Websites and Web Design

Websites and Web Design

As a purely profit-driven side-venture, I did — at one time — offer to build websites for free, provided purchases were made from affiliate links. Means I got a commission, which worked out to the same as an hour of my time. I’ve rescinded the offer, never made much, but it was effective for a while, as an adjunct. These days?

“How much for a website?”
US-based designer: “15-25 grand.”
“I’ll pay $300.”
US-based designer: “I’ll take it.”

Always lead with a joke, right?

A while back, I was queried for some assistance with a website. I quoted a price of $900.

“Can I pay you with a check?”


“Can I pay half now, and half when we’re done?”


Here’s the real deal — because I handle web stuff, day in and day out, I’m used to this. The work, I had to straighten out another person’s messy website, then streamline the process, and get the material all whipped into a useable format, the real work took all of about two hours. Maybe a little less. Not to be arrogant, but I knew what buttons to push, how to upload, download, tossed out a few plugins that were not working, and then? All done.

At a glance? The theme — that site’s skin — the “theme” hadn’t been updated in several iterations and was faulty at its core. Hosed. Tossed.

Less than two hours.

Kind of a basic WordPress install.

So that’s easy money, right? Hardly. While the actual work was only a few minutes of concentrated effort, say, 45 minutes? Less than 20% of the bid price? I had to spend five hours talking the client through issues with the site, issues with what the other web persons promised, explaining the limits of hardware, and what is a reasonable expectation for performance.

I have to explain the difference between what some shade-tree operator promised, and what’s a realistic expectation.

Then it’s back to answering questions, “How do I change the headline,” and “what’s the difference between a post and a page?”

Having a site all up to speed with this week’s SEO tech doesn’t mean it won’t be out-of-date by next week.

Websites, especially a static “Business card” site? Does little good. As it’s evolved, the web is dynamic, now. Fresh content.

In under a minute, probably under 11 seconds, I want to know, who the site is about, what is the origin story, what is the funny version, and will there be a picture of a cat.

The way

While I’ve used a variety of hosts with industry leading products, increasingly, I’m less interested in managing websites, other than my own. Towards that end, I’ve found the perfect balance between backend compatibility, ease-of-use, open-source architecture, sustainable growth, and reasonable security. Sustainable growth has long been an abiding principle, and one that seems forgotten by many of the current crop.

Sustainable and scalable.

With a website, I want to accomplish two goals. I want to write and display pictures. A managed WordPress site, wherein someone else looks out for updates, upgrades, SECURITY, in other words, someone else handles all the heavy lifting?

All that’s required? Add content. Like pictures, video, and words.

WordPress from Media Temple

The Thesis Theme for WordPress

One example, had lunch with him the other day, his is a basic WordPress Theme site the former — that’s a dated — but updated — standard theme. No cost. That one site’s traffic has grown from one ex-girlfriend to thousands of hits per day. One former flame accounting for two or three page views in a week, to a — the usual One K plus — per day. 1,000s in a single day.

All done with a super-simple WordPress site.

1 Trackback or Pingback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *