When you get a quotation for a website from a Web Design company, keep in mind that the quotation may or may not include the additional costs, so here is what you need to clarify:
Website Domain Name
This is the URL (link name) of your website. (For example mine is ezmarketing.ie). I highly recommend you buy the domain name in your own name and a separate account to your web master and then let them know the login details for domain management. This will save a lot of hassle if you have to change your webmaster at some stage in the future.
This is a space on the server where your website files are stored. Often the web design company also offers hosting, as they will need to manage some features through the hosting control panel, but make sure you ask. Personally, I advise to purchase hosting space in your name, for the same reason as in case of the domain – there is no need to be a “hostage” to a web design company should you decide to part at some stage in the future.
Of all hosting companies I have ever dealt with only one definitely stands out for me: SiteGround! The quality of the service is amazing, there are never any server downtime (apart from that 10 minutes last time there was this massive global cyber attack, but then other hosting companies took hours to recover), and the live chat is absolutely amazing – they do a lot of things that you ask them (within reason of course) where Blacknight for example, will send you to their online documentation section. SiteGround for me is a 5 star service and I strongly recommend it to all my clients.
Here is a link to check them out:
Search Engine Optimisation
A website is like a business card, it tells what you do and how to contact you (even buying products is a form of online contact). SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is adding tags that are small, invisible to the user, but very visible to search engines, it is also making sure that you have all text & images optimised to include selected keywords. The keyword is what people would type into the search engine to find your business.
This is NOT part of a web design project. Only some very basic optimisation can be expected. So when your new website goes live- do not expect it to start appearing in the search engines straight away. Google is very slow on indexing (making records) of any new sites and pages, it takes weeks for it to include the new website in the listings, and definitely NOT on the first page.
SEO is a separate campaign style project- this means it will need to be completed over several weeks, and it is paid for separately as well. Any results from an SEO project are not immediately visible and this is just the way it works. You should expect website to appear anywhere near page one within 6 months to a year. This is provided that you have great content that is regularly updated, dynamic features, like videos and various interactive modules and that the competition in your niche is not fierce.
Up until then the only way to appear on page one of Google is to advertise with Google Adwords and Google Shopping if you are selling products.
Logo design is a graphic design project and may not be included in the website design quote. Expect up to €300 fee for a professional logo design. This should be profiled to you in hi resolution format that will be suitable for print in whatever size you need on whatever advertising media and a web version for the web use. You may ask for a separate square design version of your logo for Social Media profile pictures, however, this could be an add on as it is, again, another graphic design job.