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What makes a website "professional"?

Question

BinaryData    777

Hey Neowinians,

 

I've been searching for a good German Shepherd breeder that's local, someone that isn't 4 - 6 hours away. I stumbled upon their website, which looks like a 3rd grader got a hold of a camera. I've been emailing them back and forth for a bit now. The topic of their website came up, and I was honest about it. I've been out of the web designing game for quite some time, and they asked me what it would cost to get a "professional" site. Seeing as I'm going to be purchasing a puppy from them within the next 2 - 3 months, I figured it would be in my best interest to help them out, either by building it for them or finding someone who won't charge them $10,000 for a website. It's a mom and pop business, they live about 30 minutes or less from my house.

 

So, my questions are...

 

#1 What is the average price for a "professional Small/Medium Business" website.

#2 What kinds of things do I need to be aware of while designing?

#3 What's acceptable and what isn't?

#4 How should forms be done? (I know PHP is frowned upon, jQuery?)

 

I get nothing out of it but a reputation boost and a potential "client".

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game_over    801

Use their brief and work out how long you expect it to take then send an estimate.. there is no average price. I've found the cost of web design is coming down due to competition, it's a saturated market and no longer a specialist area, particularly with small/medium businesses. Lots of development companies are using purchased WordPress themes and giving them a quick re-skin/colour change to help keep costs down, I reached out to developers about this and apparently it's a common, accepted practice.

 

PHP frowned up on? What is this madness you speak of? PHP has transformed into an amazing language.. plus, you need some sort of server side language to be able to process forms... For a better experience you would use jQuery for presentation side of things, validation, send ajax request, then PHP would do the technical stuff. jQuery on it's own is not able to process a form.

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BinaryData    777
14 minutes ago, game_over said:

Use their brief and work out how long you expect it to take then send an estimate.. there is no average price. I've found the cost of web design is coming down due to competition, it's a saturated market and no longer a specialist area, particularly with small/medium businesses. Lots of development companies are using purchased WordPress themes and giving them a quick re-skin/colour change to help keep costs down, I reached out to developers about this and apparently it's a common, accepted practice.

 

PHP frowned up on? What is this madness you speak of? PHP has transformed into an amazing language.. plus, you need some sort of server side language to be able to process forms... For a better experience you would use jQuery for presentation side of things, validation, send ajax request, then PHP would do the technical stuff. jQuery on it's own is not able to process a form.

Someones lied to me about PHP then, I was told that PHP is a dying language and it shouldn't be used because of all the vulnerabilities it has. I hate WordPress, but it could be a cheaper option for them. It needs to be manageable by non-web programmers, which I find is the hardest part.

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adrynalyne    12,286
10 minutes ago, BinaryData said:

Someones lied to me about PHP then, I was told that PHP is a dying language and it shouldn't be used because of all the vulnerabilities it has. I hate WordPress, but it could be a cheaper option for them. It needs to be manageable by non-web programmers, which I find is the hardest part.

Wordpress should be frowned upon for security issues rather than php as a language. 

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adrynalyne    12,286
30 minutes ago, game_over said:

Use their brief and work out how long you expect it to take then send an estimate.. there is no average price. I've found the cost of web design is coming down due to competition, it's a saturated market and no longer a specialist area, particularly with small/medium businesses. Lots of development companies are using purchased WordPress themes and giving them a quick re-skin/colour change to help keep costs down, I reached out to developers about this and apparently it's a common, accepted practice.

 

PHP frowned up on? What is this madness you speak of? PHP has transformed into an amazing language.. plus, you need some sort of server side language to be able to process forms... For a better experience you would use jQuery for presentation side of things, validation, send ajax request, then PHP would do the technical stuff. jQuery on it's own is not able to process a form.

Meh. Use vanilla JS for an even better experience. 

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BinaryData    777

I'll keep that in mind, @adrynalyne. While I'm working on my BSIT, I'm trying to work on other skills as well. I figure having a firm grasp of web languages would be a good branch to expand on.

