Website Design & Development
We want to help you tell your story. Whether it’s:
- the abstract and slightly humorous approach that we take on our front page, backed up with our chatty writing style or
- the unpretentious, nuts & bolts style needed for a tradesman’s site or
- the serious, slightly austere authority of a lawyer’s site or
- the New Age atmospherics of a Yoga studio’s site
plus anything and everything in between. Website design and development is, by far, the most important stage, because it’s got to help you build connections with your clients but to do that successfully, we really need to consult with you, closely. Probably the most efficient way to start that conversation is for you to show us a few sites that you like and then tell us why.
Artwork: Logos, Headers, Gravatars, Email templates, Business Cards, Letterheads etc.
Anyone who’s run a business would probably understand that your logo and artwork should remain consistent in whatever form it appears and as the web merges into real world business, that can take a number of forms. So, ideally, deciding upon your artwork should be the first decision that you make about presenting your business to the world. However, this is not an ideal world and often artwork is an afterthought for an evolving business. So, we’ll step in at whatever part of the process you want us to.
NOTE: All our Artwork is outsourced, simply because personal taste is so varied and we want to pick the right professional for your job. Just point us in the right direction and we assure you, the results will be exceptional. Rest assured, you will be consulted along every major step of the way
As noted on our front page, we build our sites with WordPress, formally a blogging software but now, acknowledged as the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world. Essentially, that translates as “the #1 website builder”. We love WordPress for several reasons:
- because it’s so versatile! Whether your site consists of 1 page or 10,000, WordPress can cope with it, easily.
- it keeps getting better. WordPress is Open Source and its core is continually being upgraded by hundreds of enthusiastic developers from around the world. What that means is that as the web’s standards change and new functionalities become the norm, your site will be capable of keeping pace with the leaders of the pack. If WordPress continues its modus operandi – and there’s no reason to believe that it will change – big changes that will be coming to e-commerce, such as Virtual Reality, will be available to you at a very low cost (see our article: Future Shock),
- your site need never look old fashioned. If you follow our advice and build your site around themes – templates for the visual aspects of your site – we should be able to change the look of your site in a jiffy! “Should” needs to be qualified, in that – for various reasons – there may be some incompatibility issues with data presentation when swapping themes e.g. tables sometimes need to be recreated, sometimes some text “drifts” etc. However, for the average site, changes should be seamless. High quality themes generally cost US$75 – US$150 at present – so, I would estimate that the average transition to a completely new look would be $150 – $500, depending upon whether there had been any compatibility issues. That budget sits very favorably in comparison to having to build a new site from scratch
- NOTE: if you don’t want to use themes and prefer that your site is individually coded, then the chances are that it would follow the industry standard of costing somewhere between US$5,000 and US$15,000. Of course, you would incur that cost again, if you were to upgrade at a later date with another hand-coded site
- while it’s generally a relatively small cost, bear in mind that any stock photographs or illustrations that you require, may have to be leased from a site like Shutterstock (images of a professional standard often cost around US$10 each)
- Headers have evolved dramatically in the last few years, to the point where some headers, like on this site, don’t really exist! Instead, our header is a photograph with a minimalist text, that takes up the whole of the websites first loaded page (i.e. you have to scroll for further INFO). We liked it because it was dramatic and helped set up a “story” which developed through the rest of the front page and was, in fact, part of our WordPress theme. So, our advice about headers would be to first choose a theme and then decide upon the type of header that you’d like, something that complements it. Line 25 & Design Your Way have curated two very different and varied collections of contemporary and that should provide you with some great ideas. Of course, bear in mind, your choice of header may incur extra costs (see: Artwork, directly above)
- We insist that our clients purchase their own domain names & web hosting, where your WordPress installation will reside. Why? Well, the answer is so that you can leave us whenever you want. In fact, that’s our intention – to, in using WordPress, educate you to the point where you feel capable of running it yourself. This is especially so, for those running shops with numerous products, which we would control through the FREE Woo Commerce plugin (Automattic, WordPress’ parent company purchased WooCommerce for an estimated $30 million in May 2015). Yes, there may be some PAID plugins to boost WooCommerce’s functionality but the bottom line is that if you have a reasonably extensive WordPress+WooCommerce store that sells thousands of products, your web hosting – depending upon your website traffic – may be little more than a few dollars a month. Your competitors, who use systems like Shopify or BigCommerce would probably be paying 20 to 50 times more + they might have limitations placed upon the payment processors that they can use. With WordPress+WooCommerce, you are your own boss!
Keyword Research & SEO Copywriting
While the topic has been covered in some detail at Keyword Research & SEO Copywriting, the nitty gritty is that I presently do all the keyword research – in consultation with clients – so that we can agree, in point form, precisely what the page is going to be about. The actual SEO Copywriter will vary, depending upon the niche e.g. I always hire a freelance journalist for any writing that I don’t have an appropriate understanding of e.g. Fashion, Babies or New Age topics.
Google My Business
If there was one page on this site that we would like every small business to read, it would be our Google My Business page. To ignore what Google is doing – and why – is to cripple your chance of online success.
In Australia, Pay Per Click advertising on Search Engines means Google Adwords!
Fashions come and go in SEO and the present craze for Citations is one of them. In terms of Local Search, having your Business name + address + contact details on a number of recognized authority sites (e.g. the Yellow Pages) “proves” to Search Engines that your site represents a genuine, functioning business. YES, they are important – and for good reason – but NO, you don’t need gazillions of them!
Like Citations, getting links from related sites, provides the Search Engines with “proof”. However, getting them, a process imaginatively called Link Building, can be difficult, though not impossible. We’re quite proud of the page that we’ve created on the subject, because we feel that it makes an entertaining read out of quite a dry subject.
Essentially, if you want to retain our services in any category, Ongoing SEO is the place to start.
We have many contacts in the TV industry – journalists, camera, editors & animators. Whatever you want, we can do it!
NOTE: As a hobby, I’m an enthusiastic songwriter & animator (though admittedly, a fairly bland singer). If you’d like to see one of my latest videos, have a look at our About Us page.