Website Design Principles and Prices

This page summarises some of the issues to consider when designing a website yourself or getting a website designed by a website designer. It also gives an indication of the prices that Cornish WebServices charge for website design, website redesign and search engine optimisation work.

Website design principles   |  Website design prices | Website design portfolio

Website design principles

Fast loading, easy to navigate websites

Do you ever get frustrated by websites that take an age to load? Instead of a speedy down-load, your computer just winks at you. This is not necessary as good website design should allow for fast loading of pages.

At Cornish WebServices Consultancy, we believe that all websites should be fast to load, and easy to navigate. Not everyone has broadband, and we design websites to work over slower modem connections. All our websites are tested over a slower speed connection.

We are often asked how to create a fast loading website. Several years ago one of the major problems was images that were too high a quality and therefore a large file size and slow to load. More recently poorly implemented page backgrounds also prevent a website from loading quickly.

The way a website is written affects load time, and heavily nested tables can be very slow to load. Many websites created from HTML editors or created between 1999 and 2004 are like this. Cornish WebServices do not create websites with layers of tables - they are slow to load and more complicated to maintain.

Search engine optimised website design

Have you ever spent ages surfing in circles trying to find the web pages you require?

At Cornish WebServices Consultancy, we believe that all good websites should be easy to find using search engines and we have the expertise to create a website design such that the webpages will be found on the major search engines (search engine optimisation). All our websites are automatically written this way. We can also register your website with the most useful website directories. Marketing your website is as important as good website design, and we can advise on this.

Accessible website design

Are you concerned that your website should be accessible to all?

At Cornish WebServices Consultancy, we are able to design websites according to the guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Access Initiative (WAI). This website qualifies as a Bobby AAA Approved website.

Many website designs that use frames are not visible at all to browsers that do not support frames, and many website designs cannot be navigated by browsers that do not support Javascript. We are able to create accessible websites that utilize javascript for users with this enabled but that also function for users who do not use javascript.

Our website designs have also been tested using screen reader software such as JAWS to check that they are easy to navigate. When 'listening' to a website, it is frustrating to have to listen to all the title and menu information each time, and at Cornish WebServices we always provide quick keystrokes (access keys) to navigate around the site. For example pressing the ALT and 1 keys on this website will always take you to the home page, and ALT and C will always take you to the contact page.

Website design process

Do you know exactly what you want on your website?

At Cornish WebServices we usually work by creating a series of prototypes for the client to comment on. In our experience, very few businesses and organisations are able to define their exact website design requirements before the project begins. After producing a prototype, the exact look and feel and page contents can be more accurately determined. For most of our work we offer free text-changes to parts of the website for one year.

We also offer very competitive rates for additional pages to websites that we have created. This allows a business or organisation to start with a small website and add functionality as required.

Standard website templates

Are all companies the same?

No. Companies and organisations have unique aims, and this should be reflected in their website designs. We do not make use of standard templates as these are usually too restricting and lead to standard designs.

Website design prices therefore vary with the specific needs and specifications. Further information on our website design prices is available further down this page.

Flash websites

Cornish WebServices can integrate Flash or other graphics into a website such that the website design is still accessible and still highly visible to search engines.

We do not design Flash front end websites. We see no point in creating a website that is hard to find, non accessible, and takes a long time to load on slow connections. If you would like a Flash front end website that no-one can find, please find another web design company. All our website designs are highly visible to search engines.

It is possible to embed Flash within a website in a manner that is accessible, and we can implement this.

Website hosting

A company website requires a domain name and a host; Cornish WebServices Consultancy can arrange these if required. Costs vary according to the domain name chosen (varing between types such as, .com, .net and others) and the type of hosting required (including the amount of bandwidth, disc space etc). For a small additional setup fee we can set up emails for your chosen domain based on Google Apps which are highly stable and easy to use.

Our business is website design, website maintenance and website marketing. We do not make money through selling hosting packages at inflated prices. When arranging the hosting, we use a professional 3rd party hosting provider which provides a good service at a sensible price.

Geographical location

Cornish WebServices are based in Canterbury, Kent, and can offer special discounts to local businesses and organisations. For standard websites, we are happy to visit a client in Kent to discuss website design options in more detail. For more complex website designs we are happy to travel further afield.

Being an Internet business, much of our work is done by email and phone, and we have website design clients in many areas of the UK, including Kent (Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable, Folkestone, Thanet, Ramsgate, Medway, Maidstone, Gravesend, Rochester and Tonbridge), Sussex, Surrey, London, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire, Devon, Cornwall, Wales and Scotland. Also Guernsey, Jersey, France, Holland, Dubai, Russia, US and South Africa.

Although the majority of our website designs have been targeted at UK visitors, many have been written with non UK visitors in mind. Examples of this include website design for tourism or website design for international sales. We also provide a highly sought after speciality in multilingual website design including Arabic websites, Chinese websites, Russian websites and many other languages.

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Website design prices

Prices for website design

These are indications of the costs of various aspects of a website design. Contact us for a quotation as there are so many different website design options. We offer significant discounts for charities and non-profit making organisations.