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Michael Scrip    411
28 minutes ago, adrynalyne said:

Wordpress should be frowned upon for security issues rather than php as a language. 

Yep... it's a challenge to keep Wordpress relatively safe.  I have a long checklist of security things I must do when I setup a new WP site.  But I still enjoy using it.  And apparently other people do too.

 

Wordpress powers 25% of the world's websites... and is 58% of all CMS installs.

 

The next on the list... and much further down that list... is Joomla with 2.8% overall and 6.6% of CMS installs.  Then Drupal with 2.1% overall and 5% of CMS installs.

 

Many of the things for "hardening" Wordpress are only done once upon setup though.  Don't use "admin" as a username... have strong passwords and maybe 2 Factor Auth... change core WP file permissions... etc.  Then be sure to keep Wordpress updated (which can now happen automatically) and remove unused plugins and themes... etc.

 

But I'd still rather use Wordpress with all the geeky things I must do... instead of a solution like SquareSpace or any of the other "website builders"

 

And I'll never go back to building static sites... :) 

 

.

Edited by Michael Scrip

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adrynalyne    12,286
19 minutes ago, BinaryData said:

I'll keep that in mind, @adrynalyne. While I'm working on my BSIT, I'm trying to work on other skills as well. I figure having a firm grasp of web languages would be a good branch to expand on.

UOP?

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BinaryData    777
16 minutes ago, Michael Scrip said:

Yep... it's a challenge to keep Wordpress relatively safe.  I have a long checklist of security things I must do when I setup a new WP site.  But I still enjoy using it.  And apparently other people do too.

 

Wordpress powers 25% of the world's websites... and is 58% of all CMS installs.

 

The next on the list... and much further down that list... is Joomla with 2.8% overall and 6.6% of CMS installs.  Then Drupal with 2.1% overall and 5% of CMS installs.

 

Many of the things for "hardening" Wordpress are only done once upon setup though.  Don't use "admin" as a username... have strong passwords and maybe 2 Factor Auth... change core WP file permissions... etc.  Then be sure to keep Wordpress updated (which can now happen automatically) and remove unused plugins and themes... etc.

 

But I'd still rather use Wordpress with all the geeky things I must do... instead of a solution like SquareSpace or any of the other "website builders"

 

And I'll never go back to building static sites... :) 

 

.

The problem I find is, I don't know enough about wordpress to be successful with it. Simple static pages for a site like this would probably be best, the only issue is finding a way for customers to add new photos and be secure.

1 minute ago, adrynalyne said:

UOP?

UOP?

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adrynalyne    12,286
5 minutes ago, BinaryData said:

The problem I find is, I don't know enough about wordpress to be successful with it. Simple static pages for a site like this would probably be best, the only issue is finding a way for customers to add new photos and be secure.

UOP?

Where are you getting the BSIT from?

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Michael Scrip    411
5 minutes ago, BinaryData said:

The problem I find is, I don't know enough about wordpress to be successful with it. Simple static pages for a site like this would probably be best, the only issue is finding a way for customers to add new photos and be secure.

Ah yeah.... I was just speaking for myself while replying to adrynalyne about Wordpress security.  I build and maintain websites for clients... and have been using Wordpress since 2008.  

 

If you don't want to use Wordpress as a platform... you can find many HTML templates that will work on static sites.  At least that will be a starting point if you don't want to design completely from scratch. If you're comfortable editing HTML and CSS files... you can make a good-looking static site.

 

I just got away from static sites because I like the management capabilities of a CMS (content management system) like Wordpress.

 

Good luck! :) 

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pqt    275

@BinaryData

 

Really depends on what they need. Problem with the web industry is that if you ask for the exact same thing from 10 different places, you'll get 10 completely different quotes.

 

$1,000 is a fair price to start with in some cases but REALLY depends on what they need.

