Where do I start?
Is this to be your first website?
If you are just thinking of starting out with an internet site there are many aspects of which you will almost inevitably be unaware. Before even contemplating the design and details of the website itself, you need to decide if this is indeed the right step to take, and to do this you need professional advice.
We are very happy to talk to you about all matters relating to websites, and we are pleased to share our experience. We would only wish to start a website contract with you once we have all established that it is a viable project, that it is the right step for you to take, and that the prospects of success are realistic.
We do not charge for initial consulation, so why not contact us and let us try to help you. We like to think that you will judge us on our attitude and our performance, so get in touch and let us try to answer your questions.
Are you wishing to improve a site which is not working well for you?
Helios can provide some very advanced website features, and we can move forward from an existing site to refine, innovate, and improve. Once again, we would need to talk to you to establish your requirements, and we like to think that you may well be pleasantly surprised at how affordably we can provide advanced active website features generally regarded as only available to very large and financially powerful organisations. Create your own dream website in your mind's eye and then ask us if we can create it for you - at a realistic price too!
Do you really appreciate what is involved, and do you really need a website?
Many people do not appreciate the commitment, energy, and application required to trade successfully on the internet - there is a common tendency to think that a website will automatically generate income of its own accord. We like to think that we give realistic advice, even if it ends up with your changing your mind about having a website!
Do think carefully and become appraised of all the factors involved. Talk to more than one web developer (hopefully including Helios) and then make your decision about getting started with a new website with the confidence that you do at least know some of the key factors which will contribute to success.
How much will it cost?
Price, Performance, and "No Hidden Extras"!
You get what you pay for - this is an obvious truth, and high quality is never the very cheapest in terms of the "obvious and immediate" price tag. Having said that, often a slightly more expensive but sound purchase will pay dividends in the future, and work out cheaper in the long run. It is also true that the most expensive is not always the best, so deciding on what is the best solution for you, at the right price, can be very difficult for the inexperienced.
There are two pricing/payment strategies which can be applied to website costing.
One way is that you pay for a site to be "designed and coded" and then pay in further installments each time the site requires updates or revision. This is a somewhat old-fashioned way of proceeding, and there are many reasons why, for most businesses, this is not the best solution.
A second way is to regard the website as a package or service (a little like an insurance policy) whereby you pay a fixed amount per year, for the life of the site, on a yearly review basis. In this case the site is assessed in terms of its functionality and features, and then a price is agreed which is flexible in the sense that reasonable enhancement and upgrades for the ongoing year are included in the price. In this way the site owner is able to have a guaranteed budget, a good upgrade path, and no worries over limitations, hidden charges, or unpredictable extra fees.
We prefer to operate on this latter basis (although we are prepared to apply the former in cases where it is appropriate), and this produces a good and confident relationship between site owner and the developer, especially as the site owner gains in assurance that all the enhancements and improvements which are so necessary to evolve a website are covered by the one agreed fee. This allows everyone to feel free and able to be constructive and creative, without worrying over costs.
The important thing to establish is that there are no hidden extras which only become apparent after you have started the project. This is so often the case, and we recommend that you become full aware of exactly the policy of any web developer in this respect. Helios operates a "no hidden extras" policy whereby we guarantee that your site will be fully maintained, and have a significant upgrade path, all within one single agreed fee.
What will it actually cost?
This is a difficult but vital question, and is obviously going to depend on site features and size, but unlike many web developers who refuse to specify prices we are prepared to give you a general idea of a starting budget. In doing this we have to be very generalised, since websites vary so much, but at least you will be able to assess to some extent the affordability of your prospective project. Bear in mind that many professional web developers charge very much more, but are often unwilling to quote any price whatever until you have made various commitments of time, and sometimes charge preliminary consultation fees.
Please note that the figures quoted below are, in accordance with our above stated policy, "no hidden extras" estimates which include the cost of hosting, design, and maintenance for one year.
We consider a minimum budget for a commercial website with some kind of selling or e-commerce facility to be in the region of £500-£750 per annum. Of course you may want a very simple "flat page" site which never changes and never needs ongoing management: in this case the site may cost as little as £200 per annum.
If you want a reasonably extensive e-commerce shop with content management and a database with site-owner management facilities the cost is likely to be £1500-£2000 per annum or more.
The above are just generalised figures, but they do at least give you an idea of the level of costs involved. If you would like to contact us and discuss your particular requirements we can give you a closer idea of the cost of realising your particular internet ambition.
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