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frequently asked questions.

what are templates?

Templates are pre-written designs for websites which are then modified to include customer specific information and graphics. Because much of the groundwork has been completed, the amount of work required to develop a website is reduced.

There are hundreds of template designs to choose from, provided by designers across the world. Some are free, and some require payment of a relatively small fee.

The advantage of template-based designs are strong design principles, speed of development, and overall cost. The disadvantages are that you are limited to the choice of pre-written templates and the end-result tends to have a generic appearance, lacking the individuality that some customers require.

what are hand-coded websites or web applications?

Hand-coded websites and web applications are created from the beginning. Where developing a template-based solution essentially involves completing the work of the template designer, shaping the final result to suit the customer, a hand-coded product is completely written from scratch based on the customer's requirements. A hand-coded website or web application will be developed using core web technologies, such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, Bootstrap and jQuery.

Often the design has been prepared earlier by a web designer, so my job is to turn that design into a real web-based solution and add in any particular functionality or behaviour that the designer has specified. If you don't have a design, we can work together to develop the look and feel that you need. While I'm not a professional web designer, I do have a lot of experience of putting sites together, so I can deliver a good looking and easy-to-use product. However, a specialist web designer should produce a more creative design with greater individuality.

I need small changes or fixes to my website. Can you help?

Lots of web developers don't want to take on jobs that involve small changes or fixes to websites that they did not create. This is due to practical concerns. It takes time to understand how a particular website or web application has been developed, and it takes time to complete the administration side of working with a new customer. The developer is faced with a choice of charging a lot for a relatively small job, which can damage any future relationship with the new customer, or of taking on the work and earning less compared to the rewards available from working on large jobs or for established customers.

I take a different approach. I appreciate how frustrating it can be to try to find a specialist to undertake a small job. I view this as an opportunity to demonstrate my skills and professionalism in the hope that if you have a larger job in the future, you will consider asking me to complete it for you. While, of course, I have to be careful to balance smaller jobs with larger projects, I do keep a number of hours free for this kind of work, so please get in touch to see how I can help you.

what are low-cost websites?

Developing a low-cost, freely hosted website using services such as Weebly or Wix can be an economical and rapid way for charities, community groups and micro-businesses to establish a web presence. These companies provide simple tools to quickly create a website. Many will also host your website at no charge and may even provide a reasonably simple free web address for you to use.

The disadvantage of these sites, particularly for businesses, is that the designs available tend to be very generic and their business model is based upon charging for additional features or earning their income by putting paid advertising on your website. You also are limited by the control you have over your website. If the provider goes out of business, or if their systems regularly experience problems, you may have to start again from the beginning if you decide to move to a different provider, and you may have to change to a new web address.

Once you move to their paid options, to gain additional functionality or remove advertising, the benefits of taking this path rapidly diminish. Over a number of years, a hand-coded or template-based solution may prove to be far more cost effective.

how much will it cost?

There are a lot of variables involved in pricing work, and encountering unexpected problems when implementing a new system is not uncommon. Whether there is an existing design, the level of complexity, who is providing web-hosting, and the amount of material (templates, web content, images etc...) that the customer can provide all have an impact on the time required. This means that many web developers are uncomfortable with quoting a fixed-price fee and so prefer to charge at an hourly rate.

I understand how frustrating this can be, particularly when you're just trying to get an idea of the magnitude of the costs involved. Will it be tens, hundreds or thousands of pounds to complete the work you require? It's difficult to move forward without at least some idea of what level of cost may be involved.

I offer hourly rates or fixed-price solutions, depending on the nature of the job. While every job is different, here are some example figures (all prices quoted in GBP). The costs quoted do not include costs for hosting the website, providing a domain-name, template purchase costs, or SSL certificates (required for secure site connections). If you want a precise quote, please get in touch.

hand-coded websites and web applications.

My rate for costing a project is £25 per hour. A typical one to three page static website would cost in the range of £200 - £400. A more complex design with application functionality might start in the range of £500 - £1000.

template-based solutions.

A typical one to three page template-based site would cost in the range of £150 - £300. A complex design with additional functionality provided through pre-developed plug-ins might cost in the range of £400 - £800.

bespoke web content.

If you would like me to edit or completely write the text for your website, that's not a problem. I'm experienced with both copywriting and technical writing, and I have written bespoke web content and documentation for many businesses. A typical price for this service would be £75 per page based on two-hundred and fifty to three-hundred words per page of original content.

low-cost websites.

To build a typical one to three page solution using a service such as Weebly or Wix would cost in the region of £100 to £200. I offer a 25% discount for registered charities and community groups taking this option.

making small changes or fixing problems.

My rate for small changes and fixes is £25 per hour, billed in units of fifteen minutes - with a minimum chargeable time of one hour.

legal matters.

All work agreed is governed solely by the law of England and Wales, and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

where do you work?

I work from my family home in Malmesbury in Wiltshire, close to the M4 motorway between Swindon and Bristol. I can visit customer sites within a two-hour drive from my home. This includes London, Birmingham, Bristol, Swindon, Cardiff, Exeter, Gloucester, Oxford, Reading, Newbury, Basingstoke, Portsmouth and Southampton.

While working I can communicate with you remotely using your preferred options - including Skype, Google Meet/Hangouts, WhatsApp, Email, and Telephone. If you wish to use another technology - please get in touch so we can discuss it further.

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