Website Design and Development
There's two ways to get a website developed - pay, or design it yourself. If you've chosen the latter, you'll need several things. First, you'll need web hosting. Web hosting can range from $2 to $200 per month, depending on your needs. Consult a web hosting review site for more information. Next, you'll have to have some background in computing or internet programming.
You'll need to know at least HTML. Thirdly, you'll have to have a way to upload your files. Some hosts have online uploads, others require FTP. Today's web design encompasses many different technologies that must blend seamlessly to allow for the best combination of form and function in a site. If you've decided to design your first website, it can be a daunting task.
Rather, most professionals suggest finding a low-cost alternative. Many web developers have a forte - either design or programming. Finding a well-rounded website design firm or individual is difficult, but the business' portfolio is the best indication. In order to be certain of the firm's abilities, further scrutinizing is imperative. The firm has a nice looking site that flows well and has an aesthetic appeal, a great testament to their abilities. But does this eye for the creative flow through its clients' sites, too? It's importance to be certain of this question. Browsing through the portfolio alone often isn't enough. Get feedback from the clients if possible (with the firm's approval). Are they satisfied? Do they feel that the firm was easy to work with? And moreover, is there site an adequate representation of what they wanted? Once you've found a firm that you feel is worthwhile, it's time to ask for a quote. Hopefully, the firm has a questionnaire that you can easily fill out.
These surveys will ask questions about how many pages your site will have, whether writing is necessary, and if there is any extra functionality. You probably already have a budget in mind, but it's better for a company to tell you what they think the work is worth. They know how many hours of work are involved, and will (hopefully) break down the price for you to let you know exactly what you're paying for. Web design can range from $5 to $100 per hour, and many web designers have a forte that they will charge more for. Sometimes, it's even necessary to work with multiple firms to get the best deal. Today's trend is outsourcing. Many Indian and other overseas programmers and designers are willing to work for exponentially less than American web designers. This trend has its pros and cons. While the money saved is beneficial, the overseas designers rarely speak fluent English. Communication is an imperative part of web design, and often projects can go awry without it.
Obviously, you have a difficult design ahead of you. With all the great web design firms out there, sometimes cost does equal quality. Make a decision, get a second opinion, and always be thorough in your explanation of what you're looking for.