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Old February 8th, 2009, 10:54 AM   #1
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Website pricing

I'm putting together a business proposal to be reviewed by a bank soon, and I need to get the general pricing for a website. I see some like godaddy.com listed for $10. I see other options on other sites. I like the way the flash sites looks, as they seem clean, and not an eyesore.

I'm looking for something like:

Oklahoma Wedding Videographer Video Videography | Prime Visual Media
Travis' site: DreamBIG Productions - A Different Kind of Wedding Film
or Ryan's: RHM Photography Wedding Photographer

What is the start up cost on these, and how much is it every month after that? I don't know if this info is too personal, but with all of the website hosting sites out there, there's nothing that gets answered (as to specs I need), FULL start up costs, etc. Hopefully it's discussable. Thank you all so much for your help.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #2
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There are an unlimited number of ways and costs associated with a website, from fully custom designs and hosting to templates. I think there are some great solutions for people with little programming or design knowlege using flash templates. You can spend a lot more than this for a custom website, but I think these kinds of places do a great job at the lower end of the cost spectrum. The following are aimed at photographers, but can also be used for video. Cost ranges from about $200-$600 for the initial template and hosting usually runs from $100-$200 per year. Take a look:

http://www.bludomain.com
BIG Folio
Websites for Photographers
Websites for Photographers. Editable and Customizable Designs | Creative Motion Design
Websites for Photographers by iCreations. Photography websites for wedding photographers, portrait photographers and commercial photographers.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 05:22 PM   #3
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I'll add to that; Build a website with MooreCast website builder
Wes Moore give the best customer service I've ever had and while initally his stuff may look expensive, it's only expensive if it doesn't work and his stuff works. Not only can you try it out for free but call him and talk to hime about what he's got.
BTW, lots of flash stuff is there.

Don
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Old February 8th, 2009, 06:37 PM   #4
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I've been really happy with Livebooks:
liveBooks - professional

I think their sites are generally geared toward photography portfolios, but they customized my site with a video page:

Contemporary Wedding Videography - Moving Sky Wedding Cinema
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Old February 8th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Sprinkle View Post
I'm putting together a business proposal to be reviewed by a bank soon...
I'm confused by your post. Are you planning to do business with the bank to offer web services to them? If so, why would you use wedding videographer sites for examples?

Or, are you trying to get a loan? If your aim is to get a loan, do you really NEED it? How will it really benefit you and your business. With a loan, you are creating overhead. You'll have to make the payment whether you get customers or not.

There sure are some fancy-schmancy web sites being designed these days. But unless you are the designer of web sites, I don't see how having a fancy site really would generate any more business for you as a videographer than a less fancy site.

Jeff
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Old February 8th, 2009, 08:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jeff Emery View Post
Or, are you trying to get a loan? If your aim is to get a loan, do you really NEED it? How will it really benefit you and your business. With a loan, you are creating overhead. You'll have to make the payment whether you get customers or not.
Good points. I would leave the fancy flash sites with startup costs over $200 until after you have a bit more established biz.... but that is my personal taste. some people like to hit the ground with a fully flashy startup look.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 09:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Emery View Post
I'm confused by your post. Are you planning to do business with the bank to offer web services to them? If so, why would you use wedding videographer sites for examples?

Or, are you trying to get a loan? If your aim is to get a loan, do you really NEED it? How will it really benefit you and your business. With a loan, you are creating overhead. You'll have to make the payment whether you get customers or not.

There sure are some fancy-schmancy web sites being designed these days. But unless you are the designer of web sites, I don't see how having a fancy site really would generate any more business for you as a videographer than a less fancy site.

Jeff
Yeah, I'm trying to get a loan. I'm just trying to get a ballpark amount. I didn't know if $500 as an estimate was unreasonable, or if they cost $4000. I just have no clue. I haven't had a website since my free tripod site. Yeah, tripod.com. It's been that long ago. And that one was FREE!

As a customer, I check out sites. If it's cluttered an non-navigable, I'll leave. I put false hope into well built sites. i know there must be more like me.

What would the price difference be monthly from a mediocre site to that of a "fancy-schmancy" one?
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Old February 9th, 2009, 03:17 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Alex Sprinkle View Post
Yeah, I'm trying to get a loan. I'm just trying to get a ballpark amount. I didn't know if $500 as an estimate was unreasonable, or if they cost $4000. I just have no clue. I haven't had a website since my free tripod site. Yeah, tripod.com. It's been that long ago. And that one was FREE!

As a customer, I check out sites. If it's cluttered an non-navigable, I'll leave. I put false hope into well built sites. i know there must be more like me.

What would the price difference be monthly from a mediocre site to that of a "fancy-schmancy" one?
There should be very little in price difference on a month to month basis for a fancy web site vs a simple site. The difference would be in the design & rollout costs. Otherwise, you are paying too much on the "back end" of the deal.

