Last fall, my friend Sarah and I gave a talk on web design for her RWA chapter. We sent out a little survey ahead of time to find out what people wanted to know — and, implicitly, how much they knew about web design in general. (I didn’t think I was going to find much web experience in the group, but I wanted to make sure. Talking basics to a room full of bored experts is a special kind of hell.)
The one question that came up in nearly every survey response was “how much does it cost?”
The answer is complicated and depends on your value of “it.” Are you doing the site yourself or hiring someone? Should you invest in industrial-grade software or make do with something less powerful? Are you published yet? — i.e., is the purpose of your site to sell books, or to help you make contacts in the industry prior to publishing?
If your answer to the last question is “it’s just a personal site,” go have a beer or something. What I’m going to talk about for the next few days is what it takes to get a professional site going.
With that in mind:
Hiring a Professional
- maintenance rate/contracts
There are a slew of other questions that stem from this: What do you look for in a professional developer? What isn’t worth your time and money? How can you tell good developers from bad? What are their dirty little secrets?
I’ll get to those later. It’s a big topic and includes a couple of rants.
First, let’s talk software for the do-it-yourself crowd. You’ll note that some software is listed in bold; those are the ones I recommend.
- Adobe GoLive Ã¢â