/ Website designers

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badmarmot - on 07 Oct 2016
Hi

I am looking for some recommendations for a website designer/builder, this is a new area for me and could just use google but would rather have a recommendation.

Many thanks
Asher Collins on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

WordPress is really good and very straightforward.

Here's a shameless plug for my WordPress site...

https://climbonweb.wordpress.com
Gordon Stainforth - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to Asher Collins:
> WordPress is really good and very straightforward.

Agreed. As a web designer who used to hand code every site with CSS and PHP, I moved over to the very user-friendly WordPress about a year ago.

> Here's a shameless plug for my WordPress site...

Ditto:
http://gordonstainforth.apps-1and1.net/
Post edited at 10:52
malk - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
me too. clients seem to prefer the futureproofness of cms.
nice stealth web address you have there;)
edit although it comes top in the rankings- i guess you're waiting for domain transfer?
Post edited at 11:24
Gordon Stainforth - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to malk:
No, it was all to do with the quite complex business of archiving my old web site, and also using my surrounding webspace for archiving. That was the simplest solution I could come up with.
This slightly less 'stealthy' link works too:
http://www.gordonstainforth.co.uk/index.php
Post edited at 11:43
Bob Hughes - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

if you want a designer you could do worse than 99designs.com

you write a brief and submit it and you get a load of options by various designers around the world. then you choose your favorite and they get to work designing it. It works well for the basic stuff, less so for the more complex stuff.
two_tapirs - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

If you do go down the WordPress route (and it's one that's well worth considering), take time to make sure you only install the plugins and components that your site actually needs, and learn how to configure them properly. WordPress and plugins have been the subject of many security weaknesses and exploits.
Alasdair Fulton - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

Do you mean a web design package or a web designer/ web design agency?

For the latter, check out: http://www.jonathan-creative.com/ he used to design some of the add banners on here too!
Dax H - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

http://6bdigital.com/
these people have just brought my company web site in to the modern world.
They were quick and okay on price and made exactly what I wanted.
badmarmot - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

hi all thanks for the reply

to clarify I am after someone to build a website for me, for a new business idea,

I have looked at word press but i am not in to IT or that creative, so think time and money would be better spent getting a pro to do it,

many thanks
Oliver Houston - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

Just a plus one for WordPress sites, but I totally get the you want a pro to get the website going, maybe try and get them to teach you about the plugin's and features that they add to the website.

I've done a couple recently with no experience and basically following my nose, but a couple of hours with a pro might have saved me a lot of frustration.
digby - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to Asher Collins:

> WordPress is really good and very straightforward.

Hahahaha! I wish. You risk your sanity when you embark on the WordPress road. Some advice. Use a backup plugin that backs up nightly, and learn how to restore your site from it. Use Wordfence and Bulletproof security plugins. You WILL get hacked and you WILL get the white screen of death. Learn how to use FTP so you can rescue your site.
Then try and find a theme that doesn't make everything massively oversized. You can defeat this with CSS though. As someone else says - use as few plugins as possible. They can become redundant and unsupported but your site relies on them.
The support forums have recently been redesigned. And have diminished in useability and appearance.

Good luck.
captain paranoia - on 09 Oct 2016
In reply to digby:

> Learn how to use FTP so you can rescue your site.

If you learn how to use secure FTP you may not get hacked so easily...?
digby - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to captain paranoia:

> If you learn how to use secure FTP you may not get hacked so easily...?

If you can't access your site through WP for whatever reason, you need to get at the files somehow. FTP allows direct access. Either with a standalone program like Cyberduck, or Dreamweaver (best), or similar. If you have c-panel with your webhost you can use file access there too.
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to digby:

I use Cyberduck and TextWrangler (both freebies). TextWrangler is useful if you're using WordPress and want to tweak the CSS styling. One important tip: you must use what's called a 'child' folder for your particular WordPress 'theme'. This means that if/when your chosen WP theme gets updated, your CSS modifications don't get wiped. The child-theme file overrides/modifies the standard CSS file which it leaves intact. [Sorry about somewhat technical jargon: it'll only make sense to people who have some experience of web design and WordPress.]
Baron Weasel - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

Plug for my sisters company: http://www.wearenet.co.uk/index.php/about-us
PeterBlackler - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

A highly biased recommendation for http://www.insigniacreative.co.uk

We're in the South West and generally: friendly, helpful, reliable - these are good criteria when your looking for website designers. Enthusiasm for and understanding of your intended business model also very important

Good luck with your project. PM me if you want to have talk through it; definitely no hard sell as you may well be best placed to find a company local to you

Pete





Rob Parsons on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to PeterBlackler:

The text on your home page does you no favours:

"Insignia Creative is Web Design Devon and Graphic Design company that believes in listening to you and your customers, creating online and offline creative solutions to drive your business forward. As a Website Design Devon and UK web design, graphic design and marketing agency Insignia Creative is ideally placed to service customers throughout the South West and the UK. We can be relied upon to deliver Web Design Devon and marketing requirements with precision and excellence."

