Website design today should consider social media and email campaign automation
Edwards Communications has been creating websites since about 1996. Back then, websites were simply “online brochures”, and if you put a halfway decent one up, you’d get a decent amount of traffic.
Needless to say, we’ve come a long way since then. Today, websites should be database driven and interact with your audience. To compete for that valuable search engine ranking, you should be supplying your audience valuable content to bring them to you, and your goal should be to convert a sale, obtain a lead to your prospect list, or possibly get a phone call.
Edwards Communications isn’t in the business of designing websites. We’re in the business of providing online marketing solutions. Our websites are the hub of that. Connected to them are email marketing programs, social media integration, list building applications, e-commerce and/or membership capabilities, and integrated content marketing strategies for growing your business.
Your website also needs to be mobile-friendly (responsive)
This isn’t a preference anymore, it’s a need. Over 50% of all traffic is through mobile devices today and that number is only going to go up. Laying out your website in a mobile-friendly way ensures that you’ll be found efficiently. As of April 2015, Google has eliminated mobile search results from mobile searches for sites that are not mobile-friendly.
We create only responsive (mobile-friendly) websites at Edwards Communications. Our websites’ content reconfigures for the size of the screen, so that only one website needs maintained, as opposed to creating a separate, mobile version which is cumbersome.
Estimates for your website development
Providing an estimate for your website development is harder than doing so with any of our other services as there are so many variables. A large part of it is the content. Is there existing content for your site? Is it actually GOOD content? What is the marketing strategy to be deployed with your site? How much social media integration is desired and how much blog consultation as a result will be needed?
At the lowest end, we can design and deploy a site for our local dentists or lawyers (local practices with little maintenance) for around $2000. But our exit strategy will be well defined and our production will be efficient. This doesn’t include any content development, social media integration or email campaign integration.
At the mid-level, we’re usually somewhere in the $3000 range (sites somewhere in the 10 – 30 page range plus blog), and this consists of social media integration and email campaign integration with some consultation on running these efficiently. As always, it also depends on the size of the site and if additional functionality is desired.
We also offer e-commerce and membership site solutions that have a wide array of functionality. These also, more often than not, require us to provide some ongoing marketing efforts. Price varies greatly depending on amount of products or services (for e-commerce sites) or levels of engagement (membership sites). But expect these to start at around $5000.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be considered
With all of our websites, we include a basic level of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This includes setting up additional software that guides content to be more SEO-friendly. We’re usually re-designing websites for companies these days, which often require (or SHOULD require) more than basic SEO. We offer SEO services for both on-page and off-page optimization.
Website hosting: Beware of being held hostage
Edwards Communications occasionally provides web hosting services for select clients on our Virtual Private Server for 180.00/year. We do not require our clients to be hosted with us, nor do we recommend being hosted by your web developer. It is always in your best interest to own your own property. You avoid lessening your bargaining power with future implementations and also avoid the uncomfortable situation of “asking for the keys” when it’s time to part ways. Many companies try to use hosting as a means of holding you hostage to scale up fees over time. Edwards Communications believes in complete transparency.
However, we do require that clients are hosted with a company of standard, national compliance and capabilities such as BlueHost, HostGator, InMotion, Site Ground and so on. This is so that we have a standard Control Panel (tools) that we can use in developing and launching your site, and the server has Tech Support – people responsible for keeping the software up to date and assist us in fixing glitches. If you’re being hosted on your IT company’s server, they will expect us to provide their tech support – which is impossible. Additional fees will be incurred for time spent configuring or changing from inferior host/server.
Off boarding your website and integrated products
At completion of the agreed upon project, Edwards Communications relinquishes all responsibility to your product(s) unless we have a signed maintenance contract. Software updates (or lack thereof) may eventually interfere with site performance and is the responsibility of the client and his/her host. This is usually not a time consuming, costly nor technically-challenging responsibility, but it is something to be aware of. I highly recommend that you back up the site before updating. It can sometimes break your site.
There is no one way to off board a site. Different clients have different needs. Some sites I’ve maintained for years under monthly retainers or simply charges for hours billed when billed. Most often, there is a small retainer agreed upon to get the site’s content up to speed and the in house person(s) that will be responsible for updating content properly trained.
Getting your own refined estimate
To receive a more refined estimate, I’ll need as much information as possible, so please fill out the form below. As all projects are unique, I leave a lot of room for your own interpretation. I typically will be in touch with you within one work day of submission.
Thank you. Barry Edwards