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How much does a website cost?
Good question. The first question we're always asked. And, unfortunately, the most tricky to answer. You see, every website is different, and essentially you pay for our time, expertise and information storage. So a simple website will be cheaper than a more complex one, and some things take longer to do than others!
That's not very helpful!
OK, perhaps it isn't. But have you visited other web design agencies? How many of them will tell you their rates and charges? Some just say, "£350 per day," or something similar. That's not too helpful either. At Meticulous, we try to be honest and upfront with you, and the best way to do that is to discuss what it is that you want and then give you a price. It's much more accurate, and it means you won't get any nasty surprises.
Having said that, you need to get some idea before you take the plunge, so here's a rough guide. It's not a definitive list, as your needs will be unique, and you'll need to take additional costs into account if you want to add certain features, but the following should give you a good idea of what you want.
Most importantly, please remember that you're encouraged to contact us and discuss your requirements. We're more than happy to provide advice, guidance and free estimates. There is no obligation on your part. Discussing your requirements will give you a much better idea of the best way to achieve what you want from your website at a cost you can afford. You can also visit our 'deciding what you want' page to help you think about the sort of site that will suit your needs.
Click on an item to jump down to its details:
Some sites are simpler than others. A simple site will be almost entirely written in HTML and CSS, with static menus, no dynamic content and only a few images, such as a logo and a few photos.
The first page of any website is the most complex and important to design. It forms the template from which all subsequent pages are derived (in order to achieve a consistent 'look' across the whole site). Getting the first page right is the most time-consuming step in any website design, and we'll check with you as many times as necessary to make sure that you're happy with the look before moving on from there. This includes arranging your logo, if you have one, getting the menu right, writing meta tags, building the basic CSS and all the other details that good website design needs. Please note that we will require this fee before starting work on your site.
Precisely what constitutes a 'complex site' is impossible to define. Heavy use of CSS rollovers, complex layouts and unusually large websites would generally fall under this category. Decisions on whether a website qualifies as complex have to be made on an individual basis. However, most websites for an individual musician/actor etc. wouldn't count as complex. Often, only the first page will fall under this category, and subsequent pages would be charged at the Basic rates.
Most more complex website features we offer are self-contained, such as a photo gallery or a contact form, and some are site-wide and are therefore developed at the initial stages of your website's design. For each of these features, there is an additional development cost.
This function can be very useful for features like Last Site Update, Contact Information, and even simple menus. Every Meticulous-built site includes an unobtrusive line such as this one on every page which lists the copyright information and so on (see the bottom of this and every other page on this website for an example). You don't pay for this, however, and while the design of each site remains copyright of Meticulous Web Solutions, the content is yours.
Hit Counter - £10 one-off fee
A Hit Counter can be a very useful way of keeping track of how many people are visiting your website. It can also look good. Meticulous uses a free hit-counter service called SiteMeter. More information about this system can be found on the SiteMeter website, at www.sitemeter.com. The appearance of the actual meter on each page is customisable, and you can choose to receive weekly traffic report e-mails which keep you informed about visits to your site. The SiteMeter Hit Counter on this website can be seen at the bottom left of every page (and to the right of this paragraph). A SiteMeter account is free, so you only pay a one-off cost for Meticulous to set it up on your website.
Photo Gallery - £5 per photo
Many performers like to have a photo gallery on their website, whether it's for publicity photos, modelling or archives of previous performances. Often, the best way to present these is in the form of a photo gallery. The standard system that Meticulous provides shows a collection of 'thumbnail' images, each of which can be expanded to show the full photo. Quite a bit of processing is involved, including producing thumbnails and creating HTML display pages for each photo. To see what a Meticulous-designed photo gallery can look like, take a look at the Mojo Bones photo gallery pages.
Form to E-mail Scripts - £80 (in addition to HTML page containing form)
A very useful feature to add to your website is a form where people can contact you. This can be in the form of feedback about your site, questions about your availability for work, or just general e-mail. Some people just put a link with their e-mail address on their websites, but this is the primary way that e-mail spammers 'grab' people's e-mail addresses, so unless you like 10,000 Viagra adverts in your e-mail inbox every day, a form is a very good idea!
The price of a form reflects the fact that a program called a script has to be written and placed on your website's server to collect the data and then send it to your server's e-mail handling program. Some basic hosting packages don't support this without an extra (usually small) fee. We will set up the whole thing for you. See hosting and e-mail for more information.
Some other website features use scripts. These are those functions which involve collecting or otherwise handling any data that a visitor to your site supplies. Some examples of script-based features we can provide are:
The price of a form reflects the fact that a program called a Script has to be written and placed on your website's server to collect the data and then send it to your server's e-mail handling program. Some basic hosting packages don't support this without an extra (usually small) fee. We will set up the whole thing for you. See hosting and e-mail for more information.
Creating a website can involve quite a lot of preparation, which takes time. Here are some details:
Design of New Graphics - £10 large / £5 small
Small graphics are sometimes used as menu buttons. As an example, visit www.funwhenyoudrum.com, enter the site and look at the buttons on either side of the page (link opens in a new window - just close it to return here). We can create these for you. Or if you haven't got a logo yet and want one, we can help. Just bear in mind that we're a web design service, not a graphic design service, so you'll get what you pay for!
Scanning and Preparing Graphics - £5 per scan
If you want to add photos or other graphics to your site and don't have them in electronic format already, we can do this for you.
Copy Typing - £5 per A4 page of text
If you can't supply the text content of your site in electronic format (such as a text file or Microsoft Word Document), we can type it up from hardcopy.