 

https://www.awesomeweb.com/blog/make-website-awesome Use this list for example.

 

This is the best possible outcome for a website, for a completely polished site I'd charge $10,000 which would grill down to ~$100 per point. Seems a bit steep for some of them, but more than fair for others (logo alone could cost $300+ for various file formats).

 

This still doesn't answer your question though of what's a fair price.

 

If they just want something nice, not too extravagant and easy to use, I'd recommend Grav.

 

WordPress is starting to be more widely viewed as bloatware and remains most prominent in site mill companies (alongside drupal), it would be absolutely overkill for a site like you've explained.

 

The problem is not with WordPress itself, it's with the plugins added to the wordpress sites that cause vulnerabilities. Some are hacked together or made by inexperienced developers that know very little (or nothing) about web security.

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Raa    1,563

No @Hotmail addresses!

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+InsaneNutter    1,353
7 minutes ago, Raa said:

No @Hotmail addresses!

I never understand that, i've seen loads of small businesses with a nice website (on their own domain), then the company is using an @hotmail.com email address.

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BinaryData    777
37 minutes ago, adrynalyne said:

Where are you getting the BSIT from?

Western Governor's University.

28 minutes ago, Michael Scrip said:

Ah yeah.... I was just speaking for myself while replying to adrynalyne about Wordpress security.  I build and maintain websites for clients... and have been using Wordpress since 2008.  

 

If you don't want to use Wordpress as a platform... you can find many HTML templates that will work on static sites.  At least that will be a starting point if you don't want to design completely from scratch. If you're comfortable editing HTML and CSS files... you can make a good-looking static site.

 

I just got away from static sites because I like the management capabilities of a CMS (content management system) like Wordpress.

 

Good luck! :) 

I was thinking of doing their Contact us Form in PHP, with visual upgrade from jQuery.

18 minutes ago, Raa said:

No @Hotmail addresses!

Eh, I never got this. However, I wouldn't use Hotmail, Google or from their domain.

11 minutes ago, InsaneNutter said:

I never understand that, i've seen loads of small businesses with a nice website (on their own domain), then the company is using an @hotmail.com email address.

So have I, but Hotmail is being merged with Live. I find anything that isn't from a well known domain, or hosted by you, to be a bit sketch. If it's coming from gmail.com, I know it's more safe than if it was at some.random.web.site.com.

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game_over    801
9 hours ago, adrynalyne said:

Meh. Use vanilla JS for an even better experience. 

Sorry I meant user experience, vanilla JS or jQuery makes no difference to that.

 

10 hours ago, BinaryData said:

Someones lied to me about PHP then, I was told that PHP is a dying language and it shouldn't be used because of all the vulnerabilities it has. I hate WordPress, but it could be a cheaper option for them. It needs to be manageable by non-web programmers, which I find is the hardest part.

PHP is definitely not dying, the community is buzzing at the minute, it's the best it has ever been. If it needs to be manageable by non web developers then WordPress is a good shout, I hate WP as well, but it's a necessary evil and is by far the most user friendly, I give WP to all clients who want to update their own websites.. There are other CMS but non of them work quite as well as WP for the client.

 

9 hours ago, BinaryData said:

The problem I find is, I don't know enough about wordpress to be successful with it. Simple static pages for a site like this would probably be best, the only issue is finding a way for customers to add new photos and be secure.

UOP?

Static pages are useless if you want things like photo galleries.. sounds to me like WP is the best option for you, with them being a small business they'll want to keep costs down.. WordPress is relatively safe as long as you keep it up to date. Every time a clients site gets hacked WP is the cause, but not the fault.. the fault is the client not keeping their plugins updated.

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T3X4S    4,532

I dont know the first thing about designing a website, but I have been part of discussions with marketing people in deciding how one would look for some of my family's companies.

