You want to build a website but you don't know where to start. Well you've come to the right place. If you don't mind a little reading, this page will help you take the next steps to having a beautiful spot on the web.
Above all other questions, by far the first and most common thing we are asked is "I need a website. How much will it cost?" This is a difficult question to answer immediately. We will try to explain it with a metaphor.
Buying a website is a lot like buying a house. It should be easy right? Go get a mortgage, put down an offer, sign some closing papers and voila, house. The reality is not so simple. If you went up to a realtor and said "I need a house. How much will it cost?" they will probably chuckle a little. The questions will inevitably hit fast and hard.
Perhaps most importantly, "What's your budget?"
Each of these questions will lead down a rabbit hole of specific details you want in a dream home. Sometimes you won't know the answers up front, sometimes you will. The more information you can provide the realtor, the more they will be able to help you find what you are looking for, and hopefully stay in budget. All these questions may be overwhelming, but they are necessary.
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Unfortunately, the same details must go into buying a website... eventually. Most web development businesses will ask you a ton of questions upfront so they can accurately quote you for a website. Luckily with FluxLogic Studios, we will work with you to answer the questions along the way. Start thinking about the answers to the following questions. It's fine if you don't know them all right away. (Click each to go into further detail)
One of the first aspects of a website to be determined is the theme. The colors, graphics, and fonts for a pizzeria will be different than a wedding phototrapher. FluxLogic's design experts can help you with this question.
This is one of the most crucial questions when building a website. What are the users there for? To read information? To order take-out? To submit a survey? This question drives the whole site. It determines placement of features and graphics. It usually determines the coding language necessary to build the site. And it is the best indicator of how much the site will cost. The answer will most likely evolve through the development process, but it's good to think early about the user flow.
The domain name is the address that will allow users to find your site (ex. www.google.com). The domain name should be simple, and be as close to the business name as possible. It will speed up the process dramatically if you know what domain name you want before reaching out to FluxLogic Studios.
Anybody can buy as many domain names as they want. Because of this, most of the intuitive domains are already taken. While most domains cost around $9.99 a year to own, if you are set on a specific one that is already owned, you may have to buy it off the current owner for hundreds or thousands of dollars. We can go back and forth with you until you find an available domain that you like, or you can check the availability on your own with sites like GoDaddy. Check Your Domain
Don't be discouraged if the .com extension is already taken. Other extensions like .biz and .org are becoming more common. Also, recently Google announced a list of domain extensions available for purchase. They are a little more expensive, but can add a lot of creativity to your site. Check Out Google Custom Domains
A FluxLogic design expert will always sit down with you to discuss this question before development starts. We can offer suggestions and common practices, but the included features are ultimately your decision. Do you want banner ads, a shopping cart, blogs, site search, videos, pictures, uploads, downloads, email services, or enhanced security? Our packages combine some common elements for websites, but most sites are customizable and you can add as many features as you like for additional fees.
A suprising amount of art goes into creating a website. If you don't want the site to look like a time capsule from the early 90's, then clipart usually won't make the right statement. FluxLogic Studios works with a variety of local graphic designers and photographers to provide the best graphics for your site. These services usually add to the cost of the site. If you already have your own photographs, videos, logos, textures, backgrounds, and fonts, it can save time and money.
The code documents, art content, and databases are all stored on a machine called a server. Hosting companies provide servers at very reasonable fees. Since FluxLogic Studios does not have it's own servers, we utilize third-party hosting companies for all the websites that we build. We will help you choose the best hosting service for your needs, but it helps to know some information before setting up an account with a hosting company.
How much traffic do you expect? Servers, just like all computers, have a limited amount of storage space. Your hosting bill will depend on how much hard drive space, RAM, and bandwidth you need. Having a rough estimate of the number of people visiting your site daily helps us estimate the size of server you will want. A small business website can usually get away with a small server, with a monthly bill of $5.00 - $40.00 a month. Larger sites with a lot of pages and users can cost anywhere from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars every month.
We developed packaged pricing as a way to eliminate a lot of the questions if you are just looking for a clean, simple website. If you don't have time to mess around with the more artistic nuances and very specific details of creating a website, these packages may be the right option for you. Keep in mind, that the prices of our packages are starting prices. People tend to change their minds about features and graphics as the project starts to come together. Do not feel limited by specs of a particular package.
The first step in a new website is to answer as many of the above questions as possible. This takes some research and brainstorming. FluxLogic Studios will walk through these questions with you if you need assistance. Contact us for a free consultation. As stated in the previous section, the more you know about your website upfront, the more quickly we will be able to put your ideas on screen.
FluxLogic Studios offers design, development, and testing services all in one. We adapt to changing ideas, and make buying a custom website easier than ever. If you choose us as your development company, we will negotiate contract terms, initial payments, and initial designs at this stage.
After the contract is finalized, and the initial designs completed, it's off to the races. FluxLogic Studios works quickly to build your project. At this stage the hosting services will be activated. Throughout this step, we will meet with you frequently to show progress, and to discuss any changes you would like to make. We've found it's easier to brainstorm changes when there's actually a website on the screen that you can interact with. During this step we will iteratively design, develop, and test your project. We like to develop lasting relationships with our customers. Inherent in this stage is a learning process for us both. We will learn about your business to try and improve the user experience of the project.
As the project winds down, our testers will make sure everything is up to par. We take pride in the quality of our products, and want to make sure your project is as free from errors as possible. At this stage, most people are anxious to get their projects online. We intentionally build in testing time to our contracts. Please allow for some patience during this process. We want to release the highest quality website, and we want your customers to have a positive memorable experience when visiting your site.
Your website is finally ready. FluxLogic Studios moves all the code to the server and launches your website. Generally this is where our contracts end. With your permission we will post links to your website on our page as a portfolio piece. (Why not? It's free advertising!) We will contact you to discuss maitenence if it's not already build into the contract.
We love to maintain websites, keeping them looking fresh and free from issues. Many of our clients choose to add some sort of support phase after their websites are completed. We highly reccomend this, as the support phase allows for any changes you think of after deployment and any changes your customers suggest while using the site. The best measurement of success for your site will be the reactions of the people using it.