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How much for a new website/hosting/SEO?

Confused by range of quotes I'm getting

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I've decided to finally upgrade the website which has served me well but looking dated and tired. 

Having no intention of doing it myself, I've looked up local web designers, checked out their work and found a few whose work and own website I like the look of.

Trouble is I'm getting a real range of quotes. They will all use Wordpress with CMS etc. I can't see what differentiates their work. One firm have reduced the fee from £1000 to £600 for the website with £70 per year for hosting. They said they would be using Wordpress templates and said all designers do this even if they say it's custom built.  The most expensive also sounded the most professional. He's charging £1750 for the website, plus £275 pa for web hosting. 

For SEO, there seems to be more consensus: around £400 per month

Advice please would be much appreciated: Do web designers all use the same templates anyway? What have you paid/or would pay for a website? Any regrets?What do you pay for hosting and SEO?

Thanks

 

 

 

Replies (30)

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Caroline
By accountantccole
23rd Jun 2020 14:06

I used to use Total solution (closed when I moved to France) - give them the content for what you want personalised and they keep the tax bits, factsheets and newsletters up to date. Several different layouts to choose from
Cost about £100 a month (couple of years ago) but the behind the scenes email system was brilliant and worth every penny in my view

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By Payroll Pete
24th Jun 2020 10:24

Hi - do you have a link for "Total solution" can't find anything along those lines. Thanks.

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Caroline
By accountantccole
24th Jun 2020 11:33
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By SXGuy
23rd Jun 2020 14:27

I did a bit of web design for a few years. I won't touch seo as that's a full time job.

Hosting costs in reality about £5 per month. Factor in domain name renewal your probably looking at £80 to £90 a year.

£600 to £1200 for design is reasonable.

Its the seo costs you need to watch out for. Some charge the earth and do nothing other than report how well the site is doing each month.

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By susanreed
23rd Jun 2020 15:25

I just got a quote for £5 per month for hosting and thought she must have missed a digit out in typing too fast! thanks for the information.

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By susanreed
23rd Jun 2020 17:16

Is there any difference between hosting companies in terms of speed/ stability? Would that explain the difference in quotes?

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By SXGuy
23rd Jun 2020 18:21

There are differences yes, some use a shared host like godaddy, cheaper but a lot php functions disabled. Others are faster use a dedicated server and allow more user access. They will all vary in month price.

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By Moonbeam
23rd Jun 2020 14:52

The £1750 quote and webhosting fee sounds about right, assuming the person quoting is kosher. You need to talk to people who've used his services to find out how good he is before agreeing anything. I would also caution against having anything but a Wordpress site.
All designers start with templates. What they do after that should be of more interest. As for paying for seo, you could be wasting shed loads of money there. However good the seo person is, £400 a month is probably far too little and whatever you pay you might not see good results for over 6 months.

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By SXGuy
23rd Jun 2020 16:01

I personally wouldn't say anything but WordPress. It comes down to the needs of the client.

My last client needed a just eat style website, heavily modified core by myself to get the cms to do what was required. WordPress would never have coped with it. I used Opencart which is a brilliant opensource cms and shopping cart. The mvc code structure makes it a breeze to implement bespoke code.

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Ivor Windybottom
By Ivor Windybottom
23rd Jun 2020 16:01

Watch out for very small outfits. We used one that ultimately dwindled down to basically one person and that became useless as we were totally reliant on one person's availability.

Wordpress sites need care to ensure that they are secure, as any "clever" addons can cause security holes if not kept up to date.

Make sure the terms and conditions are clear on whether you own the site or if you are held ransom by the provider. A good provider will not be afraid to allow you to leave with your Wordpress files as they will be confident you will want to stay.

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By susanreed
23rd Jun 2020 17:17

Thanks, good point on ownership, I had assumed I would own the website.

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By SXGuy
23rd Jun 2020 18:24

Make sure the domain name is registered to you, and you have full access to cpanel and ftp should you need to copy the site files.

The Web designer shouldn't in my opinion stop you from retaining the rights to the files, I'd be wary of any one who does this.

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boxfile
By spilly
23rd Jun 2020 18:55

We are just having a new site built for us using Wordpress. Cost is about £1200-ish without hosting.
We will get the site handed over to us with info about how to change basic stuff ourselves, but they are happy to do anything we feel is too complex and will charge for that.
Having previously had a site on which all changes went via the web guy, we are looking forward to being able to manage the costs more easily.

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By ekta dua
24th Jun 2020 06:05

As per me, always go for hosting which gives multiple servers. And, if we talk about pricing then everyone charges as per their standard of work.

If I talk about my personal experience, I purchased hosting from GO Daddy and for every other thing, they charge. They just provide basic hosting and not other features.

And now I changed the hosting and my website is working properly and also getting full-service support.

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By SXGuy
24th Jun 2020 07:15

Godaddy is one of the worst hosting companies out there. Heavily marketed but I'd imagine retention is somewhat non existent. Their shared server hosting packages disable alot of standard functionality.

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By ekta dua
24th Jun 2020 07:36

True. I used it personally and Godaddy invested on marketing more and not on valuable services.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
24th Jun 2020 10:27

I think you need to separate out:

1. Site design. This is a one off job, with a wordpress site you can easily edit and update. its really not that hard. Half day CPD to learn. Pay for the design and install. Pay for training if you need it. The key part is the content, you will usually be writing the copy. That is the bit to pay out on if you are not much good at it, design is not that relevant for an accountant's site unless its really really awful.

2. Hosting once set up, (by your site designer) wont need touching again. Ever. Host it direct, don't put a middle man in. We spend £35/year on hosting for our site + domain + email. I don't touch the sides on any of the size restrictions on email/traffic.

