Dazed and Confused?
If you're the owner or manager of a small business that needs a new website... or a better website than you have now... and you're doing research in order to decide what website design company to go with, you're probably a bit overwhelmed by all the conflicting information you're getting. So what should you be looking for?
The ideal small business website should be:
- Responsive ... Nothing will hurt your SEO (Search Engine Ranking) or have more of a negative impact on your customers or potential customers using small devices like smart phones than a non-responsive website.
- Secure ...
- It's hard to have too much security built into a website. If the elements on your website like email addresses and contact forms aren't secure you'll have issues as minor as an increase in junk mail to as major as having your website quarantined by the major search engines until the problems are fixed.
- An increasing number of website "designers" are simply using Word Press templates to create their websites. In addition to being limited by the layout and capabilities of the template, Word Press websites are notoriously easy to hack into. If you end up using a "fill in the blanks" website company you'll either pay more for anti-hacking protection or you'll end up getting nasty messages from Google telling you that your website has been added to their quarantine list until you remove the malware they've detected.
- Inexpensive to create and maintain ...
- My clients with single websites and .com domain names are currently paying $133 per year in annual fees.
- I don't charge monthly or annual "maintenance fees" which could end up costing you hundreds of dollars each year. If your website requires constant updating I do offer annual maintenance plans starting at $20 per month... but they are entirely optional and not a requirement.
- Don't be fooled by "free" websites since they'll end up costing you far more in the long run than having me design and maintain your website.
- If you go with a "do-it-yourself" website like GoDaddy's Website Tonigh... or a "free" website... you'll end up with a generic looking website that definitely won't do all the things you need it to do. Your website will also lack essential security features.
- Professional ... What good is having a website if it doesn't make your business look better than your competitors? Do you really want the success of your business to rely on a generic "fill in the blanks" website?
CWFL specializes in Responsive, Secure, Inexpensive, Professional looking websites like these:
I specialize in "responsive" website design
So why should you pay more for a responsive website?
- Recent statistics show that over half the visits to the Internet are now being done from small devices like smart phones and iPads. If your website isn't responsive all those visitors will simply go to another website that is responsive.
- In April of 2016 Google began penalizing the search engine rankings of all non-responsive websites... and other search engines are beginning to follow Google's lead. If you need to be found on the Internet, search engine ranking is critical so you MUST have a responsive website.
Making an existing website responsive
- If you have an existing non-responsive website, I can rebuild it and make it responsive.
- Unfortunately, the underlying structure of a responsive website is considerably more complex than the structure of a fixed width website so a responsive website must be built from the ground up. Fortunately, I can generally use all the content from your existing website so redesigning a website to be responsive is less expensive than designing a new responsive website.
- If it's essential that your website is on the Internet continuously, you might consider .
Reduced Design and Maintenance Costs
I have very low overhead so I'm able to charge a flat rate of $60 per hour. Most custom website design companies charge upwards of $100 per hour for their design time, which makes even a basic website cost at least $1000. My websites typically cost less than half of what other website design companies are charging for the same work.
- Domain name purchase: A basic .com domain name is only $12 per year. Domain names ending in .biz, .co, .pro, .info, .org, .us ... and dozens of other endings... can run from $15 to $72 per year. I can't give you an exact price until I know what domain name you want.
- Domain name transfers: I require all of my website clients to register their domain names through me since I don't have the time or the inclination to learn how other domain registrars operate. Since you're paying me by the hour, this will actually save you money in the long run. If you already have a domain name, there will be a $30 fee to transfer it.
- Hosting: A single domain name can be hosted on an economy hosting plan. My current annual rate for an economy hosting plan is $96... which works out to only $8 per month. If you need to host more than one website or blog on the same hosting plan you can upgrade to the deluxe hosting plan which is still only $12 per month for multiple websites or blogs.
- Contact Forms: If you need a contact form like the one on this page, the cost will run between $40 and $120 depending on how complex the form is. The form on this page would run around $40 to create and test.
