What you need to know before getting a website

Being a web design company, we work with very small companies right up to large organisations. Whenever we start a web design project, the knowledge our clients have on websites varies greatly.


Web design can be confusing. It can be full of jargon and complicated terms that are just not accessible to people who haven't trained in web design. We get a lot of questions when clients first approach us about a new website. And because of this, I thought I'd write a blog post on the most common questions we are asked to help anyone before they embark on a new website project.

1. What website should I have? 

First off, some people may not know that there are different types of websites that you can have. The choice of which website is best for you will depend on your business, your target audience, what you want your website to do and how you are planning to use it. Below is details on the different types of websites but we can also advise you based on your requirements.

Different types of websites:

Standard Websites: These are your average websites. The difference between a standard website and the other websites is that you can't personally amend or change anything on it once it is complete. If you want another page adding or any other updates we will have to do this for you at an extra cost. Due to this, standard websites work best on websites for clubs/ small organisations, event sites or any other website where the content is likely to stay the same.

Content Managed Websites: These are the most common websites we offer. A content managed website allows you to update, change and add content to your website. Unlike with a standard website, you fully control what goes on in your website. When your business evolves so will your website. So you can add a page for new products, update a 'meet the team' page when someone new starts, write blog posts to your site or anything you like! Basically, if you want anything new onto your site, you can do this yourself with a content managed website.

With these sites, we create a content managed system (or CMS) for you to use. A content managed system is the back end to your website. It is a computer application that lets you publish, edit and modify content for your website. It also lets you organize, delete things and maintain your site. A CMS looks like the image below...

E-commerce Websites: An E-commerce website is also a content managed website so you can do all the things I have just stated above. The unique feature of an e-commerce website is that it allows you to sell your products and services online. With full payment facilities, you can manage all your products and prices yourself. Having an e-commerce site lets you have an online business that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year as people can buy your products even when you're not working!

An example of an E-commerce site, is this one we did for Savon Claire:  


2. What is responsive design?

You may or may not have heard this term before. Even if you haven't heard it previously, it is important to know what it means before you decide what website you want.

Responsive design or mobile friendly design, is an approach of web design where the designer creates sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience across a wide range of devices from desktop computers to mobile phones and tablets. Essentially, if your website is responsive, it will work well and look great on all devices and screen sizes. 

We offer responsive website design as an additional feature to our websites. More and more users are accessing the internet through their phone or tablet. Internet use on mobile devices is quickly overtaking desktop usage, meaning that the majority of your audience will probably be accessing your website from a mobile device. Due to this, responsive design is definitely something you should consider before having a new website. If you want to read a bit more about responsive website design check out our blog on it here

3. How much does it cost?

With website design, you really get what you pay for. If you are only willing to pay very little, you will get a low quality website that looks cheap and will do the opposite of what you want it to do; It will probably turn people off of your business. The design and functionality of your website matters. 48% of people cited a website's design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business (Iron Paper).

In terms of our pricing, the cost of a website varies based on the complexity, number of pages, functionality and how many revisions are required. This is simply because websites take time and a lot of skill. For example, the more features that you want and the more pages you want your site to have, the more your site will cost. If you provide us with your brief and requirements, we can give you an estimated quote.

4. How long does it take?

Despite what you see on Hollywood films, where a hacker is able to break into the FBI's network in seconds, this is not how website design and technology really works. I touched on this briefly above but websites take a lot of time, skill and effort. 

Like with the cost of a website, the time it will take also depends on the complexity of your website. In the consultation phase of the project, we give you a proposed timeline based on your website brief and requirements.

In terms of time, the more information a client supplies at the start of the project and the more accurate the information we are given, the quicker the website can be completed. 

5. How do I get started?

Let us know your brief and we can give you an estimate of cost and timescale to fit your requirements. We then ask you to complete a more detailed web design brief to ensure the project fits your exact specification. 

6. What is the web design process like?

First of all, you will need to contact us with your requirements so we can give you an estimate of cost and timescale for your website.

After this initial conversation, we will ask you to fill out a detailed web design brief which lets us know who you are, what website you want, the features you want your website to have and what you are planning to do with it. From this, we will write you a proposal, outlining exactly what we will do for you, the timescale and cost.

Once this is done, you can meet with one of our designers to talk about the look and design of your site. From this, we will design how your site will look and produce a mock up. We will ask for your feedback and make any amendments as necessary.

When the proposal and mock up is approved by you, we ask that you provide us with all of the content for your site, for example the text you want on each page. Once we have the content, we start to build your site.

Whilst we build your site, we will be in constant communication with you to allow you to review the progress and give us feedback where necessary.

After we have fully completed your website, we will test the site to make sure everything works properly.

Once we have finished testing, we will ask you to review your website one final time to make sure you are 100% happy with the result.

The last stage of the process is the launch of your site! 

7. How do I get listed on search engines like Google?

When your website reaches higher pages on search engines like Google, your website will be seen and viewed by more customers. When creating websites we do basic on page search engine optimisation (SEO) for you, for example getting your website indexed on the search engines so it can actually appear on them.

However, to get your website to rank as high as possible, you will need to consider further ongoing SEO services. We offer custom SEO and digital marketing packages if this is something you are interested in. 

5. How do I use a content managed website?

If you choose a content managed or e-commerce website, you will presumably want to use the content managed system to be able to update and manage your new website. Once your website is complete, we offer a training session where you will get a face to face meeting with a web designer who will teach you how to use your system and website. The designer will also provide you with information you can take away so that you feel confident and able to use your new website on your own.

So there we have it. They are the most common questions we get. Hopefully this has debunked some terminology or confusion you may have previously had about websites and web design. At DS, we really pride ourselves on our excellent customer service, so if there is anything you need to know before starting a website project with us, get in touch and we will be happy to help.



Created by, Alice