I’ve always got axes to grind, and my latest of many is the absolute racketeering that goes on in the web design industry.

And it is racketeering, trust me.

There’s skills involved yes and they take time to build yes. They can be a nightmare with glitches. Rogue plugins can mess up a site. But, having launched 27 now, in 3 months, since going solo, let me put the record straight so you’re not being charged ludicrous money for web design – and before people come at me with the price of adding value, wind your necks in – the hard work comes after the web launch, adding content, sharing it and being prolific on social media.

This is how a website is built on WordPress by the majority of web designers, including me.

Some will charge £1000 upwards to get you online, others more, little old me £250 for a responsive website.

Domain name – everywhere sells them. Buy one for a year or more and make a note of the login details, so a web designer can point nameservers at it. I can buy you one if you want me to.

Hosting – don’t bloody buy it. It costs anything from £8 a month and most web designers have reseller hosting, where they’ve paid a fair old amount for a year of unlimited hosting. Some will charge you – I don’t though for a year. Then it’s £30 in total for year 2. Don’t be conned!

Install WordPress from the hosting cpanel. This used to flummox me but now I can do it with one eye closed and a leg around my neck. It then comes up (after propagation) with that standard poxy cactus image saying My Blog.

Put it on Coming Soon. There’s free plugins for this that can display your contact details and announce the site is imminent or under maintenance – so don’t pay for this privilege! Some web designers charge for this.

Install a premium theme. There’s zillions of these and any web designer who tells you his or hers are all bespoke is being economical with the truth. I started off paying for Salient, moved to Avada, and now I am hooked on Generate Press, and GP Premium with Elementor Pro, as paid for plugins.

Create the pages – add new – publish – go to appearance – menus – add pages to menu – publish. It really is that simple.

Some web designers will charge you £200 upwards to get you to that point.

Just say no. 

Begin the design. By this I mean put in elements that you want – icon lists, flip boxes, sliders, call to action buttons, headers, footers and then the real hard part tell that Lorem Ipsum to get lost.

That’s the biggest challenge – crafting the content. The design, trust me, is much easier. I do that adding content for web designers too, cos I is a copywriter by trade.

Once the home page is done and you’ve set it as home in the Customise, you can then begin on About, Gallery, Products, Contact.

Once all the pages are built, you have to adjust font and image sizes for tablet and smartphone, back it all up and toggle maintenance mode off.

A word of warning – the above has described a brochure website. Shops with payment are a different kettle of fish and can induce trauma with their complexity. I make them –  but only at gunpoint, with my San Pellegrino held hostage.

The costs?

£250 to £300 for a 2 page website that can have 700 words of information and more. Free hosting and back ups. Me on call at any time to fix niggles.

£500 for a 6 page website with more bells and whistles. Same service levels as the £250 one.

A grand for Ecommerce – I was charging £750 but realised this was minimum wage pay for the job in hand – so I’ve increased it.

Now, I’m not trying to be controversial.

I do realise that working from home without commuting costs, staff and office overheads, means you’re only paying for my time. My hourly rate is reasonable and unlike so many web designers I don’t ride a horse and wear a mask.

Cheap does not mean nasty, cheap does not mean it won’t last. My company name goes on every website footer and I don’t want to blush at the work I’ve produced.

I’m proud of what I do.

I’m good at it too.

But I won’t rip anyone off. 

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