Richard Gentle: “I work with individuals, small businesses, special interest groups, and other organisations, to produce high quality ‘informational’ websites.”
If you run a business, you really need to have a web presence for full credibility. A personal website reassures both your existing and potential clients or customers, that you are publicly established. It gives you the opportunity to market your business and provide basic information for people to contact you easily. A website can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be and you do not have to spend a lot of time maintaining it.
Note: If you are thinking about having your own website, please get in touch before you purchase domains or web space. If you have already registered a domain name, you will need to buy appropriate web hosting or be prepared to transfer your domain to recommended web hosting if necessary. My recommendation is to take a look at UK2.net in the first instance, since they offer plenty of options, reliability, and excellent free technical support – including a live instant message ‘chat’ facility.
- Think about the purpose of your website and what you expect it to achieve for you
- If you already have a facebook page, you still require your own stand-alone website
- Make sure you have content, images, and art work (e.g. logo) ready
- You may require some graphic design help with your website’s ‘look and feel’
- Do you plan to maintain your website alone, or will you require help?
- Don’t forget that you will need web hosting space in addition to a domain name
What you get from Richard
- Professional consultation
- Excellent communication at all times
- Total reliability
- Editorial help with content and basic proof-reading
- User Experience Design and Navigation
- Attention to detail
- Reasonable quotations
- Choice of pro-rata hourly rate, or fixed monthly payment, after main work completion
Not entirely sure what you want?
Having decided that you would like a website, you also have to decide what sort of a site you want – what is it going to say about you? What style and colours would work best? Here are a few things you can do:
- Look at sites offering similar content to the one you want to produce
- Keep the addresses of websites that capture your attention or imagination and make notes on which bits you like and don’t like – e.g. colours, design features, etc.
- Make a list of ‘what you want your website to do’ for you
Costs and initial consultation
In the past, I have offered a number of pricing options to balance customer requirements with their budgets. However, attempting to create a public price list for these variations only resulted in wordy confusion. Therefore, there are now 2 options, used as the starting guide for work undertaken.
All websites are built using WordPress. Your initial 30 minutes consultancy discussion, in person, is free at Richard’s home location or via an arranged phone call. Further time is charged at £20 per hour pro rata, but up to the first paid hour will be refunded by deduction from your final invoice, if you decide to proceed with a website.
Consultancy visits to your chosen location or premises – £50 for first hour plus 45p per mile 2-way car travel (for anything over the first 20 miles return from WF4) plus £35 per hour pro-rata for any subsequent time taken during the same visit. (Paid at the time or can be invoiced afterwards). £20 will be refunded by deduction from your final invoice, if you decide to proceed with a website.
See also, my consultancy page here.
A WordPress site, of up to 10 pages, for £650. This includes UK2.net Business Hosting and one .co.uk domain name.* (However, it is preferable if you are able to set up UK2 web hosting services yourself, via the links on gentle-enterprises, and then forward login details later).
In addition to setting up WordPress on your hosting server, this includes designing a top banner, the navigational structure of the website, and adding page content – text and images supplied by you, the client.
*£100 is charged up-front to cover the cost of web hosting with domain name purchase (which will be registered in your name) and gentle-enterprises’ time/administration. After this time, you [the client] will become responsible for on-going renewal of your UK2.net services (usually annually). You can check costs at UK2.net. You can also do a domain name search from their homepage. (Sometimes, when introductory Business Hosting is half price, you may get 2 years instead of 1 year, unless otherwise requested, when an adjustment to price may be possible).
Improving an existing WordPress site for which you already have administrative login access.
You may already have a website that just needs some additional creative, expert input. The charge for this is £35 per hour pro-rata for each of the first 2 hours and then £25 per hour pro rata after that. All activity is recorded on a time sheet.
Both options 1 and 2 above are based on websites with a maximum of 10 pages. Additional pages will be created or edited for £25 per page. (Additional named tabs and blank pages, can be created free for you to complete the content yourself).
Web hosting and domain names
If you wish to check on available domain names or the costs of web hosting, you can perform a search on UK2.net and/or check details of their business web hosting. Quite often, if you are a new customer, business web hosting is half price for your first year, or even first two years, if bought at the same time.
Special discount for timely completion (Option 1 websites)
If you are able to supply all of your text and images in a timely manner, enabling Richard to complete your basic website within 30 days of commencement of work, or you are willing to ‘sign-off’ the site by or before the 30 days, you will receive a discount of £50 deducted from your final invoice.
