We've got to tell you a little bit about websites, programmers and programming to explain why what we offer is a better deal.
Programmers and Website Designers
Programmers and website designers generally plan on having you as a repeat client. We do too, just not in the same way. When your site is built, most designers/programmers expect to be the ones to make all future changes, for which you are expected to pay. We don't work that way. We're happy to make all the site updates if that's what you want, and some people do. But if you need a professional looking site you can maintain yourself, we want to give you that, and make sure you have the tools to maintain it.
Owner managed sites
We at OfficeElf excel at owner managed sites. You update the content, you add the pictures, you are in charge. You use an admin panel customized just for you. If you're an online store, we set up everything so you can manage it. Regardless, we're here if you need us to make changes you can't.
Every site with more than one page has navigation. Without it there would be no way to get between pages. For some sites, navigation is a menu. On other sites, navigation is provided using links inside a page of text. This website has both a menu, the bar above that says Main Page, Services, etc., and links inside a page; how you got here.
There are two ways to handle menus. A menu can be a separate chunk of information which is included whenever and wherever it's needed, or it's written into each page. When a menu is a separate chunk of information, the menu exist in only one place and is easy and inexpensive to manage and update. When the menu is written into every page, it's difficult to update because every page has to be edited whenever there is a menu change. If you're paying someone to update your site, you're paying for every page to be updated when you add or delete something that effects the menu. This makes changes which effect the menu much more expensive.
Current programming practices
As we comment in our "See this" box to the left, programming practices change over time. What used to be "the thing" is no longer supported. The current practice is to separate formatting, form and function into separate entities that work together. In this way a site achieves a faster loading, much smaller footprint. This is the way we program. If you look at the address bar at the top of this window, you will see you always access the same file regardless of the page to which you navigate. The uninitiated would think everything must be included in one big file, but that is not the case. This site is actually made up of a dozen or more files that all have a unique job. There is, of course, the parent file where all other files are included as needed. There is a file which contains all the formatting . . . what color and size things are. A few files are text, like this page. Others pull information from the database or a listing file (portfolio, quote of the day and select the featured site). All the files work in concert to produce a site that is clean and easy to navigate, yet still interesting and informative.
I need to touch on "what you see is what you get" software. They aren't a totally bad thing. You can purchase software that will let you build your site for about half what it costs to get a basic site up on the web. You'll learn a lot! One of the most important things you will learn is how much time and effort it takes to create a good website. The software can't supply the knowledge and experience to build a site that is functional, attractive, professional looking and easy to maintain. WYSIWYG software will create slower loading pages that take up more server space. If your site is going to be small, WYSIWYG software is certainly an option.
There are two ongoing expenses attached to websites. The first is domain name registration. To have a website you don't need a domain name, but it certainly helps. For the annual cost, it's a really good buy. You get the ability to have your own email address which won't change regardless of who is providing your internet connection. I have had one of my email addresses for nearly a decade.
When I purchased my first domain name there were only a couple companies offering domain name registration. I paid $45 for a single year's registration. I still own that original domain, but now I pay about ¼ that amount for registration renewal. That's a big difference.
Instead of just a few registrars, there are now hundreds. There are resellers who have accounts with a registrar and sell domain names at a profit. There are hosts who will charge double or more the cost to register domains for their clients. There are resellers offering domains for the same price I paid so many years ago. Domain registration should be very close to $10, not $45.
The second ongoing expense is hosting. Unless you're willing to accept advertising banners on your site or can use the space provided by your ISP and don't need anything but plain html, you'll need to pay for hosting. The price and options vary greatly. There are many different options available in hosting, with many different prices. Two vendors will offer the same hosting package at wildly different prices. Support is also an issue. We provide one type of hosting at one low cost. Our hosting includes email. If you're interested in an online store, we provide a free shopping cart. We set you up with what you need to have a site that does what you need for one low cost. Compare what we offer and you'll see what we mean.
We have a lot to offer. First and foremost, we offer profession work for one of the best deals in the industry. We don't expect you to pay for us to do things you can handle yourself. We set you up to manage your own site at a price that's a real steal. You don't pay for a learning curve, testing or research.
Talk to our customers. See what they say. We have clubs and farms and online stores. We have vanity sites, informational sites and an internationally published magazine. We host bulletin boards and photo galleries and annual events. We have subscription content sites. Most of all, we have satisfied customers.
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