That is very garbled ...
digby - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> TextWrangler is useful if you're using WordPress and want to tweak the CSS styling.

Yes. Especially if you make a localhost installation to try things out before taking them online.

JR - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to digby:

Amongst many good and bad plugins, if you're going to use Wordpress I'd recommend:

WPEngine
WP-migratedb-pro
WP-Rocket (or autoptimize for a lighter/cheaper/trickier version)
iThemes Security
Flatsome theme (quite brilliant, and lightweight for a theme with so many options)
badmarmot - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

hi all

thanks for the ideas, i think i will be contacting some of the recommended this week

thanks again
captain paranoia - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to digby:

Yes, I understood perfectly why you might want to use FTP. But my point was that FTP is an insecure protocol, and any passwords you may use to login in to your website are sent in clear, and thus prone to interception.

So you are well advised to use FTP protected by SSH, to encrypt your FTP logins.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSH_File_Transfer_Protocol
digby - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to captain paranoia:

I thought I was replying to the OP or someone without knowledge! However I am talking about rescuing a situation rather than maintaining a WP site by FTP
1
two_tapirs - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to captain paranoia:

Most WP exploits aren't via FTP, they're through Cross Site Scripting (XSS), Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF), account enumeration, directory traversal, poorly configured sites + plugins, and several other methods that aren't that difficult to master.
Ben Sharp - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

> hi all thanks for the reply

> to clarify I am after someone to build a website for me, for a new business idea,

> I have looked at word press but i am not in to IT or that creative, so think time and money would be better spent getting a pro to do it,

Just to clarify most designers use word press these days anyway. Also be aware that "getting a pro to do it" usually means they create a template and a couple of pages then you create the rest of the pages/content and manage the site yourself. Also if design is important to you then be aware that a lot of web designers (even supposedly good and expensive ones) just use premade wordpress templates and your website will look the same as 90% of the other sites created in wordpress. Have a browse around and you'll soon be able to spot the look of the popular templates. This isn't necessarily a negative, it just depends on what you want from your website (familiarity for users or something eye catching and unique)...which leads on to my next point...

It's very difficult for anyone to give a meaningful recomendation unless they know what you want from your website.

For example if you were a photographer wanting a one page website and you expected your traffic to come from recomendations or business cards (i.e. you meet someone, give them a card and they go direct to your website then call to book) then a simple one page website with some scrolling images and a big contact me button might be suitable. Lots of online companies will do this cheaply just make sure they are hosting with a reputable uk hosting company.

If you're developing a new product range and want a website with 20 pages and an ecommerce shop and you want people to find your products with various keyword searches on google then you would be far better putting a tender out to a few local companies and having a few face to face meetings. They will give you some basic seo training so that you can create your content and manage the website yourself in the future which if optimisation is important for you you will need to do yourself. (websites need constant updating, keyword research is a living thing so no one can just build you a website and that's it - that's just the start and unless you have a massive budget you will be updating and optimising your website yourself).

A few people above recomended doing it yourself. If you want a simple website and you have a small budget then this might be the best option. When you say you're not into IT or that creative then bear in mind:

1 - cheap website just use premade templates there is often no design invovled. If design is important then make sure you see some proofs and examples of what the site will look like
2 - you don't really need any IT skills to create a simple wordpress website
3 - if optimisation is important to your business there are very few options where you wont be looking at doing this yourself - in other words if seo is needed you can't just get a pro to do it and forget about it there will be some learning involved
4 - a lot of people would be better building their own website and hiring a photographer for the photos - a diy website with good striking pictures will probably be better than a cheap off the shelf website with poor images.

So bearing in mind we don't know what you want from your site or your budget I would guess that if I was you I would look at 3 options:

1 - get a cheap online company to make you a generic wordpress template (few pages done, do the seo yourself and expect it to look generic and "wordpressy"). make sure they host with a reputable company.
2 - contact local companies with a proposal. More expensive but sometimes not by much, if you need more than a few pages or seo is important to you they will give you enough training to get going and you will get support in the future. Your website will probably look better and perform better and you'll be better placed to keep it fresh yourself.
3 - do it yourself - cheap (but not in time), pretty quick to learn, will probably be better than option 1 because you'll put some love into it. If your website is complex or involves a shop straight away this adds more complexity.
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two_tapirs - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to badmarmot:

There's also http://www.wix.com/ for simple set up and templates

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