web design keyboard

Web Design

So You Want a Website...

Isn't it expensive?

Having a professionally designed website for business can often appear to be a great expense that deters people from utilising the power of the internet to promote and run their company. Certainly, it is not uncommon for a 5 page website to cost £1000 or more, with only the basics included.

If your website is succesful and does exactly what you want, this amount of money would seem a good investment even for a small business. However, a professional website need only cost a fraction of this amount without any compromise on quality, functionality or value for money offered to the owner.

Quite simply, SONA can provide you with a professional web solution to fit the smallest of budgets, with even our most elaborate efforts costing far less than what you might pay other companies for a very basic website.

This means that not only is a professional looking website available to businesses and at a fraction of the cost normally associated with their production, but now clubs, non-profits and even private individuals can afford to commission their own tailor made professional website.

How can SONA provide more fore less?

Firstly, our business model ensures overheads are kept to a minimum. We only have the equipment we need to do a great job, and the staff that we need to do it! Our workflows are streamlined and efficient and subject to the client's copy and ideas for a website being completed and available, we can progress most projects from conception to proofing within weeks and not months.

Quite simply, you are paying for us to create a website for you. You aren't paying for our new offices, shiny new computers, company cars and under-employed staff!

See what's included in our website design...   

We build the majority of our websites using a content management system, or CMS for short. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, a modular and template approach to website design is very efficient and cost effective, but more importantly it allows you the client to maintain the site yourself should you so wish, whether that be creating manual backups, amending existing content or adding new things to your site.

The possibilities are endless and we can point you in the direction of excellent FREE resources to enable you to utilise your site exactly how you like, when you like and without relying on external agents such as ourselves to update your site, saving you time and money. A number of our clients have taken this approach and have maintained their own sites and even added new features as they progress from new users to CMS enthusiasts.

The CMS we use depends on what you want your site to do. Some CMS's are perfect for simple sites such as a blog, others are so feature rich and well supported that they are used by blue chip corporates and well known companies around the world.

The Basics

  • 12 months hosting
  • A .uk or .com domain
  • Email setup
  • Custom Control Panel
  • Default site restoration
  • Basic techincal support

Free Extras

Some companies will charge you extra for basic components for a site that we think should be included, such as a favicon, statistics to analyse your site, automated backups, email accounts, ftp access; the list goes on. Below is a list of some of the extras we include for free:

  • Favicon
  • Statistical analysis
  • Iphone/Ipad custom button site link
  • Automated backup
  • Domain mapping/forwarding
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Email forwarding/autoresponders
  • Google Analytics
  • Anti-Spam email
  • Content self-management

Specific Design Features

The following are examples of some of the features we can build into your site at very little extra cost, including:

  • Social media integration
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Forums/bulletin boards
  • Directories
  • E-commerce
  • HTML
  • Custom forms
  • Video integration
  • Blogs
  • Slideshows/galleries

Web Design Prices - How Much Will A Website Cost?

It is difficult to provide specific prices for you as the requirements of every website are different. However, we can give you examples of sites and how much we might charge for each to give you a good guide. Please bare in mind, that the cost of hosting and a domain name are a cost that applies to all sites whether they be a single "holding" page or an elaborate e-commerce site. Therefore whilst the cost of creating and hosting one page may seem quite expensive, the price of subsequent pages is far cheaper as the cost of hosting, domain name and basic design has already been covered in the cost of the main or "home" page.

A Single Page Website, or "Holding Page"

Some businesses will not benefit massively from having a website, or sometimes the owner of a business may not have the time available to devote to having a complex site created and therefore a holding page or single page site is ideal for showing basic contact details and maybe a company overview.

A basic holding page without links is simple to construct and together with hosting, a domain name, 5 email addresses and the creation of the page could be done from as little as £34.99 for the first year and £24.99 there after.

A single page site with a "contact" tab pointing to a company's email address, including the design of the site, the cost of re-creating the company logo if not held digitally, 12 months hosting, a domain name and email setup could be done from as little as £80.

