This post is to point out the vast array of skills it takes just to build a simple five page website. I’m hoping this will be useful for all you freelancers out there that are starting out and trying to explain why your prices are higher than your clients might expect. This post will give you an outline to expand upon depending on what type and size website your clients require.
The following is an example of what is required to setup a simple WordPress website correctly. I think you will agree that it is not so simple after all, if done correctly, meaning if it is done at a high-level of quality and professionalism.
The example here is a basic website using WordPress, custom designed to match the client’s business. In this example, it’s a service based five page website, similar to what is requested by most small businesses that are targeting a local market.
Most clients tend to want a custom design, so they can stand out from the competition.
Our Example Includes:
- Custom Design
- Home Page
- About Us
- Contact Us
- Request Quote
- The first step we always take is to interview the client. Find out what they want, in as much detail as possible. This includes color options, similar websites they like and the type of layout they want
- We then view the websites that they like and see if they are within their budget range
- Then we figure out what to use to build the site: should we use WordPress, Joomla! or something else such as a custom CMS
- After all the details have been collected and we have a good idea of what the client wants in terms of design and layout, we create a mockup. This mockup is placed online, so that the client can review it carefully and make changes by requesting them via email or via our project management system.
- When the design of the home page is 100% complete and the client has fully agreed to it, we create an internal page based on the home page’s colors, layout and fonts. We then get the client’s approval again for the internal page.
- When the client has agreed to the home page and internal page design, we create the actual template for the website content management system. Normally it will be created in Joomla! or WordPress, but other options are available to the client, should they wish to use a different CMS, such as Drupal or DotNetNuke.
- After the template has been created and installed onto the CMS, we build the menu system to match the design. In this case we would build the menu items and pages for each of the above pages mentioned.
- We would enter the content provided by the client into each page.
- The form plug-ins are installed and configured to store and or send leads/contact details to the client’s email address of choice.
- One of the leading SEO plug-ins of the client’s choice will be installed and configured on the site.
- We then optimize each web page for search engines by adding Meta tags to each page and also strategically writing the content on each page, so that it is correctly optimized for search engines.
- We setup Google Analytics code on the site and also on the thank you page to track conversions and traffic.
- We add the site to Google’s Webmaster Tools to track further data.
- We then setup any email accounts on their server, so that their emails are fully functional when their site goes live.
- We point the name servers from their domain to their new server
So as you can see, even the most basic website takes a lot of time, skills and effort to create correctly. If you think about all the skill sets involved to do the above tasks, they include:
- Design Skills, to create the initial design of the site.
- Web Development skills, to build the design into an actual website and configure all the plug-ins and features.
- Search Engine Optimization to correctly optimize the site for Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines.
- Basic level Server skills to setup email and connect the domain name correctly.
I hope that this post helps some of you explain your project to your clients. If it did, please place a comment below and share your experience with our readers.