If you drive a car you will be familiar with the term ‘comes as standard’. If you are as old as me you may remember when electric windows were an extra and we cried out with joy when they became standard on all models. The basic model that car manufacturers have followed is that features that were standard in high end models eventually migrated down to the typical family saloon. A current example of this is GPS. GPS will be standard in a few years. Heated seats anyone?
Car manufacturers don’t do this because they love you and want you to have a batter experience in cars. They do it because the manufacturing processes have improved and they can deliver these features at relatively low costs and also use them to attract customers.
The same has happened in many businesses and in website design this is no exception. Here are some examples of what was an extra in the past and should now be considered standard.
Number of Pages
I still get people asking me to quote per page. This harks back to when sites were all coded in HTML and each page had to be individually coded. This is no longer the case unless you are still getting a HTML site. 90% of my sites are now using a content management system and this allows you to create as many pages as you want. I still see website design companies with packages based on a page count. This is just old school practice.
The only exception to this rule if you want specific layout of multiple pages. This is a design consideration and may take extra time and may incur extra costs.
But if you want a thousand pages with a standard layout then with a CMS you can add them till your fingers fall of and no charge should be incurred.
Time was when a picture gallery was one of the wonders of the world. Oooooohhhh look at the images sliding by… OK a simple gallery is straightforward to put in to a site. Most CMS offer plugins or tools to manage a straightforward looking galery.
Galleries used to be a lot of work to code and implement and if you want a highly customised gallery there is still a bit of work involved in making it blend nicely with your design.
But for simple scrolling gallery it is like electric windows and comes as standard (if you want it if course).
The Contact Form
A lot of people don’t want to use email and like quick simple contact forms. They do the job and save firing up email for a quick note. All CSM come with the ability to integrate a contact form easily. Even with HTML sites a contact form is not a huge body of work.
Contact Us for More information on Contact Forms
Slide Shows on Home Page
So many websites seem to have a slide show showing images, messages , video and custom text. Even Grange Web Design has! I must confess I am not a huge fan of them and on some sites they are just not appropriate. On others they can work in getting 3-4 solid messages across during the visit to the site.
With the heightened use of Jquery (a programming language that among many other things makes creating slideshows easier) creating such an effect is straightforward.
What You Should Pay For
So you may ask what should I pay for? How do I tell the difference between all the prices?
Well its up to you who you go with for your website. I understand that people are on budgets and prices vary hugely across the spectrum. But what I do say is you should not scrimp on the following.
- Excellent design. Great design helps with your overall professional image and helps you stand out from the pack.
- Great customer service. How can you measure that. Speed of initial response, phone calls to follow up and a proper professional proposal. A face to face meeting helps and where possible website companies should try and meet or at least have regular calls with you during the project.
- Testimonials. Nobody puts their bad testimonials on their sites but look at what is there and get a feel for what the feedback was.