Updates and Changes - £20 per hour
From time to time, it is both necessary and desirable to update the contents of your website because information changes and needs to be added (and because a static site is boring and visitors won't keep coming back). Most updates are simple and are therefore charged at an hourly rate. Adding new sections or pages to a website is much more work and new pages are charged at the above rates. It's therefore a good idea to think of the future when you design your website, and plan possible expansion into the initial design - it'll save time and therefore money in the long-run. Very minor updates (such as corrections, news items, changes of contact details, CV updates and so on) will often be done free-of-charge, however.
Site Redesign Service - as agreed
Redesigning an existing website (built by somebody else) is very much like designing a website from scratch. Usually only the content can be copied from the old version to the new, and everything else needs to be done anew. Therefore a site redesign will cost not much less than a new site. If you have an existing site that you want to renovate, contact us to have a chat about the state of your current site and what you'd like to change.
Other Files - £2 per file (under 1Mb)
If you want to provide files for your website's visitors to download, such as .mp3s, Microsoft Word Documents or videos, you can (provided there's an appropriate page designed into your site for the links!). These files can be uploaded to your site for a one-off fee of £2. Files over 1Mb in size are charged at an extra £2 per additional 500Kb. Uploads of images, HTML files, CSS files and script programs are not charged.
Search Engine Submissions - £30 one-off fee
Just putting your site on the web isn't really enough - in order to get it seen properly, search engines need to be told where to look. We will submit your site to over 20 of the top search engines for listing for a one-off fee. The meta-tags built into the site when it's first designed will also help to make your site more visible on the web.
Hosting: (hosting company fees)
In order to put a website on the internet, the individual pages (and other files) that make it up have to be 'hosted' - that is, stored on a type of computer called a web server which allows internet users to find and access your website's pages. This is not a service which Meticulous can provide, but we will set up all the necessary hosting for you if you want.
The cheapest way to host your website is to use your existing ISP's (Internet Service Provider's) free webspace, if they provide it - most do. This has the advantage of being cheap, but the disadvantages are that you don't get much storage space, you can't use scripts (so no forms, guestbooks etc.), and, most of all, you can't control what the website's address is. For example, if you're with AOL and you want to create a website using their free webspace, it'll be called something like http://members.aol.com/yourname/. Not very catchy, is it?
If you want a website with your own title, you will need to register its domain. The domain for this website is meticulous.org.uk. You can choose almost any name, so long as nobody else owns that domain already. There is a charge for registering any domain, and some types cost more than others. If you want Meticulous to arrange this for you, we use a company called LCN which, at the time of writing, will charge you between £6 and £15 for a two-year registration. You'll need to pay again every two years in order to keep your domain name, but it's a small fee. Please note that this system applies to ALL websites EVERYWHERE - we can't change it!
Having secured your domain, you will need to arrange for the actual hosting of the website so that your site can be stored where people can see it. Meticulous again uses LCN for this service, as they are inexpensive, reliable and professional. The basic Web-hosting package currently costs £21 per year, with £50 per year giving you the additional benefits of Scripting support and more storage space. We can also arrange additional benefits such as Webmail for as little as £10 per year. You can arrange to pay these charges direct to the hosting company (whether LCN or another company) yourself or through Meticulous. We will not charge you for handling the fees, but will require the hosting charges to be paid to us before we can start work on your website. You can check LCN's current hosting prices here.
Please note that if you'd prefer for Meticulous to register your domain name and/or purchase a hosting package for you, we will require these fees before starting work on your site.
E-mail: (hosting company fees)
All the basic hosting packages that Meticulous recommends (via LCN) include at least 10 POP3 e-mail addresses; that is, e-mail addresses with the same domain as your website - eg www.joebloggs.co.uk will have up to ten e-mail addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org - you can choose the bit to the left of the '@' sign. If you choose to have a contact form of any sort on your website, it will use one of these addresses to send any form submissions to you.
LCN now provides Webmail free of charge. That means that you can log-in to read your joebloggs.co.uk emails from any internet computer in the world - just like Hotmail or G-mail - in addition to being able to download e-mail to your computer using Microsoft Outlook or similar programs. We can also include a convenient link to your e-mail login page from your website, to make it easy to find. Contact us to find out more.
Please note that if you decide to register your own domain name and/or purchase a hosting package, we will require these fees before starting work on your site.
What we don't offer:
Big web-design companies offer virtually any kind of package, and they can do that because they employ lots of people, some of whom specialise in certain types of programming and design areas. Meticulous isn't like that, and therefore there are some things we just can't do. Mind you, if you wanted to include these in your website, you could be looking at four-figure sums anyway, so it's probably just as well that we don't tempt you!
What you get for FREE (as part of the service):
Once you've decided on what you want your site to do and to look like, you'll need to pay for it as described above. However, we do provide a service, and it goes without saying that not everything is charged for. Here's what you can expect to get:
After wading through all the above information, it would probably help to have a few actual examples to give you a 'feel' for how much your site would cost:
Please note that domain registration fees need to be paid every 2 years in order to maintain your domain name, and your hosting plan fee needs to be paid annually. Meticulous can arrange this for you. The only other costs to you are for periodic maintenance when you request it (see Updates and Changes above).
If you're an impoverished student and the prices above are worrying you, don't despair! We offer discounts to some people:
Please note that these discounts only apply to Meticulous Web Solutions charges and rates. Third-party charges such as domain name registration and hosting plans are NOT subject to any discounts.
We reserve the right to change these prices at any time. Any changes will immediately be posted on this website.
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