Research is paramount

Do you have an idea for a website and you want a designer / developer to create it?

This post will explain what you may need to provide, in order to keep yourself and your designer happy.
As the title states ‘Research is paramount’. Which means that the more you provide the better understanding your designer will have about the design you would like.

One simple way of doing this is to find 3 similar websites to the one you want designing and taking note of what you do and do not like about them. Passing this on to your designer will give them a better understanding.

Another way is to simply sketch your design out on paper and scanning it in to your PC in order to email over to your designer.

As usual, The more you provide the better understanding.

Is it OK to ask the designer to research it themselves?

In my personal opinion, No!!!!! This is simply because in the eyes of a developer, time is money. Spending a lot of time researching a design on a client’s behalf not only leads to disappointment if you later choose not to work with them. Not to mention the time they have lost which could be used to win over other clients.

Another reason for my answer is simply because no designer has your brain. So no designer can in any way see what it is you are after by asking them to research. This means that you will more than likely not be happy with the finished result if you do not research the design first.

Thank you.
Kevin Hopwood

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Paid on results. Bad idea.

So lately i have been approached by a few clients asking me to provide them with a website.

I’m not talking about a standard 5 page website. The sites they have been asking for are lengthy and costley websites to produce. For example one client asked me to have a look at justeat.co.uk and asked how much it would be to copy it.

After agreeing a price to provide a website that is similar to just eat, the client agreed to the work. After sending a contract over, the client then stated that payment will only be made in full after the project is completed.

So in this blog post I want to explain the reason why that is a bad idea.

Time:
No matter how big or small any project can be, clients are buying my time and not the finished product. As me and many other web designers charge at an hourly rate it is not feasible to provide the website and then get paid. However, A part payment is acceptable.

Cost:
Like anybody, many of my clients require there website to be as cheap as possible. So one of the cheapest ways to do this will be to provide clients with a template and edit that template to fit the clients requirements. Which is why a part payment will be accepted before the project is started and the rest on completion.

Another factor also related to time and cost is to ensure that clients do not require more and more everytime the project is provided to them. In this case the cost provided to them will be for the work already carried out and any further work not agreed in the contract will require an additional cost.

Trust:
An upfront percentage is essentially a part of the contract. A part payment means that both myself and the client are happy with the work to be carried out. It is also a sort of security, which enables my diary to be booked for that client for the duration as agreed in the contract. Therefore, other clients can not book my time during this period.

Many web designers will also work with these terms and anybody wanting to provide payment once the job is done may find it difficult to land a decent web designer.

Any comments on this blog post are welcome. Please provide your comments below.

Thank you.

Kevin Hopwood
khwebdesign.co.uk

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what to consider when choosing a web host!

If you have your domain name (or not) and you are wanting to get a web host to host your new business idea, but are not sure about what to look for. Then this post should help.

I suppose the main bit of advise would be to consider what it is you need. Take a look at your business and take a note of the service below that your business can not do without.

Price
Now to most people, this is a most important. But do not be fooled. Some web hosts offer free hosting. But free is not always free. These services embed adverts on to your website in order to keep the service free. But in most cases these adverts can not be good. As they tend to promote what you are promoting. So picture this, you run an internet clothes shop. Then your advert on your site displays adverts from your competition, most likely at a cheaper price. This can not be good for your business.

But you do not need expensive ones. As most host companies charge for features that you will more than likely not use or need.

Emails
This has to be the most important thing to think about after the domain name itself.

When choosing a host, Make sure you are able to add more email address as and when you require. Expect to grow your business online and when that happens you are going to need more staff. Who intern will need a personal email address to reflect your website. If you are happy to buy the minimum allocated email addresses at the start, make sure you understand how to add more as you require. Also make sure you are aware of how much that would be.

Another factor to consider regarding email addresses is the allocated size of the storage. It might sound daft but having a limited inbox size can find itself getting full rather easily. So having this as unlimited is a piece of mind more than anything.

Web Space
As I was just saying regarding email space. The size of the web storage is paramount. If you just have a few pages on your website and are happy for that then you will be best having a small web space which will be rather cost affective to you. However, If you require an endless amount of pages and wish to become the next amazon, then having limited storage for your site will not be advised.

My tip for this will be to start small and buy extra as and when you need it.

Bandwidth
So, you have your website all set up and ready. You are going to advertise meaning that lots of eyes will be on your website. Your only restriction will be your bandwidth. Some hosts limit how many views you can get at any one time and most limit how many you are allowed in any week / month.

So when choosing a host. Make sure that it allows for a lot of traffic.

Technical support
Probably the most important factor to think of. If something goes wrong with your website, who you gonna call? (not the ghostbusters).