- Site Maintenance Plans: If your website requires frequent updating, I offer annual maintenance plans starting at $20 per month. Compare my rates to the other custom website design firms who charge upwards of $50 per month for the same level of service.
- Graphics: The money illustration on this panel is an example of a graphic. I purchase graphics from GraphicStock. The fee for each graphic I purchase from GraphicStock is $5. There may be an additional fee if I have to purchase a graphic elsewhere at a higher cost, but this is a rare occurrence.
- GraphicStock photos are the same $5 each that I charge for graphics.
- Your photos ~ The time I spend cropping, resizing, and cleaning up the photos you send me is charged at my standard rate of $60 per hour. Send me good photos and the cost will be negligible. Send me crappy photos and the cost will be higher.
The cost to have me purchase the Search Engine Visibility program and implement the recommended improvements is $100. (The Search Engine Visiblity software
also includes a free Internet Yellow Pages ad and submission to over 100 search engines.)
- The cost to have me set up a pre-deployment proofing site is $30.
There are lots of bad people out there on the Internet, which is why I build enhanced security features into the links and forms associated with every website I design.
If you think you get a lot of junk mail now, wait until you provide an unencrypted email address on your website. The "spammers" have automated programs, commonly known as "spambots" that search the Internet 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, looking for email addresses. If your email address is not encrypted, I guarantee the amount of junk email you get will only increase with each passing month as more spambots find your email address and add it to junk email lists around the world. The email addresses on WordPress websites, "free" websites and "do-it-yourself" websites are NOT encrypted!
The email links on this website have been encrypted to they can't be read by the vast majority of spambots. There may be some very sophisticated spambots out there that can break the encryption but the majority will hit a dead end when they try to harvest email addresses from any of my client's websites.
Forms are especially vulnerable to being "hijacked" and used to send "spam" messages across the Internet. Most of the junk email you receive is sent through hijacked forms. The "Quote Request" form on this page is a perfect example of the extra security features I build into my sites.
- It features a random "captcha" code that must be typed into the form. Easy for a person... impossible for an automated program.
- It also features two hidden fields that are designed to trip up any efforts to hijack the form. Form hijacking software will automatically fill in the hidden form fields. If the form software detects entries in either hidden field the form won't submit.
This website is checked daily and certified as "Malware free". Your website can feature the same protection for less than you might imagine.
When I first began designing websites I had a number of clients pay fake domain registration invoices or unwittingly agree to transfer their domain names to unscrupulous domain name registration companies charging as much as $86 per year to register the same domain name I'm charging $12 a year to register.
I also had clients agree to fake offers of top search engine ranking... which can't be guaranteed... at outrageous fees ranging up to hundreds of dollars every month. To combat this, I adopted a policy where I pay all the invoices related to my client's websites and then bill them for the legitimate expenses. You'll never have to worry about paying a fake website related invoice again.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
No website design company can promise top search engine ranking but I will design your website to be as "search engine friendly" as possible.
Search Engine Visibility
If basic SEO isn't sufficient, GoDaddy offers "Search Engine Visibility" software that does an extensive analysis of a website and flags any areas that may negatively impact the site's search engine rankings. Once the recommended changes have been made, the software helps create an Internet Yellow Pages ad and then submits your website to over 100 search engines. I charge $100 for the software and the time required to run it and implement the changes. My clients who have implemented Search Engine Visibility have all seen their search engine rankings improve. You probably found this website because of the Search Engine Visiblity software.
Google "Ad Words"
If your business has a higher advertising budget and you're willing to pay to be found, we can discuss options such as Google's "Ad Words" program where you pay Google every time someone clicks on an specific search word and ends up going to your website.
Doing those things should significantly improve your chances of being found by people searching the Internet for your products or services.
Proofing Prior to Deployment
If you're having me redesign an existing small business website and you can't afford to have your website off the Internet or in draft form while the changes are being implemented, I have a solution. Your website can be set up in a temporary hosting plan until you're satisfied that it's ready to replace your old website. At that point it can be deployed to the Internet with virtually no down time.
The cost to have me set up a proofing site for you and then transfer the finished website to it's own hosting plan is only $30.