A custom designed website, sometimes called a brochure site, consists of standard HTML static web pages and a CSS styesheet which controls the layout and provides presets for font styles etc. The pages are individually created and directly built by the web designer from an original design and without the use of pre-built templates. Some web design companies will save time and costs by using a pre-built template for a job, and simply changing the banner and tweaking the colour scheme. This can often provide an affordable alternative for many small companies on a tight budget.
We could do this too and churn out web sites factory style, but we love designing and prefer the challenge of creating something more original. We like to inspire and be inspired. All our designs are of a 100% original design, creatively conceived as a visual design produced in Photoshop. We will base the design on the customer's logo and branding, if available, or otherwise whatever design brief they are able to provide.
Although static HTML web pages do not come with a built-in content management system, it is still possible for customers to manage these sites themselves using special web editing software that is designed for non-technical users. The most common of these is Adobe Contribute, a free trial of which can be downloaded from the Adobe site.
We start the design process by looking at any ideas you have about the design and look of the site, including any other sites that you like the design or layout of. If you already have a logo for your company or corporate branding, we can use these as the basis for the design and produce a visual in keeping with your existing image. How much the customer contributes to the initial design varies, some like to produce a detailed plan to work from in Powerpoint or some other program they are familiar with, while others prefer us to come up with a design based on a discussion. We are happy to accommodate you either way or meet you somewhere in between!
We will then produce a visual of the home page for your website in Photoshop and send you a JPEG of this for your approval. If you are happy with the way it looks we will proceed with building the website. At this stage we will need material in the form of textual content and any photos that you want included. If you find copy writing difficult and your business is a fairly standard one, we may be able to produce text content for you based on a list of your services and an assessment of your competitors' websites. They would be an extra charge for this. We do however proof read your copy and make any improvements or corrections that we notice.
When the web pages are completed to your satisfaction, we will optimise them for the search engines and put the site live. We will also add Google Analytics code which will provide you with statistics about the visitors to your site and the search words they used to visit your site, and much more. It can take up to 2 weeks for the search engines to visit your site and add it to their index, but once this happens your site should get a placement in the results for the key words which it has been optimised for. Depending on the nature of your business, for key words that are very competitive, optimisation may not be enough to achieve a high position straight away. We can give you an approximate idea of how well you might expect to do at the outset. You can also read the section on this site about search engine optimisation.
We work for local clients in the Lake District Cumbria, but have an established customer base throughout the UK and have recently completed a bi-lingual website for a Dutch company.
Pricing starts at £280 for the custom design and 3 web pages. We include the first year's hosting and the registration of one co.uk domain name. Thereafter hosting is charged at £60 a year and includes the re-registration of your domain name as and when it comes up for renewal. For more information visit the section on web hosting.
Extra pages are usually £50 each (may be less if they don't require much styling) or £75 for an image gallery page.
Website amendments and updates are charged at an hourly rate of £20 per hour.