WEBSITE BUILDING BASICS #1: Top questions submitted to eeep! productions by people wanting a website

[After a three-month blogging hiatus (hey, it was summertime!), I’m back with a new series: Website Building Basics. This series is for you, artists, small business owners, and other creative people. I’m hoping it will help you with common questions you may have. If you have more questions, please feel free to comment and I’ll feature your question in future posts!]


Photo credit: Aimee Low   source: Morguefile

There are 3 questions I get almost every week from prospective clients, from friends, from friends-of-friends…I thought it’s time to talk about those questions here. Here are the big three:

  • How much will a website cost?
  • How long will it take to build my website?
  • What should I put on my site?

It usually starts out like this:

[SCENARIO #1] “I have an idea for a business, how much would a website cost me?”

Well, that depends! What is the business?  Is it a B2B or a B2C? Do you have a business plan? What do you expect the website to do for you? If I’m pressed for an answer, I usually say “Anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000.” That is a pretty big range that covers most of the sites I’ve done over the years. Gets a person thinking, doesn’t it?

Or there’s this:

[SCENARIO #2] “I know I really need a website for my art/gift shop/massage business, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. How long will it take?”

It depends on how prepared you are. Are you ready to work hard on this project? Do you know what you want to accomplish? Do you have a business plan? What do you expect the website to do for you?

Are you sensing a theme here?

[SCENARIO #3] This might be my favorite. A client has paid me a deposit and we’ve begun work on the site and when I ask for content the client says, “What do you think I should put on there?”

There are many times I end up becoming a business consultant for my clients, in addition to a website consultant. That’s fine, I guess, but that’s not where my core strengths lie! My job is to take your ideas and translate them into code and imagery that will make you look your best when someone types in your domain or finds you in a search. Only YOU know what’s best for your business’ marketing needs and YOU need to make these decisions. I can guide you and make suggestions based on search engine algorithms and code restrictions and other webby tidbits I have floating around in my head, but YOU need to make the final call.

All of this might sound funny as you read it, but it happens all of the time. Let’s think about your business. You had to have a plan for starting it, getting funding, opening up shop, doing print advertising, for ordering supplies and product, etc., right? I know your website is less tangible than all of that, but you still want to think about it in a similar way.

Over the next few months, we’ll discuss each question in more detail.

Be nice. Be real. Be happy.