3. SEO is really all done in the first month and as part of the design. SEO and design are very much linked, like final accounts and tax. Don't get suckered into ongoing costs. They will do sweet FA other than print out a report for you. I have always done my own SEO, its really piddling easy. What are your key words? Use them, a lot! Craft them into your text and it will come up. Check your rankings once a year or so.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By susanreed
24th Jun 2020 11:35

Well done for doing it yourself. I wish I could but I'm not skilled in that way and more importantly not willing to learn so I'll have to pay to get someone in. As it is, just getting the quotes is giving me a headache and I see why I put it off for so long.

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By pauljohnston
25th Jun 2020 11:00

As you can see it all depends.

I would suggest that before getting quotes you decide what you want the Website to do. Is it for current clients? Is it for new business generation both or something else.

Next is budget and also the bigger the monthly fee the more you are going to get so for £100 not a lot. £500 more

Look at the big boys Practiceweb and the like - they are not cheap but they will work with you before building so that the site does exactly what you want.

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By Guilford Accounting
25th Jun 2020 11:08

You get what you pay for. Sometimes you can pay for a website and then find you don't actually own it. Some developers charge a lower price for the actual site then tie you into to expensive hosting (this is how a lot make their money).

Think of it like you are buying/leasing a car: do you want top-of-the-range or a run around? How heavy will the use be? Do you need it for e-commerce? There is no such thing as 'a website' just like there is no one type of car. Spend time researching what the different models are and can do and then specify what you need. Then put a design brief out.

With regard to hosting the same applies; the cheap ones are usually dire (ie slow to load) and charge for extras like migration and back-up. Take a look at wpxhosting (https://wpxhosting.co.uk/?affid=515) on whose site there is an independent speed test link. Hosting is just as important as a 'lean' site and yet most people go for the cheap option; again you get what you pay for.

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By SimonLever
25th Jun 2020 12:10

Don't forget the site needs to be mobile device friendly. Nowadays anyone under 30 is going to be using their phone or tablet to look at your site.

We use Informanagement who not only design and run the site but they also put out daily content for all social media. Cost about £200 per month but well worth it.

I am current changing the design to be more CV19 friendly and they are carrying out the changes for no additional cost.

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By susanreed
25th Jun 2020 12:33

Thanks everyone,

Some really good advice been given. It's possible that I've got too many quotes now! But definitely have a better understanding of what I need.

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Paul Layte
By Paul Layte FCA
25th Jun 2020 12:46

We tend to lambast business owners on here who ask for what it costs for a set of accounts without providing specifics. I think this is the case here with website.

There is a huge difference between a scrolling 1 page website based on a template and a full fat website. Just a nice video or something for the home page could cost you £1k or more if that is what you want.

I would look at what you want to achieve with it first. Sales? Engagement? Host content? Be operational? Just a basic shop window? Mobile first? Video first?

Our first website was around £700 but we are now well into a £20k + build. Scope it then get it quoted.

Tips:
1) Hosting is peanuts cost for a decent responsive option and where all the money is so make sure you don't end up with a cost annuity too large
2) SEO only works if you are going to put some decent content up on the site otherwise there isn't much to go off. Content is either expensive or time consuming. Work out your plan first.
3) Social, support the website with decent presence on key social channels for you otherwise you only have part of the shop window dressed
4) Messaging, really think about this before the build as it will cost to change
5) Brand, if your not fully happen with it then get this refreshed before
6) Target, who are you trying to attract? Aim it at them
7) Asset, (no not those ones) your images, videos, blogs, content, upto scratch or do you need to work on these also? Factor a budget for these things if needed

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Morph
By kevinringer
25th Jun 2020 13:18

I had to google 'SEO'. How ironic is that!

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By ossyref
25th Jun 2020 16:20

Try the profitable firm, Karen is a chartered accountant herself and should be able to help.

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
25th Jun 2020 16:54

As you appreciate, the reason prices vary so much is that what you get can vary enormously. A key question is to start by being clear as to who you want to influence with your new website? This can help you decide what you want from your new site.

The 3 most common responses here are:
1 - People who are searching online for an accountant just like you.
2 - People you have met who know your firm’s name.
3 - People who have been recommended to you and want to find out something more about you before they get in touch.

I don't build or design websites. I'm more of a strategic adviser to accountants and tax advisers. My guidance for the most basic websites for accountants is here >>> https://bookmarklee.co.uk/effective-websites-a-checklist-for-accountants/

And my more recent advice re how to get the traffic you want to your website is here >>> https://bookmarklee.co.uk/websites/

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By normanwl
26th Jun 2020 16:54

My son does this for a living. So I can use his experience in replying.

Wordpress has themes which you could call templates. They set out the style. so yes they all use these themes.

Secondly. The design for the SEO is important as the way the website has its pages named is important.

In judging who is best look at examples of their work and see what you think your Target audience will like.

Now about costs. How many pages you have matters. The more pages the more it will cost. Depending on where in the UK you are the rates for an independent can vary from £35 per hour to £100 per hour.

Find out what they are doing for the monthly SEO charge as it could be nothing much. Get specifics about this. It can be a bit like razors and blades. They make the money on the SEO because it has a bigger margin.

The key to all website progress is to have the content ready for the developer. Most people do not do this and there is a cost for someone.

So if you have 7 pages and you think they can do a page every 2 hours then £490 is a good price but all of that may not be true.

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By susanreed
27th Jun 2020 09:16

Thanks for clear advice. Is it best to have the same firm do the website and the SEO? There’s one firm who’s been very clear and straightforward on the SEO. Their website design is good but not eye catching. I’m tempted by another more expensive firm who do beautiful web design but not SEO within my budget.

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By susanreed
27th Jun 2020 09:13

-/-

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By susanreed
27th Jun 2020 09:13

-

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