Make sure that your host has an up to date FAQ centre and a phone number along with a customer support email address is a must. Read the terms. As most web hosts reply to emails within 7 days.
This can only be a bad thing. If something goes wrong then you need it to be sorted out right away, as down time for your business could mean a loss of sales or even a bad reputation. So do not settle for responses less than 24 hours.

My Pick
Now I’m not going to start slating those big host companies. Everyone has separate needs which will make each host the right host for someone at least.

However. I have had experience with many web hosts and believe that the best experience I have received is from this host:
Krystal Web Hosting

Krystal are a UK-based host with many years experience. Their basic package provides 500MB or storage with 25GB of monthly bandwidth with 20 email addresses for £2.99 a month which is a perfect host for any starter and a great place to start expanding.

I have emailed Krystal a lot of times lately regarding small minor problems and the longest I have had to wait for a reply is 2 hours. Which is the fastest time out of all the hosts I have tried. Also the lovely staff give the best and honest advice and are willing to perform tasks for you if you are unsure.

With this said, I honestly believe that you will not be disappointed using Krystal.

Thank you for reading. Comment below with your opinion.

Thanks again:

Kevin Hopwood
www.khwebdesign.co.uk

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Which is better .com or .co.uk?

So you are thinking of creating a website? But you are still to buy the domain name. However, you are unsure about what domain extension (.com, .co.uk, .net, .au or other) you should buy.

I do not blame you. After all there are 280 top-level domains available according to ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). But that does not cover the less popular .GB or .UK. Hopefully I can help you by explaining what all this means.

Assuming you live in the UK like myself. The top 2 domain extensions are .com and .co.uk. It does not really matter which one (or both) you chose as essentially all domain extensions do the same thing. But .com is an abbreviation of the word commercial, which was originally only available to be registered by commercial organisations. This is why it is so popular worldwide as people nowadays are following the trend.

However despite what the name says, .co.uk does not limit a website to just the UK. In fact, it is the fourth most popular top-level domain worldwide (after .com, .de and .net). Other than the physical, there is only 1 main difference between the 2 extensions, the price.

Buying a .com would cost around £6-£26 for 1 year where as a .co.uk would cost around £3-£8 depending on if the one you want has be owned before and the website you buy it from. Many domain name suppliers have deals available to make it even cheaper to buy, so make sure you shop around first. One way to save you time and money is by using cybercompare.net. This compares the prices for you making it easier to choose.

REMEMBER: the cheapest is not always the best. Make sure you do your research on the company before you buy.

So what other domain extensions are available?

As there are over 280 available it will be hard to list them all but the most common extensions used in the UK are .com, .co.uk, .net, .info, .org.uk and .mobi.

The future of domain names!

Over 1,000 new domain extensions are coming to the internet soon! These are extensions that match the type of business you may have.

These include: .estate .photography .ventures .guru

A full list of these can be found HERE!, The price on these domains is not certain until release.

I hope this post has been useful.

Please comment down below letting me know what you think.

Thank you for reading

Kevin Hopwood
KH Web Design

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How Much Is A Website?

So you need a website, and you want to know how much one will set you back. So you find a web designer on the internet and cannot see a price list.

Rather than finding the designers contact details and asking how much a website is. Please read the following article to gain a better understanding as to why there is no price list listed.

Many web designers charge for the work that is required and how much it will take them to design.  So if you were to have a single page advertising your “one man band”, it will cost you a lot less than if you were to create a (facebook style) social network of multiple “one man bands”.

Also If you wanted your single “one man band” page to consist of nothing but text and images, your price will be cheaper than if you wanted the same “one man band” page to have nice looking but complicated features such as flash content which would take time to design. In the world of a web designer: “Time is money”.

On the flip side, if your website requires a theme to work around. This would cost you the price of the theme on top of the web design itself to make that theme look a lot more personalised and a lot less like a theme.

I know what you are thinking. Why are these prices related to the above not listed on the website for you to view. This could be for a number of reasons. One of the being that prices for web design work tends to change daily and therefore would make it difficult to maintain the price list page. Another reason would be the fact of competition. Like in many TV adverts where one major supermarket likes to brag about the fact that they are cheaper than there competition, it is the same reason that the price list may be available. Competition could essentially claim to be cheaper than the one you are visiting. A third reason could be that the web designer simply does not have a price list and prices the job up as and when you provide them with the information about the website that you would like to be built.

So to sum this all up:

When you need a website and have found a designer you would not mind working with. Do not ask them how much or what do they charge for a website. Try to explain what your website involves. Include what you believe your website should look like and also include how much money that you have available for this website to be built.

Thank you for reading

Kevin Hopwood

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