Once your website is ‘signed off’, you will have a choice of options for on-going website maintenance as detailed below.
On-going website maintenance
After completion, you have three options:
- Continue to manage the site yourself*
- Pay a pro rata rate when you would like Richard to make changes or up-dates
- Pay a monthly fee* by standing order for on-going maintenance and alterations
*This is only recommended if you feel confident to learn about WordPress. Richard will provide a teaching lesson based on his hourly WordPress lessons rate (see below).
*Monthly fees are negotiable, based on the estimated monthly work involved. Termination or renegotiation of payment arrangements can be made at any time without penalty, but should be discussed or notified in advance of any change being made.
There may be times, after completion of your website, when you wish to meet in person to discuss your site, possible changes, or future direction, etc. The following charges will apply:
Meeting at Richard’s house: £25 per hour pro-rata.
Meeting at your location: £35 per hour pro-rata (plus 45p per mile over a round trip distance of 20 miles).
WordPress Intensive Training
If you would like to learn about using WordPress yourself, whether it be setting up your own website or simply maintaining the one you’ve got, then Richard can provide lessons from £30 per hour.
Training at Richard’s house – £30 per hour pro-rata.
Training at your premises – £40 for first hour plus 45p per mile 2-way car travel (for anything over the first 20 miles return) and £30 per hour pro-rata for any subsequent time taken during the same visit. (Paid at the time or can be invoiced afterwards).
Your training will cover everything you need to get started, or take you on from whatever you already know. You will learn about ‘child themes’, and some essential [free] plugins that will protect and enhance your WordPress site and be given key tips and advice on organisation, navigation, and layout. In addition, you can learn how to create banner mast heads, add personal logos, manage your media images, and create slide shows, etc. We can also look at ‘Posts’ and ‘Comments’.
Depending on need, some more advanced information can be provided on basic php code editing – useful when you want to tweak the appearance or functionality of your chosen WordPress Theme. This will also include, ‘how to search for answers online’. You can also learn some of the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and start to understand the processes and requirements necessary for producing the right information and content for SEO.
If you require help with graphic design or artwork, such as a new logo or a top banner, costs start from £50.
Richard will carefully select a number of essential ‘plugins’ for your website which will help to keep it secure, back it up, and count visitors. Most plugins are free to use in their basic form, but additional functionality, if required, must be be paid for. A few of the many options available include:
- Contact forms (with captcha)
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- RSS Feeds
- Client portals
- Slide shows
- Audio or video players
Mobile devices access
If you require your website to be optimized for mobile devices, such as Smart Phones, then you will need to use either a WordPress Theme that is already optimized for mobile device access, or have an account on a third-party site – usually Duda Mobile. (The free version of Duda Mobile has a small top-banner advertising area, but this usually isn’t an issue for most clients). Although Duda Mobile may not have many reviews, I have found it to generally work well. You can create this account yourself or I can create it for you for £35 (my hourly rate). In addition to creating the mobile site for you, I will design a ‘load screen’ and icons that are used by iPhones to generate an App for your website. (You can see an example of this if you access this site [gentle-enterprises] from a mobile device.
A last word
Many years of experience is drawn upon when creating your website to a high standard. You’d perhaps be surprised at what has to happen behind the scenes before a website is considered of sufficient quality to be in the public domain. Everything from improving and resizing images to ensuring layout appearance stays exactly as it is intended to be. Appearance, typographic consistency, editorial sentence construction, grammar, spelling, typos, and usability, together with design and content of information, all has to be checked and rechecked several times – by both designer and client. Very often, the background code of a website has to be modified to better suit customer requirements – again, something that demands a high level of experience and continually developing knowledge.
Even as a website is being created, you [the client] will often change your mind – and this is expected. You often have to see something to appreciate it’s not exactly what you were thinking about, or that you get a new idea that will make something even better! The great thing about the Internet, is that you can see what is happening in real time and make amendments quickly.
Creating websites is a bit like redecorating a room in your home. You eventually make a start, go through a phase of stripping back the room – wonder why you ever started – and then gradually put things back as you want them. For a while it looks like a building site with dust and rubble that is never going to go away until suddenly, you paint the walls, lay a carpet, and re-fit the contents. It looks great! Now you feel it was all worthwhile.
“I want your website to be the best it can be for you – and the more content and feedback you can provide, the better.” – Richard Gentle