Web Design Questions
There is no one simple answer to this question. Websites vary dramatically in features and complexity and it is almost impossible to give an accurate cost without getting more details about the project. That said, you can generally get a very basic site for around $600-$800. What really differentiates the expensive sites is the amount of graphic design hours spent on the project. If you’re building a very professional site with 20-30 pages that all need unique graphic elements, your costs are going to go up. Most of the small businesses and organizations that we work with end up with websites in the $1000 – $1600 range, though some of the best sites (for established clients who are targeting a national audience) go for closer to $5,000. Visit our web design packages page for more detailed analysis.
Much of this depends on how much content the client is able to provide and on the timeliness of their communications. As a general rule, most sites fall somewhere on the scale of between two weeks and two months. Larger sites take longer. If you need your site done quickly, talk to us about your deadline. We can generally work something out. For extremely fast turnaround times rush order charges may apply.
The most important question: how regularly are you planning to update your site? Many clients make infrequent updates, which we can do for you at the rate of $50 per hour. Updates are also generally included with many of our optimization packages. If you plan to do regular updates and want to do them yourself you’ll need a website built with a content management system. It will make the design process a bit more expensive but will allow you to update text and photos. For more information about WordPress, keep reading.
Our favorite content management system is WordPress. It has a user friendly interface with a huge number of available plugins and features. Though WordPress started out as blogging software, it has developed into one of the world’s most popular web construction and data management systems and powers the websites of several Fortune 500 companies. If you want to be able to make simple changes to your website, WordPress might be an excellent option for you.
In most cases, yes. Social networking sites like Facebook allow you to reach out to a different audience, post regular updates, link to new content on your site, and generally drive traffic toward your business. Having a Facebook account, a Twitter account, or a YouTube account where appropriate also creates additional links to your website and can be helpful in search engine optimization. Plus, Facebook advertising is a great way to target a very specific market and reach new potential clients. When they choose to like your Facebook page, your future updates will be visible in their newsfeed. It’s a great way to get continuing publicity for your business.
That said, it’s not for everyone. If your target audience is over fifty or just honestly can’t imagine having anything to say on a regular basis, you should probably direct your energy elsewhere.
There isn’t a magic pill to put you on Google’s first page. Generally it takes a lot of work in the form of regular updates to site content, building a strong network of links with other good sites, and using robot-friendly text and tags for your website. The most important thing is building good content. Sites with valuable content have two major advantages: (1) People often link to them for free, which is beneficial for your search engine standings. (2) If the content is keyword rich, it helps the search engines to know what your business or organization does. This is why many companies choose to provide “link bait.” If you are able to offer information or services that customers find convenient, they may link to your website, thereby driving traffic in your direction. For more information about how you can succeed in Google, visit our search engine optimization page.
If your site is optimized for the search engines, it isn’t truly necessary — but if you have the budget for it online advertising can definitely pay for itself in terms of additional visitors, and it’s a great way to give a new site a quick boost in traffic without having to wait to become established in the organic search engine results. We especially recommend it if your company is targeting a national or international audience. At David Hamilton Design we work with four different kind of online advertising to suit different needs, Adwords (pay-per-click), Google Display Network, Facebook Ads, and paid links.
Most of the online advertising options that we work with are pay-per-click advertising, which allows you to set a daily or monthly budget for your campaign. Technically these work with any budget, though I’ve found that they’re most effective if you have a budget of at least $25 per month. Some of my bigger clients spend several hundred dollars per month on pay-per-click advertising. Paid links can be much more expensive. Getting a paid ad on an industry specific website often costs at least $500 per month. I only recommend this for hard-hitting nationally competitive campaigns. Generally you can get some very good advertising results with between $25-$75 per month.
The professional layout Dave has done really holds us apart as one of the top companies in our field.Ben Fouts - Mauna Loa Helicopters
We went from thinking that a $5,000 job was a big job, to working with contracts of over $100,000.Viviana Hollenbeck - Blue Ox Millworks
Yes. There are a lot of options out there for selling online. For sites that are only looking to sell a few products, we recommend a third party shopping cart like Paypal Merchant Services. It’s easy to integrate with your existing site, is secure, and accepts payment from all major credit cards. Larger stores may be looking to implement a self-hosted shopping cart with a MySQL database. If you’re not sure what fits your needs, contact us to set up a free consultation and find out which option works best for you.
