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Things To Consider

Web Site Design

Determining The Cost of a Website Design

A good rule of thumb is that a basic website setup, with a basic structure, general informational content, and generic graphics will take about 4-8 hours.

At our current rate, that is about $200 - $375

If the site is to be very customized or contain special features such as a stylized interface, animated elements, special or custom morphing buttons (buttons that change when you hover over or click them), hyper-linked hotspot images (images that contain multiple hyper-links), Flash™, etc, you should expect the cost to increase accordingly.

Several factors come into play when estimating the cost of a web site design.

(Just the site design and content. This does not include Domain or ISP Hosting costs or Search Engine subscription(s).)

  • Number of photos and/or scanned images
  • Retouching of photos or images
  • Original artwork / design
  • Client concept and direction
  • Creation or re-creation of copy and written content
  • Number of pages
  • Forms, Feedback Forms, FAQ's, Catalogs, Custom Indexes, or Online buying
  • Number of hours required to develop layout and upload to ISP
  • Establishing an account with an ISP
  • Troubleshooting with an ISP
  • Custom animations/GIF's, banners, videos, and sounds
  • Maintenance

Even a single page without any images and a small paragraph of text can cost between $50 and $150+.

Number of Photos

Every photo must be converted to a size and format which will work best in a web format and download in the optimal time.

Retouching of Photos or Images

Sometimes photos need to be cropped, lightened, darkened, enhanced or otherwise "retouched". You may want to add someone to the image, or take someone out. Change the background or "make me look thinner".

Original Artwork / Design

This can be a big factor. Logo design or other original artwork will require a separate estimate and may be bound by contract, copyright issues, both to the client and to the artist. (See "Ninth Edition of the Graphic Artists Guild Pricing and Ethical Guidelines Handbook" or refer to the Graphic Artists Guild guidelines http://www.gag.org/contracts/glossary.html ).

Client Concept and Direction

The client, YOU, should have a pretty good idea of what kind of site you are looking for. You should have a pretty clear opinion as to the style, the feeling one might get from your site (i.e. classy, fun, serious and firm, loud and obnoxious, quiet and pretty), what images you'd like to see. Things of that sort.

Zzyzx Works can and will work with you to develop your concept and direction. however, the clearer and more thought out and the more planning you do BEFORE starting a web project (or ANY project for that matter) the less it will cost you in the long run.

If you don't quite know what you want, that's o.k. We can help. That is one of the things we are here for.

Creation or Re-creation of Copy and Written Content

If you have all the content already written, GREAT. That's super. I just hope it is in an electronic form because otherwise it will have to be scanned and re-created through Optical Character Recognition. (OCR is a process whereby a page of text can be reconstituted into text in the computer. When an image, whether it is a picture or text, is scanned it is a bitmap or raster image. This means that just because you scan a page of text does not mean it will be text when you get it into the computer. It must be massaged one step further by OCR to become editable text again.)

We will be happy to prepare a separate estimate for copywritting.

Please note that Zzyzx Works is not responsible for obtaining copyright permissions for any textual, musical, or graphic content submitted to us for use in your site. It is your responsibility to have all rights secured before submitting the content to us for inclusion.

Number of pages

The number of pages, naturally, has a bearing on cost. Besides the obvious, there are the links and overall structure that have to be designed.

Forms, Feedback Forms, FAQ's, Catalogs, Custom Indexes, or Online buying

If your site is a commercial site which will deal with e-commerce you will most likely have one or more of these type of pages or services. (Keep in mind that not all ISP subscriptions allow for forms or online buying. We use Microsoft FrontPage and your ISP must support FrontPage server extensions in order to use these forms. Most ISP's that offer a business service do support FrontPage Server Extensions. If you are subscribing to an ISP for hosting, ask them about such things before buying)

Online buying is a separate issue. Online buying requires Secure Socket Layering (SSL) and unfortunately will require additional setup charges.

Number of hours required to develop layout and upload to ISP

We charge a time-based fee to work on your project. It also takes time (sometimes more, sometimes less) to upload to your Internet Service Provider. Some providers do not have fast systems (i.e. AOL or CompuServe, for instance, are notorious for slow uploads and frequent time-outs) which can make the process of uploading extremely tedious. If you have a large amount of information to upload... well...

Establishing Your Domain Name

Your domain name is the name, or address, by which the public will reach you. Consider it part of your corporate logo. Your corporate presence.

A domain name, such as "zzyzxworks.com", signifies your own address on the Internet. As no two parties may ever hold identical domain names, it is truly a unique identifier of you or your company. It is how your customers will remember you and find you among the millions of other Web sites on the Internet.

With this in mind, it is very important to choose your name carefully. First decide on a few names and a few variations of each. Keep it simple and short. We will gladly help you to come up with a functional name.

There are several services which will allow you to search for and apply for a domain name. We will be happy to help you with this part of the process if you are not comfortable doing it yourself.

Domain name registration can cost anywhere from $20 to $70 per year. Multi-year registrations can save you money. Just be sure you will still be using the domain name that long.

Establishing an account with an ISP (HOSTING)

Your ISP will be the place where your web site physically is stored and where people will access it from the internet. Also known as HOSTING.

If you do not have an ISP account and would like for us to recommend one, we can. We can provide you with all the information you will need to contact the service provider and establish an account, or for a minimal fee, establish the account for you. All we need is the credit card information you wish to use, any personal information you wish to use such as a user name, password, challenge question and answer, your name and address and phone.

Hosting can be free or be as much as $30 a month. Generally, the cost is around $20 per month. Note: If you already have an ISP account for your internet access you may have access to a personal web space that is included in your subscription... however, you won't be able to use a domain name with it. It will be the ISP's address with your user name.

Troubleshooting with an ISP

Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, there is difficulty with the ISP site which will require additional time on our part to work with the ISP to resolve certain technical issues on your behalf.

Custom Animations/GIF's, FlashTM, Banners, Videos, and Sounds

Bells and whistles. We all love a site that reaches out and grabs us... as long as it's not obnoxious. Animations, sounds, scrolling or flashing banners and even videos are sure ways to entice someone visiting your site to come and stay awhile. However, all these things take time and special talents to create.


Last, but certainly not least... Maintenance.

Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. Just about any site is going to require maintenance. Maintenance can take the form of updating images to textual content and information, calendars, news releases, links, to even adding or removing pages. Maintenance is a separate issue and must be kept separate from your initial costs and will appear as an on-going budgetary concern in the overall functioning of your web site.

In Conclusion

With all that said, we hope we have not discouraged you from putting yourself or your company out on the web.
We feel that being forewarned is forearmed. In your case, the more you know going into a project like this, the less discouragement, disappointment, and disillusionment you will experience and the more satisfaction with the end result you will have.

That's a good thing.


Updated: October 28, 2007
©2003 Zzyzx Works

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