These are some things to do in preparation for a new website.
If it’s a small business site or personal site, you need to establish what you need to have on the site, i.e. Content, types and quantity of Images, Pages or Categories; Sort of a blue print of what you want the site to look like and what it should contain. There is usually a minimum of 5 pages, even for the smallest web sites (Home page, Contact Us page with a form), About Us page, some photos, etc. Of course, larger sites can contain many more pages and categories of information, several images and more detail.
Also, a blog page for posting related articles is very important if you want the top search engines to find your business easily in the top 10 or 100 listings.
- MOST IMPORTANT Come up with a few names for a domain name (keep the domain name as small as possible with as few words as necessary. Choose a few names (3 or 4) since many names have already been taken and registered. I can see if they are OK to use (not already taken) in WHOIS lookup and we go from there.
- Web hosting and domain name costs are up- front costs that I need to pay the Hosting company before we start. Domain name registration is $25 year and hosting cost are $150 per year. These are discounted costs since I have a large server with several clients. Also, a $100 initial fee for time spent in in getting you the outline and blueprint you need above.
- Usually I can estimate a price for the web site when I found out what you need (how many pages, etc.). My fees are usually $50 per hour for colleagues, friends, etc. and $80-$100 per hour for bigger businesses. Cost of a small web site estimate is about $800 -$1000. I normally get a 50% deposit based on the initial estimate when we decide on a site design, size of web site, number of images, etc.
- After the site is completed to your satisfaction, the annual maintenance and service contract usually runs about $800 per year (for average, small to medium sized web sites) to maintain the site, make updates, fix code, get you placed high in Google, Yahoo, Bing and the other top search engines. This is the fee I charge most of my clients or much more if the site is very, very large such as superlawyer-nj.com.
After the site is online and nearly completed, there is an important factor to consider in marketing your web site which is much less cost intensive than expensive paper or digital advertising. That is the use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) to complement the exposure of your business and in addition, Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is included in the annual service contract and consists of optimizing each page of your website with terms and code that Google and other top search engines understand to find you when people search for your type of business.
Social Media Integration
If you already have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn all the better.
- If not, you will need to get a Facebook personal page and a business page after you get a domain name. I will need your Facebook logon to create the FB business page so it matches your web domain name as close as possible
- Same for Twitter. Need to rename the Twitter link as above
- LinkedIn account. Need to embellish that information and need a personal picture (head and shoulder shot)
- Need to get a Google+ account so I can get your site promoted via Google Analytics
- Need an Instagram account with pictures from your cell phone only. Millions of people are using Instagram these days and you need a presence there for more visibility
Helping with social media is billed separately but are less than programming fees and are $30/hr. or thereabouts. All the Social Media extras that I design and tie into your web site are billed separately at a moderate cost. Depends how much you can do on your end.