This is an artisan, custom website…

My creator didn’t start with some premade appearance to adjust into me. I was made from the ground up to suit what I’m meant to be.

That means all my features and even the phone compatibility is built into the site, and it doesn’t rely on sources that have to be overridden to make me look how my creator wanted. When I’m designed well, this results in smaller file sizes and therefore faster load times and less bandwidth used.

I specifically have a layout that’s pretty close to the two templates. This is for usability reasons—the current standard layout for websites exists for efficiency reasons, and I’m an example. My layout is close to the templates, but it’s not identical. Can you spot the differences?

What can get really fun is that my “images” aren't always images. Like, my plaid? It’s drawn in the CSS by your browser. Better on the bandwidth, plus it fits whatever screen size.

Upsides:

  • I am your branding. Part of it, anyway. Because the site is built as a cohesive unit, the end appearance can be a lot more precise on the details that matter for your site goals and flexible on the details that don’t.
  • I should be lightweight. That means I should load faster and be better-liked by search engines than the alternatives.
  • I’m flexible. I’m made specifically for you.
  • I can be unique. If you want features that aren’t really found on your average website (ex. horizontal pages) or that you can’t find a template with what you want, then I’m what you’ll have to get.

Downsides:

  • I’m dependent on my creator(s). This applies to what I look like, what search engines see, how much I can be expanded, and how likely I am to break in the future.
  • I can be made or murdered by the tweaks. A bad color scheme, junk or badly defined data, poor organization—any and all can damage the site.
  • I can be expensive. I must have certain features and must avoid even more; my code has to be streamlined and blend usability, updatability, SEO, multiple devices; appearance and code have to be set up for accessibility for disabilities, responsivity for mobile devices, setup for SEO and pertinent security concerns.

Cost for an Artisan Website

This is the premier form of web design, where all parts of the site are selected for your needs, rather than your needs worked into a template. This can accomplish anything from modernizing an old site so it works on phones and for disabilities (but keeps that old appearance you like) to building to match a specific, unique design and putting it in a particular content management system (or building a custom one).

Design and development are three different stages of creating a website.

Yep, three. Because you have:

  • design of the plan for how things will fit together (Ex. This button will make the menu hide.)
  • design and development of the appearance (Ex. This uses this image and has text on it that’s in this font and color.)
  • development of the code that turns the appearance and plan into a fully-functioning website (Ex. Now the button both has the appearance and makes the menu hide.)

…and that last one, the development of code, can actually require a few different specialists, depending on what programming languages are needed for a site. Even the simplest website, if put together properly, will use at least 4 code languages, and probably 5 or 6.

Free to $500+ USD / 100–1000 hours

You study all the things you need to use in your site. For design, you’ll need to have some idea of color coordination, aesthetics, and accessibility guidelines. For development, you’ll need HTML and CSS at the very least, and you’ll probably need JavaScript and PHP (plus an htaccess file [in Apache] and a sitemap [in XML]).

If you need a general idea of what web languages do:
  • HTML: Tell your web browser what things in your page are.
  • CSS: Tell your web browser what things in your page look like.
  • JavaScript: Tell your web browser what to do with or change in what’s in the page.
  • PHP: Your site does some stuff, then travels the interwebs to reach a web browser.
  • most other things: Will be a substitute or add-on for one of the above. You might wanna chat with a techie.
$1000–2000+ USD / 2–12 hours (of your time)

Hiring someone to design a website for you involves…

  • getting clear definition of what you need and want both in your site and in your user experience (ex. what mood do you want conveyed?)
  • research into what is already being used in the market to get a sense for what your clientele are already used to (what will they expect, want, or need to see, in the aesthetics?)
  • design of aesthetics and interface:
    • to suit your brand and help you be memorable to your visitors
    • to give your visitors a pleasant experience
    • to guide your visitors to do what you want them to (ex. sign up for your newsletter)
    • to have variations for various devices
    • to make allowances for various disabilities

The time investment on your end is because you must explain what you want and approve the delivered result. An experienced developer should be able to walk you through questions to help you provide the information they need, and they should run tests of their own on the product.

$1000–2000+ USD / 2–12 hours (of your time)

And these prices are assuming that the developer is developing the appearance, not the software that’s running the site. That’s a different thing entirely and has its own price.

Hiring someone to develop a website for you involves…

  • getting clear definition of what you need and want both in your site and in your user experience
  • research into what is already being used in the market to get a sense for what your clientele are already used to (what will they expect, want, or need to experience, in the function?)
  • development of the website:
    • to take the design(s) created or provided and…
      • set up the structure (HTML)
      • set up the appearance (CSS)
      • set up any on-page actions (probably JavaScript)
      • set up the interface (probably PHP, maybe WordPress)
    • to suit the devices your website needs to support (ex. responsivity)
    • to be accessible for people with disabilities and their devices
    • to be streamlined in the code
    • to be secure to a degree reasonable for your project
    • to have the needed files for search engines and other factors

These estimates assume you have no or minimal content to convert, a simple site of some pages and a portfolio and blog, and more than minimal adjustments needed to the theme.

None of these estimates include the price for the domain name or web hosting, which can be found for about $50 per year for usual small site needs.

Contact Me

Interested in talking about web design?

Basic Website

This puts everything into premade templates. No or minimal customizations.

Advanced Website

This takes the premade templates and customizes them. Moderate customizations.

Artisan Website

This takes your desired design and/or functions and starts there. All customizations.

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