A Two Page Website With Contact Form

Only slightly more elaborate than the above example, a website that offers the basic information of a company together with links to other sites, further information and social media integration plus custom contact form, protected from spam by Google's Re-Captcha, is more complex.

Including the design of the site, Re-Captcha account creation, 12 months hosting, a domain name and email setup this could be done from as little as £150.

Multiple Page Sites

Once we move on from two page sites, they become more complicated depending on the requirements of the individual client. As a rough guide, we would allow £100 for the first page as above, and between £15 and £30 for subsequent pages there after. Complex pages such as forums, directories and blogs are essentially only one page however the time involved in setting these up initially is considerable and a guide price of £50-£100 for one of these features is a good place to start. Despite the extra expense, these can of course prove to be invaluable in attracting visitors to your site as well as improving your sites search ranking.

We have experience in creating sites of all shapes and sizes, from low traffic village social clubs to 1,000 plus particpant sporting events including entry systems with on-the-day entry lists and support.

E-Commerce Sites

Selling products online is a complicated business. Creating a site that has a secure checkout facilities, interacts with the customer, tracks stock and notifies the client of orders etc. is time consuming to both set-up and test. It is therefore very difficult to indicate how much an e-commerce site costs to design etc. and very much depends on the number of products to be sold and the level of services offered.

A website selling hundreds of products, that tracks stock levels, accepts payments by credit card and PayPal, notifies the buyer and the owner of the transaction, has a secure socket layer (SSL) to protect customer data and allows a customer to log in at any time to check on the progress of their order might cost in excess of £1,000.

A website selling 5 different items by clicking links to a PayPal shopping cart, with very little customer or admin interface might cost closer to £300.

We have designed and maintain e-commerce sites for small and large vendors alike, ranging from personal trainers selling courses and advice through to large cycle parts retailers with thousands of products.

Hosting for our websites

All websites require "hosting", or in layman's terms, space on a remote computer known as a server. Simple websites, even those with hundreds of pages, can be hosted on "shared hosting" which is relatively cheap and economical. If a website has extra functions or a huge user demand that puts a great load on the shared sever, the site will have to use a dedicated server or virtual private server (VPS) so that performance is not impacted. We generally will start all websites on "shared hosting" in the first instance, however it may become necessary to move a site to a dedicated server once it becomes very popular. Where we feel this may be an unavoidable eventuality, we will make you aware of this possible future need before we start work on your website.

Taking The Next Step - Your Website...

What do you want your website to do?

  • Is it to be just a means of contact?
  • Do you wish to display your work or services and maybe even sell them online?
  • How may pages do you think you will need?
  • Have you seen a website design/layout that you like?
  • Do you have enough computer skills to maintain the site yourself?
  • Do you already have a suitable website address?
  • What is your budget?

You will find it helpful to draw your website on paper. Start with your vision of the front or "Home" page, as most of the other pages will likely follow the same theme and layout. If you are stuck for ideas, browse the net and find some designs you like. Also create a flow chart showing how you want your pages etc. to link together.

Try to make as much information available within 3 clicks...if people can't find the information they want quickly they may not persist in looking! Another good pointer is that if people have to scroll down your site more than 3 or 4 times it can have the same effect and drive people to a competitor or similar site. Not the creative type? Don't panic, we can help you to produce a blueprint of how your want your site to function and how you want it to look.

Seriously consider what you aim to achieve with your site; remember that as silly as it sounds, for your site to succeed as a means of generating business, you will need to market it. As well as considering advertising in other media such as magazines, think about how important it is for people to find your site and business searching the web with search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and the like. Only if your business is truly unique are you likely to reach the first page of Google without spending vast sums of money on search engine optimisation (SEO) and other means of promoting your site online - so be realistic based on your budget.

Once you have decided that you wish to take things further, give us a call or drop us an email. We can then discuss at length, with no obligation, the specific requirements of the site and any ideas we have that may help your site be even more functional, and we can take it from there!

Ready to talk or just want more info? Then please...

sona logo bottom

SONA on Twitter

  • "AllenFordUK can you recommend a decent commercial Ford dealer?"