I have always been a fan of "less is more" - or elegant simplicity

 

I dont know if what language is used determines overall aesthetics, but I do know simply knowing the code is only part of the creation process - you have to be an artist as well.

Its easy to copy an overall theme from a prominent breeder, and since they are small time - it would probably go unnoticed.  

Do they breed for personal security or police dogs or military ?  I know a military trained German Shepherd can go for $50,000

 

Possibly using that as an aspect might help in deciding.

 

I think you have to get a feel for what type of image the customer would like.  

For instance, you could copy a theme from some lux site like Louis Vuitton or Kiton, but if they aren't wanting/expecting that - it wont go over well 


But Im sure you already know all of this - so I probably just wasted your time :/


Here are some local - 1 of them is the breeder/trainer that sells the $50,000 germans 

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The Evil Overlord    18,441

I don't know why there's such an exception for an @ Hotmail.com email address, my business uses one, and I have no trouble with it

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+DonC    620
20 minutes ago, Aheer.R.S. said:

I don't know why there's such an exception for an @ Hotmail.com email address, my business uses one, and I have no trouble with it

It's just prejudice really. I usually ask in return if a "@gmail.com" address is any better and then get them to explain why.

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The Evil Overlord    18,441
10 minutes ago, DonC said:

It's just prejudice really. I usually ask in return if a "@gmail.com" address is any better and then get them to explain why.

I just use it as any correspondence via our site gets routed to our business hotmail address, and we can use wlm as opposed to outlook to check on things

(edit I=we, my=our)

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T3X4S    4,532

Personally - if I see a company is just using a freebie email account - it screams cheapskates or "shady" - a custom domain w/ email is dirt cheap - heck I have one just because I wanted a unique email address - its like $9.00 a year thru GoDaddy

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adrynalyne    12,286
7 hours ago, game_over said:

Sorry I meant user experience, vanilla JS or jQuery makes no difference to that.

 

PHP is definitely not dying, the community is buzzing at the minute, it's the best it has ever been. If it needs to be manageable by non web developers then WordPress is a good shout, I hate WP as well, but it's a necessary evil and is by far the most user friendly, I give WP to all clients who want to update their own websites.. There are other CMS but non of them work quite as well as WP for the client.

 

Static pages are useless if you want things like photo galleries.. sounds to me like WP is the best option for you, with them being a small business they'll want to keep costs down.. WordPress is relatively safe as long as you keep it up to date. Every time a clients site gets hacked WP is the cause, but not the fault.. the fault is the client not keeping their plugins updated.

Incorrect. Any JS heavy site will perform better with vanilla due to less overhead. For older machines that is more noticeable. 

 

I I meant user experience too. 

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TAZMINATOR    12,416
6 hours ago, Aheer.R.S. said:

I don't know why there's such an exception for an @ Hotmail.com email address, my business uses one, and I have no trouble with it

Right.   You can use hotmail via business website if you want.   Not a problem.  It's a preference.

 

That way, you wouldn't worry about downtimes at same time with the website.

 

Most sites use social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, etc for alternative contact system these days in case the website goes down. I have seen these everywhere.

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adrynalyne    12,286
11 minutes ago, TAZMINATOR said:

Right.   You can use hotmail via business website if you want.   Not a problem.  It's a preference.

 

That way, you wouldn't worry about downtimes at same time with the website.

 

Most sites use social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, etc for alternative contact system these days in case the website goes down. I have seen these everywhere.

Unless you are using a budget/shady web host, it shouldn't matter if the website goes down in regards to email. The website is a completely separate system from email, using a different IP, different ports, different server-side tech. I migrate sites all the time without ever touching a client's mx records.

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The Evil Overlord    18,441
13 minutes ago, adrynalyne said:

Unless you are using a budget/shady web host, it shouldn't matter if the website goes down in regards to email. The website is a completely separate system from email, using a different IP, different ports, different server-side tech. I migrate sites all the time without ever touching a client's mx records.

And @TAZMINATOR

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