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Professional Websites

Bespoke Web Design For Small Businesses

Professional web design adds value that simple site packages can’t provide. Advanced fea­tures and bespoke user exper­i­ences boost sales and com­pet­it­iveness, leading to faster growth. These are goal-focused solu­tions, not just websites.

Why Professional Website Design?

Common pro­fes­sional web design require­ments include:

  • Bespoke Web Design — you need mem­orable branding and premium design ser­vices to help your company stand out
  • WordPress devel­opment — the flex­ib­ility of WordPress makes it ideal for a wide range of pro­jects, including advanced eco­m­merce, mem­bership sites and more
  • Bespoke web devel­opment — some pro­jects need coding from the ground up

These are all too variable to list as simple packages. So they need detailed dis­cussion before a real­istic estimate can be provided. Why?

Well, there may be several solu­tions, ranging from those using existing com­ponents and frame­works, to those that must be designed and built from scratch. Your goals and cir­cum­stances will affect which of these will be most suitable.

Excellent and pro­fes­sional work from beginning to end. Pete was open to ideas and able to make sug­ges­tions on how to develop my site. — Lisa P. Web Design: (5/5)

Pricing & Planning Professional Websites

Business web­sites are critical mar­keting vehicles com­peting in a con­stant off-road race for sales. Your leading com­pet­itors invest heavily in the design, build and main­tenance of theirs. So likewise, you need to invest in the best solu­tions you can afford.

Of course, it’s risky to do that without adequate dis­cussion. So to reduce that risk, I offer a free initial con­sultation. At that point, if your require­ments seem likely to be met by one of my simple site packages, that’s what I’ll suggest.

Otherwise, that free con­sultation is fol­lowed by an optional paid Discovery phase (recom­mended for pro­jects over £3k). That lets us assess the details of the project in depth, to work out a real­istic solution, estimate and schedule.

If you then decide to go ahead, the cost of the Discovery phase then reduces the estimate for com­pleting the project. It’s like engaging an architect before com­mitting to building a house. Still, even though it makes sense, few web designers offer this risk-reducing strategy.

Do you need pro­fes­sional web design?

Get in touch!

Bespoke Web Design

So what can bespoke web design do for you? Well, as any web designer will tell you, first impres­sions matter. Visitors assess your website almost instantly, and visual design con­tributes a lot to that.

Still, there’s more far to that than pretty pictures.

Your audience uses a wide variety of devices. So pro­fes­sionally built website layouts are “responsive” — they adapt to look good on varying screen sizes. So pro­fes­sional web design really delivers several layouts, not just one. Sadly, some web designers (often those from print design back­grounds) still sell sites that fail at this.

Also, vis­itors have to find your website before visual design matters at all. Again, many visual designers and web developers cut corners on SEO. They may add some SEO fea­tures, but you’ll need spe­cialist SEO help to fix what they’ve left out. Some even build systems that hobble SEO efforts from the start.

Then we have CRO, or Conversion Rate Optimisation. That means designing to max­imise the con­version of vis­itors into buyers. Whilst good visuals matter, so do things like usab­ility, site structure and content planning. Some very pretty sites don’t convert well at all.

So whilst there is a lot involved — and a lot of value — in getting visual branding right, there’s even more involved in making it work.

Pete is one of the most cre­ative, reliable, com­petent and ingenious people it has ever been my very great pleasure to work with. There is no problem he can’t find an ingenious and unex­pected way out of, and he has a work ethic you could bend horse­shoes around. I cannot recommend him highly enough for his breadth and depth of know­ledge and his total com­mitment to whichever project he is cur­rently under­taking. — Ian A. Web Design: (5/5)

Do you want a website that means business?

Get in touch!

What Is Website Development?

There’s a lot of cros­sover between web design and web devel­opment, as they both involve code. Still, layout code isn’t pro­gramming code — which involves complex decision-making logic.