Website maintenance is also a consideration. Cornish Webservices make changes to the main contact details for free as it is very important that a website remains up to date. We also offer very competitive rates for enhancing or extending any website designs that we have created.

When considering the cost of a website, you also need to consider the cost of hosting the website. Some web hosting companies offer cut price websites that tie you into an expensive annual or monthly hosting contract. All our prices include hosting on a reliable external server, with provision of web statistics if required. However we do not require clients to use any specific host.

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Simple 1-5 Page Website Prices

Our cheapest website used to be a simple 1 page website for under £200. This included some client supplied graphics and a link through to an email address. It did include submission of the website to search engines, and the webpage was created to achieve as high a ranking as possible.

Approximately half the work in creating such a website was involved search engine and directory submission. It is possible to design a nice looking webpage that no one can find for much less, but Cornish WebServices have never offered this and never will.

The Internet is now a very competitive marketplace, and for many markets a one page website is no longer an effective marketing tool. The exceptions are specialized interests, or a website that targets a specific geographical region.

We no longer offer this option as one page websites can no longer perform well naturally in search engines. Instead we offer a simple starter website of 5 pages including search engine optimisation during the build. To find out more give us a call on 0330 555 4680.

Small Basic Website Prices

The price of a small basic website of about 5 pages varies greatly depending on requirements, design complexity and the amount of content needed. A typical site of this type will include some graphics, probably a company logo and a link through to an email address. Having more than just a few pages is very advantageous with regards to search engine optimisation.

The exact number of pages in the website does not affect the price very much; the website price is more influenced by the amount of design work required, the complexity of the information required and the manner in which the information is provided.

The website price is a one-off payment (unlike some good looking offers that require an annual fee), and includes hosting for one year if required. To find out more about our basic website design prices which can get your business easily and effectively visible online, call us today on 0330 555 4680.

Standard Website Prices

The price of a standard website of about 6-15 pages varies more drastically as these sized website tend to include more options such as galleries, contact forms, dynamic banners and other such elements. Our standard website packages give a small business or organisation a very effective marketing tool. Pricing will include graphics and a link through to an email address, and may include other features. The website will be accessible to all and optimised for search engines. It will be submitted to the major search engines and relevant directories. This also includes maintenance for one year.

The exact number of pages does not affect the website price very much. The cost of the website is more influenced by the amount of design work required, the complexity of the menu structure required and the manner in which the information is provided. To find out more about our standard website design packages which can get your business easily and effectively visible online, call us today on 0330 555 4680.

Larger Website Prices

For larger website prices, contact us for a quote. We have existing clients for whom we have designed large websites with many hundreds of pages.

The cost of large websites very much depends on the type of information within the pages and how it is given to us. If all the page contents are presented in electronic format, then we can offer very competitive prices for websites with a large number of pages.

There are also a larger number of options available for writing large websites, and a dynamic database driven website may be more appropriate and cost effective. We can advise on this. See below for database driven website prices.

Database Driven Websites

Cornish WebServices have experience of creating database driven websites, and are able to add database driven pages to an existing website. Database driven websites are usually required for medium to large shopping carts, but also for websites with a membership or registration process.

Adding a database to a website requires a database (!) plus writing code to communicate between the website and the database. Costs of database driven websites depend largely on the complexity of these interactions. In addition to the interaction of the website with 'users', there is often an administration part to consider. We can advise on this.

For shopping cart or catalog type databases, another factor in the cost is who is going to input all the initial data.

Contact us for a realistic quotation as website prices for this type of work vary significantly, 

Prices for Website Contact Forms

A basic Contact Form for a site can be added for around £200 or so - the exact figure depends upon where the website is hosted. They may be included within the cost of a standard website. Our contact forms conform to the accessibility guidelines. Alternatively we can simply include a contact page with a linked email address for free.

Prices to Receive Payments Online

These can usually be added on to one of the above websites from £500 or so, depending upon the exact method used and the number and complexity of possible purchases. For more than about 20 products a shopping cart type website is needed.

This is always done via a secure server, and Cornish WebServices have experience of working with most of the common secure payment systems including Paypal, Sagepay, Cardsave and many more.

Small Shopping Website Prices

To design and create a website selling a few products using a secure server to receive credit card payments will cost varying amounts depending on the number of products and the type of integration with the website. Contact us for a more accurate price, as requirements vary.

When designing small shopping carts, it is important for the website to be written with search engine optimisation in mind - assuming that the purpose is to make sales!

Many of the DIY commercial shopping cart applications are written in a manner that makes it hard for the search engines to index them. We sometimes make use of 3rd party software, but only when the final website will be easily indexed on Google and the other major search engines. Search engine optimisation is always included within any website price that we quote.

eCommerce Website Prices

A full shopping cart with database usually costs several thousands of pounds or more. The exact amount is very dependant upon the way the client is able to give us the information. If this is already in electronic format the costs are lower. We are also able to create databases if required or move data from an existing database onto an online one for integration with an eCommerce website.

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Prices for Website Modification

We can also add in extra pages or modify pages to existing websites. The rates for websites that we have created will be reduced as we already know that the code has been written to a high standard.

