a page if they are only charging $400.00 for a three page site with a dozen graphics. What are the chances that your page will look just like the last customers, except they slapped your company name across the top?
If you arer looking for a pre-made template, check out our hosting services instead.
On average, most Companies and individuals don’t know how to use the web correctly at first. Everyone’s heard that there is money to be made on it and your competitors may have been moving on to it in droves. By now your thinking what are we missing / doing wrong or you wouldn’t be here. Before you jump on the band wagon think about these points first, and then talk with a consultant at TransparentSmoke to get a good feel for what you are about to embark on.
- Do you actually have a product that can be sold over the internet, or are you looking for a glorified business card?
- Will you require a partnership with a third party? i.e: A Bank to implement secure online transactions
- Who in your company will manage your web presence or will you require an ongoing contract with your Web Developer?
- Do you have a graphical representation of your company (business cards, flyers, pamphlets) or will graphics need to be created from scratch?
- Fonts and Pictures cost money to buy or license. Will your company need to have these created to fit your company profile? ie: Pictures taken of the products you sell
- Will your website need to scale to meet an increase in demand at some point in the future?
Part of a good match in Web Designers is determined by answering the question: Do I like what they did with other websites? Many people shop for everything based on price. They ask themselves: How cheap can I get our company online? This is the wrong philosophy. If you hire someone with differing design styles than what appeals to you, you will spend piles of money having them do the site over and over again because the end results will never match the picture in your head.
Your budget is the single most important influence on your web presence. By now everyone knows a kid down the street that says he could knock out a couple of web pages in a single evening and set you up a site on Geocities for free. Your web presence will look and feel like you did just that without the proper budget.
Let’s take a look at a company who’s yet to make it to the internet and the costs they are about to incur. Numbers are in Canadian dollars and approximates, we didn’t look up the best deals on the net to put this together.
ABC Antiques, a Mom and Pop shop, were told by a friend that they could double their income if they just had a web page. The friend said all the owner Tom needed to have done was to make sure that his company name was available as a domain name and write a couple pages. Tom had a fealing it wasn’t going to be that easy so instead he came to TransparentSmoke to find out what this was really going to cost him.
Planning took sometime because TransparentSmoke needed to find out what Tom was really looking for. We then did some checking and found out ABCantiques.ca was available for him to use, but the .com address was taken by a small firm in Iowa. This worked for Tom as he was situated in Canada anyway. Next we needed to set up a basic hosting package with TransparentSmoke and a professional photographer was hired to take pictures of the store and Tom, to give customers the feel of the personal touch. After the photo’s were taken, a web designer at TransparentSmoke started work on Tom’s vision of a completely interactive site that will feature his entire inventory of antiques and allow for customers to browse his stuff online, and have it shipped right to them. The web site was dynamic and only 5 pages were coded by hand, but this allowed ABC Antiques to scale the site as large as they wanted it to be.
A third party was brought in to handle the secure online payment transactions. (Some people do some things well, others do other things. Companies that specialize should be utilized. Beware of companies that say they can do it all themselves.)
Tom also realized he was never going to be able to take photos of everything in his store himself and then add it all to the web page. In conversations with TransparentSmoke it was decided that this job would be most economical for ABC Antiques if Tom used existing staff to archive his store. Tom said he had a part time kid that could handle that job. The kid was tasked with digital photo archiving everything and writing descriptions to feature the products on the web. Tom had concerns that with the extra work this would cause other staff, he would have no time to learn to manage the site on his own, so he established a continuing contract for a year with TransparentSmoke to have the information on the web updated once a month.
- $50.00 – Domain name
- $350.00 – Professional Photographer
- $120.00 – Hosting by TransparentSmoke
- $5000.00 – 40 hours x $125.00/hour – Web Design by TransparentSmoke
- $1200.00 – Secure online payment transactions by ABC Antiques’ bank
- $9000.00 – Part time employee to archive store inventory on a continuous basis
- $3000.00 – 3 hours/month x $75.00 – One year continuing contract with TransparentSmoke
Tom realized that at a cost of $18720.00 for the first year, ABC Antiques probably won’t make money off the web for a while. Projected costs for the second year were only half of that.
TransparentSmoke understands that this is a lot of money, but a good plan will help shield ABC Antiques from creating a failed web presence. Making sure your budget is properly in place before you start, dramatically increases your companies chance of success on the web.
Remember that an interactive site, like our example, will cost dramatically more than a site designed to be an online advertisement for yourself, your product, and your services.
If you’d like to talk to us, contact us at TransparentSmoke Web Design. Describe what your looking for and we’ll send you a peliminary quote back via email.