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We are a website design consultancy, based in the City of Durham (England), specialising in personally designed sites for individuals and small organisations: authors, publishers, performers, visual artists and community groups.

We will be pleased to quote you for various services including:

The first steps

If you ask us about designing a web site for you, the first thing we'll do is sit down together and discuss why you think you need a web site, what you hope to get out of it and what can be achieved within your budget. This initial consultation, which takes an hour or so, is free and without obligation on either side. We might agree ~ and there have been occasions when we've done this ~ that you don't need a web site, or at least not yet.

We won't come with preconceptions or try to try to fit you into an off-the-shelf design. Each of our web sites is individually crafted, though if we can save you money by adapting elements we've used elsewhere, we'll do that.

After the consultation we'll provide you with a proposed specification for the site together with a quotation for doing the work. The minimum step is for us to set up a single web page, so that anyone typing your domain name into a web browser will find some information. A page like this costs £130 for one year, including the domain name registration and hosting charges. Renewals will be at the prevailing rate, currently £55 per year for a small .uk web site.

That price includes various email options, whether you already have an email account or not. We can provide you with webmail, set up an email account or automatically forward emails sent to you@yourname.co.uk to your existing email address (so you never have to change your email address again, even if you switch your internet service provider). Minor updates, such as to a telephone number or email address, are included.

The next step up is a small site with, typically, three pages or four (though this can vary depending on the amount of information on each page). We have prepared a number of sites like this and our current price is £300 - £400, which includes the domain name registration, the first year's hosting, and about five or six hours design work.

Most web sites are larger than this; but many start small, and expand at a rate that suits you. Our basic rate is £50 per hour, but we bill by the minute. If you're upgrading from a single-page site, we'll reuse what we can from it and quote a price which reflects the investment you've already made.

We will discuss with you what special features might help convey your information to your visitors: you might choose to keep a blog (an online diary), invite visitors to subscribe to an email mailing list, integrate with other networking media like Facebook and Twitter - the choice is yours.

Once we've agreed the specification, we will deliver for a fixed price. And once you've paid for the site, it's yours.

We're small enough to be able to give you individual, personal attention and also small enough not to levy VAT on our prices.

Note the above prices apply if you have a .co.uk or a .org.uk domain. International domains (.com .org .info and .net) cost £10 a year more.

What we believe in

We believe web sites should be content-driven, displaying your message in a way that grabs the attention without being gimmicky. It's not a place to show off our skills, it's a place to show off yours.

We never forget that many users - your potential customers - will be using PCs that they bought years ago, with small screens, slow modems and old software, although most people now have a broadband connection. We monitor the software that people visiting our web sites are using, to make sure that as many people as possible see them to the best advantage without having to download new software. We found, for example, that in June 2012, around 71% of our visitors were using Windows with 23% using Macs, 3% Linux and 3% others. Over the past five years the proportion of people using Internet Explorer has fallen from 84% to 43%, with Firefox (20%), Safari (18%) and Google Chrome (12%) now being used by significant numbers, and smart phone (Android and iPhones) usage becoming apparent. We take care to ensure that our websites work as intended with all these configurations.

We also note that many web sites include pictures with a degree of detail that is imperceptible to the human eye. By removing this superfluous detail we are able to reduce file sizes, often by 75%, and achieve dramatic improvements in download time.

We believe that web sites should be accessible, quick to download and easy to navigate. We can help you to design your web site to achieve this.

What else will you need?

You will almost certainly also need a domain name and also somewhere to host your web site. We can provide both of these. Find out more on our page about domain names and hosting.