We can work with websites that have been created using a html editor such as DreamWeaver or FrontPage, or we can work with websites that have been hand coded. We can handle all types of website file, static or dynamically created.

Sometimes we are asked to make a modification to an existing website and the client is unaware that their website is not viewable to (say) Netscape users. We only accept work when we are allowed to make changes so that the website is reasonably accessible and viewable to all. Prices will vary considerably depending upon the changes required, how the website is written and how the information is presented.

Prices for Website Accessibility

Many companies are now realizing that their website does not conform to existing legislation, such as the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act). Cornish WebServices have always created accessible websites, and we can also modify existing websites to achieve either Bobby or W3C accessibility standards.

When assessing the costs of this work, it is worth pointing out that an accessible website will naturally achieve very high rankings in the search engines and so attract much many more visitors. This can significantly reduce any existing spending on Internet advertising.

The costs of making a website accessible very much depend upon how the website is written. In some cases, to achieve the highest level of compliance, requires each page to be 'rewritten' in an accessible way. The costs of this are very similar to the website design prices.

However all websites are different, and some very large websites can be made accessible with a few hours work. Contact us for a meaningful quotation, as we will need to look at the website code first.

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Prices for Search Engine Optimisation of a Website

When we design and create websites, we automatically optimise the website for search engine visibility. But we are also able to optimised existing websites to help them achieve higher search engine rankings.

The cost of this varies considerably with the size and complexity of the website, as well as the standard of the existing code. Well written html code is much quicker to optimise than that produced by some of the early less good html editors. It is now possible (but not often done) to produce search engine optimised websites with current html editors.

Note that search engine optimisation cannot guarantee to produce results overnight - the timescales depend very much on the frequency at which the major search engines make their updates.

For charities or smaller organisations who are maintaining their own websites, we also offer to optimise just the home page and one other, leaving the client to make the recommended changes to the other pages. This keeps the cost of search engine optimisation low for organisations on a tight budget.

Our search engine optimisation services would also usually include obtaining entries in relevant directories and reciprocal links as appropriate.

Prices for Reciprocal Links

For a typical business website, Cornish WebServices charge £500 to create a useful page of reciprocal links. We expect this work to take several months to complete, and the results should be an increase in PageRank within 6 months; it is not possible to guarantee faster times than these as the part of Google that defines PageRank is very slow to update. For a more complete and speedy response to metrics like PageRank or average Google search position ranking we would recommend and more wholesale approach with our search engine optimisation service.

The exact number of links depends upon the market. However a few good links are far more beneficial than many pages of low value links.

We are aware of much cheaper reciprocal link providers, but it is more important to acquire a few good links than a large number of useless links. Some links can also be harmful, such as those from Link Farms or from FFA (Free For All) pages. Cornish WebServices do not use these type of links when exchanging reciprocal links.

The Google search engine are now excluding most of the links generated by the automatic link generating programs that can be purchased as an add-on to your website. We do not recommend these programs at all.

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Prices for Internet Marketing

Search engine optimisation is only one part of Internet Marketing. If you have a search engine optimised website then the benefits from other forms of marketing are far greater. This means that a PPC campaign will achieve far greater results for a search engine optimised website.

We can also advise on or carry out on a clients behalf various PPC (pay per click) advertising schemes. The cost of these would start at around £300 (including the search engine optimisation process) - but contact us for realistic estimates as in competitive markets significantly higher PPC budgets are required. Some areas are more competitive than others and would required a larger marketing spend to achieve results. The cost of Internet marketing work includes reports detailing the ranking of your website on various search engines and click through analysis.

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How to create and market a website as cheaply as possible

If you are a charity or organisation with limited funds, then use them wisely. We would recommend paying someone to create an accessible search engine optimised website that 'markets itself', rather than obtaining a poor quality website that requires advertising to attract visitors. You can ensure that your website is accessible by insisting that it meets either the AAA standard in either Bobby or W3C WAI.

If you wish to keep the costs down, you can help by presenting all the data in electronic format. It takes time (and money) for web design companies to scan in images and text, or to type in text for website content, but this is often something that the client can do. In fact a client can probably write good copy or text for the page content more efficiently than the web designer as they are hopefully experts in the website subject.

Websites need to be kept up to date; if you have limited funds then make sure your web designer will create a website that you can maintain at least the content part of, yourself. Cornish WebServices have done this with many websites they have designed, and we offer annual email / phone support included within the website design cost.

An even lower cost method of website maintenance is to design a website that needs very little or no modification over time! Surprisingly few websites are designed with this in mind. Cornish WebServices created several church building websites that are still up to date (despite zero changes) and attracting visitors many years after they were created. We have also created websites of all sizes for small organisations and businesses that require between 1-3 simple changes per year for updates to information.

A website with out of date contact information gives a very negative impression. For website's that we design and host, Cornish WebServices always provide free changes to the contact information. So if your phone number changes, this can be updated quickly and at no extra cost.

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"For the record I think that you have done a great job for us on our website to date. I greatly appreciate your efforts and hope to continue working with you in other search marketing areas.."

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