Many web designers focus on layout, and don’t like pro­gramming. Likewise, web developers often lack visual design skills. These are quite dif­ferent skillsets — like being able to play piano and build cars. So here, web devel­opment means web programming.

Web devel­opment used to focus on pro­gramming servers — the “back end” — of web­sites. That’s because it wasn’t very prac­tical to run pro­grams in the vis­itor’s browser (aka “front end”). These days, it is. So many web applic­a­tions are now a mix of both front-end and back-end web devel­opment. Still, doing both still involves learning several languages.

Despite the huge variety of web applic­a­tions that web developers build though, a lot of web devel­opment involves man­aging website content. These days, WordPress dom­inates that field.

WordPress Development

WordPress is by far the most popular Content Management System (CMS), powering over 30% of web­sites and almost 60% of all CMS sites. That’s because it’s extremely user friendly and flexible. Thousands of plugins let WordPress (WP) manage eco­m­merce, book appoint­ments, run online com­munities and more.

Other CMS plat­forms like Joomla, Drupal, CMSMadeSimple and OctoberCMS also have their uses — and some pro­jects still need fully bespoke coding. However, having used several altern­atives and coded some from scratch, WordPress devel­opment has proven too flexible to rule out without good reason. So I’ve been using it to build cost-effective, editable, pro­fes­sional web­sites since 2004.

There is a WordPress plugin for every common need — including advanced eco­m­merce and mem­bership sites. Some visual designers even call con­fig­uring plugins “WordPress devel­opment”. So it’s worth checking that your WordPress developer is a programmer.

WordPress developers who do code can write bespoke plugins to do more than existing plugins. We can also dig into the code when that’s needed for troubleshooting, or to optimise the site for speed and SEO.

It’s worth noting that many other website plat­forms don’t let pro­grammers adapt the code. Some won’t even let you transfer your site else­where if you outgrow them.

Approaching Pete to set up a new website was the best move I have made. We wanted a system that was easy to nav­igate and look good when cus­tomers shop online. Pete made the whole process simple and dealing with him was a great pleasure. He can’t do enough to help and solve any problem that may arise. I would highly recommend Pete for his exper­ience and know­ledge and total ded­ic­ation to see the project through to final con­clusion. — Steve H. Web Design: (5/5)

Looking for pro­fes­sional WordPress development?

Get in touch!

Bespoke Website Development

Sometimes, even WordPress isn’t enough. Besides, some web applic­a­tions don’t even need a CMS — just some custom pro­gramming to enable complex beha­viour or to integrate with external systems.

For example, Festival Medical Services needed a bespoke team man­agement system. That handled variable rotas for hun­dreds of volun­teers in mul­tiple teams at major events across the UK. Existing plat­forms couldn’t do that. So I wrote it from scratch.

Bespoke web devel­opment does involve a lot of complex work, though. Modern pro­gramming frame­works have sim­plified this, but full web applic­ation builds still take months, not days. That’s why it’s often worth con­sid­ering WordPress devel­opment first.

Still not sure if you need WordPress devel­opment or bespoke web devel­opment? Only someone who offers both can give you unbiased advice on which you need. So that’s what I do.

Can’t recommend him highly enough. He was extremely pro­fes­sional, laid out exactly what we needed to do and his role within that, setting expect­a­tions all round very clearly, and working within our budgetary con­straints to set clear bound­aries. He was extremely prompt and punctual in his responses and work. He was also extremely patient with his recom­mend­a­tions and explan­a­tions, which were clear and simple to follow. Excellent value for us as a charity. We’re very grateful to him — he was a real pleasure to work with. — Emma C. Bespoke Web Development: (5/5)

Do You Need Professional Website Design Or Web Development?

Don’t wait until you’ve planned everything before getting in touch. It’s almost impossible to do that well unless you already have all the design and pro­gramming skills you’d need to build it yourself.

Even copying others might not help, because every business is dif­ferent. Solutions that suited others may not work at all for you.

So in this field, there’s really no sub­stitute for a free initial con­sultation.

Think you may need bespoke website development?

Get started TODAY!