COMMISSIONING A SITE
WHAT TO EXPECT THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS OF BUILDING A WEB SITE
Not had a website before? Confused about where to start? Here's a quick guide to how it all works...
If you've got an idea for a business and / or website, and you haven't done it yet, you need to purchase a domain name. This is the name that people type into their search engine (such as Google) or web browser (such as FireFox or Internet Explorer) to get to your website. For example, this site's domain name is www.darkhousemultimedia.com.
It is advisable to register all the common suffixes for your domain name if they are available, such as .co.uk, .net, etc. Otherwise, someone else might. We can help you check availability of domains for free and register your domain names through an official registrar, for a small annual or bi-annual fee. Once you have your domain name you can confidently start building your site.
Obviously, if you're going to have a website, it will need to reside somewhere where people can access it. It will usually live on a professionally maintained server, provided by a web-host. A server is specialised computer which is always connected to the internet via a highspeed high-bandwidth connection.
We provide hosting and our servers are set up with the technologies we use to build your website. We can set up and help you managing your hosting account. Costs will depend on the options chosen such as amount of storage and bandwidth available to your site. We can talk through this with you if you want, and you can see details of our hosting packages here.
Designing Your Site
The most important thing that you need to do with regard to your site is provide the brief and then later the 'content', or work with us to generate it. The 'content' means the text and pictures and other information that goes to make up the site itself. We will usuaully work with you to develop a brief to plan out the functions and the look and style of your site, and generate a mock layout of roughly how your site will look and work.
Setting the brief as clearly and as fully as possible is an important first step, as it helps to clarify your ideas and match your expectations to the realities of time and cost.
Once a decision is made, we can get started on the site build proper. We can design the graphics and layouts and other elements which make up the pages of your site, and populate them with your content. If you have exisitng branding or artwork you want to use, then we can incorporate those resources too.
Search Engine Submission
Once you have your site up and running, you will probably want to get it listed with the popular search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, etc. This is a large and ever-changing field, and getting good rankings depends on many factors, including the following:
- Successfully submitting your pages to engines, directories, etc
- How much you update content, and it's relevancy
- How search-engine friendly your site is (content optimisation, keywords density & relevance, structure & ease of navigation, etc)
- How many relevant reciprocal links you can establish to and from your website (this can take time and involve cost)
- How much you market your site off-line, and are able to generate web traffic & links
- Time (sites will usually get picked up and indexed by more and more engines over time)
- Whether you decide to pay for ‘sponsored ads' with search engines (Pay-Per-Click ads)
- How much competition you've got!
- And many other things besides...
It is important to realise that if you have a new site that has a lot of competition in the same field of business, it is unlikely you will appear at the top of search engine listings without a significant amount of time and effort and money! You should plan a seperate and ongoing budget for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) if rankings are important to you.
Over time you may wish to update, redesign or expand your site. You might want to add functionality like forms, databases, ecommerce, interactive media, and so on. We offer an ongoing relationship with you in terms of maintenance, and the costs for this will depend on your requirements.
We have standard hourly rates for one off alterations of content, but if you know you will be changing content on a regular basis, then we can offer you a maintenance plan which will be more cost effective. If you need major expansion/redesign work, we will generate a new proposal for you based on your requirements.
Costs for web design projects are usually by estimate based on brief. Just drop us a line to discuss your web design requirements in the first instance.