For example, I am a hosting provider for small businesses in my city (and even for some small international groups). Hosting costs are usually small (starting around $8/month on up to $20 / month) compared to the cost for updates and maintenance (ie if the customer asks me to add a bunch of new content, or migrate to a new database / application etc.... usually ~$50 / hr for technical services).

The actual cost for hosting will be relatively small compared to the "buyout" costs of actually obtaining a web site & content for the initial launch. Feel free to PM / email me for more info / questions.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 05:39 AM   #9
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You cannot get the answer to your question on pricing here, not the way you want it answered.

I spent $1k having a design done, then $12 month for hosting. Then I changed to a new design that I did with a template that cost $100 and I like it much better.

You need to decide if you are having your site designed for you or are doing it yourself. Then you need to decide if you are going to pay for upkeep or do it yourself.

Flash designs are nice, but are very difficult to manage for SEO purposes. I have a new site that I put up and in less than two weeks it comes up at the top of google for a particular search term I sought after. If this can be done with a Flash site I would be surprised.

You need to decide what you want your site to do for you other than the obvious. If you are going to mainly get traffic from advertising links flash would be fine, but in order to get a decent search engine ranking you should avoid flash.

I personally live off of search engines and referrals, so I cannot use Flash, I would lose my search engine rankings.

My personal belief is that flash intros are a distraction. Your site needs to be designed to provide the info your potential customers are looking for immediately.

Your site design needs to target your target customers. For example if you are selling based on low prices, this needs to be addressed on your index page. if your target customers are not price conscious than you need to focus on showcasing your work on the first page.

Again, regarding flash, look at most site owned by web design firms. You will rarely see a flash intro. Why? Because when web designers build their own sites they use what works, and nothing more.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 08:12 AM   #10
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I had no idea that flash was hard to index. Thanks for the heads up on that!

What causes that? Why can't meta tags just be added for search capabilities? Are those even used anymore?
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Old February 9th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #11
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SEs look for text, properly tagged images, etc etc., it can't index flash. I don't know why. SEs really like text more than anything. Oh and of course the number of relevant links out there to your site is hugely important. BTW, I am not pretending to be an expert on this, I am just repeating what I've read and what has worked for me.

You can try to find out the why, but in the end, if you actually do the research, you will not want a flash intro anyway.

Ask yourself the question "Why do I want a flash intro? What will it accomplish for me? How much business will it bring me?" and don't forget the most important question: What are my customers looking for? Answer: (it depends on your target customer) The vast majority are looking for prices and/or samples. Design your site to have your best work on your index page or if you are competing strictly on price then your prices should or could be there.

Also keep in mind if you're marketing to brides the vast majority look for their videographer while at work on company time or while on lunch break. (This info was provided to me from the Knot.) My stats bear this out. Therefore, they don't have time to sit through long loading sites. They are moving quickly through websites one after another after another.

There are very successful photogs and videographers that have flash sites, this is well known and obvious. But your first site, purely from a business perspective should be focused on getting business, as Jason said. When you have enough direct visitors and links and referrals and advertising in place then you can move to flash, but even then it isn't necessary, it's just fluff.

It just occurred to me that I followed the links to the sample sites you put up, and without even thinking I never got to the sites, because I left before the first page loaded, as I don't have time or patience to sit through an opening page that takes so long to load it has to tell me how much progress is being made as I sit and wait for it.

I think many of your potential customers are the same as me. Not all of them, but most. People are working two jobs or are so busy in other ways that they don't have time to wait for a website to load.

Your job in trying to sell your service is to HELP the customer find the product she is looking for and present her the info she needs quickly and without a hassle.

When you understand how your potential customer thinks then you'll know how to design your site.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #12
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Wow, thanks Jeff. I definitely hadn't looked at it that way. I appreciate all of your help on this. It's a bit overwhelming.

I'll check into a few templates...
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Old February 9th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #13
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Good luck with the template search. It is no fun Alex. I am sure in the last few years I have spent many hundreds of hours on website design, because it is how I live and die. I hate doing websites, but I do it because I can't afford to spend what it costs to have it done, and I know exactly what I want, so it is easier in the end to do it myself. I have four of them.

The site I last had designed was put together using lots of flash elements, and was a bear to load. I had it up for less than six months before I replaced most of it. A very expensive lesson.

You really do want fast loading. That alone is an art, or science depending on how you look at it. Then you get into optimization for google, and that is a whole other area you will want to learn.

Another critical thing is how will they contact you? Wait until you get into contact forms for the web, that is really fun. I still have to have mine edited for me, because I refuse to spend the time to learn PHP, it gives me a headache.

Yahoo SiteBuilder is one place that provides the ability to use a contact form without any knowledge of PHP if you host with them, I'm sure there are others, but you have to use their template, I presume.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 11:05 AM   #14
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Alex I sent you a message. If you don't get it contact me and I'll send you a template I bought but never used. You can at least see what they are like.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #15
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Replied! Thanks!
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