Yes. We offer a variety of SEO packages to fit your budget. Services that we offer include external linking campaigns, monthly statistic analysis, and keyword and meta-tag tuning, Visit our search engine optimization page for more details.
All of our domain registration and hosting is done through third parties, although we do offer hosting on a shared account for $5 per month. If you don’t know what you want, we can walk you through the process of choosing a domain registrar and web host. These costs are generally not included in your estimate from David Hamilton Design and will often cost around $50 per year.
We do offer a variety of web troubleshooting services, including password recovery, code debugging, adware removal, hosting and registration errors, webmail troubleshooting, and many others. If you have a problem with your existing site, contact us and provide your current site’s URL and a description of the problem. We will look into the issue and provide a free consultation over email. If we can fix the issue, we’ll send a description of the problem and a quote.
Generally yes. There are occasions where we would need to have copies of files or software that may be in the possession of your previous web designer — and there are some web languages that we do not specialize in. Most of the time all we need are a few details about your web hosting and valid log-in information. Web updates start at $50 per hour with a half hour minimum. If you don’t have log-in information, we can help you try to recover this from your host.
We offer basic password protection as an add-on option for all of our sites. Paid membership sites are a bit more complex and additional charges will apply.
Yes we do. As with any site that features a lot of server side interactions, paid membership sites tend to require a lot of debugging hours and are therefore more time consuming and expensive. Membership sites generally integrate best with some form of content management system, so we only offer this as an add on to our WordPress site packages.
This should be the first question that you ask any web designer. Yes, of course you will own your site. A lot of designers try to keep the reins of your site by deceptively worded contracts or by having their own name on the domain registration. We often end up picking up the pieces after those disastrous client / designer relationships. At David Hamilton Design we are building the site for YOU. As long as you pay for the finished product, every part of that product belongs to you. Upon request we’ll even cut a copy of all files used in the creation of the site so that you own every building block of your finished product. We do reserve the right to use screenshots or elements from your site in our own publicity materials and request that you maintain a small link in the footer of your website giving credit to the designer.
We do have a soft spot for the arts, education, and for non-profit organizations. Generally we are willing to give a ten percent discount to registered non-profits and we regularly donate gift certificates to school and charity auctions. Unfortunately we rarely have time to accept fully pro bono projects.
Graphic Design Questions
Our basic rate is $50 per hour with a half hour minimum charge. Nobody wants to be charged for every tiny update, so if changes are extremely minor (five minutes or less) we may not invoice for it.
The final cost depends on what kind of cards you’re looking for. Are they one sided? Two sided? Full color? Most design jobs cost somewhere between $200-$350, not including printing charges. For more information visit our business card page.
The final product can generally be exported in most relevant formats including JPEG, TIFF, PNG, PDF, GIF, PSD, AI, CDR, and EPS. Most of our vector work is done in Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator and most bitmap work is done in Adobe Photoshop. The original files are available for all jobs upon request.
Our print shop of choice varies by job. For very small orders it’s difficult for local print shops to compete with the prices of online print-on-demand services. Our larger jobs, especially garment orders, are often printed locally and we get discounts at a couple of local print shops. If you specifically request it, we will always get a quote from a local shop first.
We do not. Our garments are printed in one of two ways: (1) ordered as needed from online print-on-demand giant CafePress or (2) outsourced to a local print shop.
Like our websites, our graphic design projects become the property of the customer upon payment (though we do reserve the right to use images of the graphics in our own promotions.) Often the client does not require more than the finished product, but if you would like all files associated with the construction of your project, a CD is available upon request.
Simple changes (less than five minutes) are generally free, as are corrections of errors that were the fault of David Hamilton Design. If you want other changes, they can be provided at our usual $50 per hour rate. David Hamilton Design is not responsible for keeping copies of your project after completion of your job — but we usually do.
Working with David is a pleasure–he listens to me and always responds to my needs in a timely fashion.Michael Thomas - NCRT