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Get a professionally built website, without breaking the bank!

The Business Web Development Package

Foundry Web Design Starter Package

 

This website package will provide you with a fully functional, professional, and up to date website that compares with custom made sites that cost ten times more.

(To see more examples of Foundry Program Websites, CLICK HERE)

Packages begin at $3,626 or $130 / mo. hosting


 


Package Details:

 

The Business Package includes:

 

  1. Set up on server of your choice
  2. Installation of your CMS of choice
  3. Installation of your chosen theme, with all of its included elements (Themes typically include: Home page, Portfolio/Services page, About Us page, Contact Page, javascript enabled menus, function animation, slider/graphic carousel; map; etc.)
  4. Build-out of the site content you provide
  5. Changes to color*
  6. Your logo
  7. Your graphics
  8. One set of revisions

 

*Color changes refer to CSS theme changes. Additional fees may apply for graphic design.

Prices are subject to change and available approved credit. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

Examples of Business Package:

Go Greener Facilities Management

Michigan Global Talent Retention Initiative

 


 

Professional Web Development Package

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This website package includes all of the great features of our Business Package plus your choice of an additional three plugins not included in your theme package.

Packages begin at $5,522 hosting

(To see more examples of Foundry Program Websites, CLICK HERE)

 


 

Package Details:

The Professional Package includes:

  1. Set up on server of your choice
  2. Installation of your CMS of choice
  3. Installation of your chosen theme, with all of its included elements (Themes typically include: Home page, Portfolio/Services page, About Us page, Contact Page, javascript enabled menus, function animation, slider/graphic carousel; map; etc.)
  4. Build-out of the site content you provide
  5. Changes to color*
  6. Your logo
  7. Your graphics
  8. One set of revisions
  9. Choice of THREE plugins (see list to right)

Additional features available: Inventory loading**; support and maintenance; advanced SEO

*Color changes refer to CSS theme changes. Additional fees may apply for graphic design.

**Inventory loading is quoted depending on the number of products, and amount of information to load. Standard rate of inventory loading is $100/hr.

 

CHOOSE ANY THREE OF THE FOLLOWING PLUGINS:

  1. E-Mail & Notifications
  2. E-Commerce System (setting up a store)
  3. E-Commerce Payment (setting up payment for the store that already exists)
  4. Social Media Set Up (enable your site to include links to social media)
  5. Forum(s) (So your users can interact)
  6. Custom Secure Contact Forms (Contact forms for a variety of applications)
  7. Social Media Push (push your site content to social media)
  8. Calendar (Let everyone know what’s up with your organization, events)
  9. Appointment Booking (Let your users book with you online!)
  10. Customer Relationship Management System (For Salesforce, Hubspot, et. al.)
  11. Pay Forms (Non-commerce) (take payments on registration)

 

Examples of Professional Package:

Vision Tire and Auto

Force by Design

 


 

Enterprise Web Development Package

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This website package has it all: the site, design, management system, and all the plugins you desire.

Packages begin at $9,888 hosting

(To see more examples of Foundry Program Websites, CLICK HERE)


Package Details:

The Enterprise Package includes:

  1. Set up on server of your choice
  2. Installation of your CMS of choice
  3. Installation of your chosen theme, with all of its included elements (Themes typically include: Home page, Portfolio/Services page, About Us page, Contact Page, javascript enabled menus, function animation, slider/graphic carousel; map; etc.)
  4. Build-out of the site content you provide
  5. Changes to color*
  6. Your logo
  7. Your graphics
  8. One set of revisions
  9. All of the plugins you want (List on Right)

Additional features available: Inventory loading**; support and maintenance; advanced SEO

*Color changes refer to CSS theme changes. Additional fees may apply for graphic design.

**Inventory loading is quoted depending on the number of products, and amount of information to load. Standard rate of inventory loading is $100/hr.

CHOOSE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING PLUGINS:

  1. E-Mail & Notifications
  2. E-Commerce System (setting up a store)
  3. E-Commerce Payment (setting up payment for the store that already exists)
  4. Social Media Set Up (enable your site to include links to social media)
  5. Forum(s) (So your users can interact)
  6. Custom Secure Contact Forms (Contact forms for a variety of applications)
  7. Social Media Push (push your site content to social media)
  8. Calendar (Let everyone know what’s up with your organization, events)
  9. Appointment Booking (Let your users book with you online!)
  10. Customer Relationship Management System (For Salesforce, Hubspot, et. al.)
  11. Pay Forms (Non-commerce) (take payments on registration)

 

Examples of Enterprise Package:

The Armory Project 

Wealth & Wisdom Institute

 

 

 
 
Published in Web Design
Foundry Partners make the News!

This past weekend, the Lansing State Journal ran an article in their business section about entrepreneurs taking their companies to the next level. And, what do you know? It featured Brian Town of our partner Michigan Creative and our own Craig Tucker (CEO of Tucknologies) talking about how they are able to move from start up to sustained business and discussed some of the projects we're working on...including The Foundry Web Program. The Foundry Web Program is a partnership between Michigan Creative and Tucknologies that creates affordable, professional websites that are launched in 30 days.

Published in Blog
Announcing the Foundry Web Program

Tucknologies and Michigan Creative teamed up to create a new web product called "The Foundry." The foundry is an affordable web design program designed to help your business’ website. 

Published in Blog
Announcing the Release of Force by Design's New Website

Tucknologies announces the release of a new website that we built and deployed for Force by Design.

Published in Blog
Four reasons to choose Tucknologies

 Four Reasons why you may need Tucknologies to handle your Technologies:

01UZoom MediaSoftware and Web Development: We do software, web design and development with PHP, Javascript, C , Perl, Ruby, Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, CSS3, HTML5, Graphic User Interface (GUI), User Experience (UX), Information Architecture (IA), Mobile Apps, and Games. Responsive websites? Yeah we got that. Everything we do, we do with an eye towards the future of your site. And, most importantly, with both eyes on creating new revenue streams. Our clients love our services...and...if you need help with your current website check out our Support and Maintenance.

 

02Mobile App DevelopmentTech as a Revenue Stream: Being in business these days means being on top of Tech. Well Tucknologies is on top of tech. We have consulted for a wide range of businesses, from successful small businesses to large media conglomerates. These days, we're presented with a lot of options and a lot of things to think about. HTTPS? HTML 5? CSS3? Cloud? SAAS? BYOD? PCI? Clear up the confusion with IT Consulting from Tucknologies. Do you need analysis of your data? Tucknologies can take a look at your current traffic and leverage it for you with our Analytics and Data Analysis. We specialize in creating plans that will help you win!

 

03Mobile Apps: Tucknologies' staff has created mobile applications in iOS (Apple) and in Android (Google).

We have  created "Thumb Tied" an anti-distracted driving application (2013); "Sentencing Authority" for Mokasoft which aids prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys (2014); and "MSU Museum" for the MSU Museum (pictured, 2012) Check out our mobile app page...

 

04Customer Service: Our firm is built on customers service. If you are tired of not getting an answer from your developer, or having to wait months or years after the initial deadline, you need to switch to Tucknologies. We take customer service seriously, and our customers are happy with their results.

 

We get asked ALL the time...what does a website cost? Well, as both consumers/customers and producers/sellers we thought we would like to clear up this question once and for all:

 

How much should a website cost?

 


 

 

It depends.

I'm sure you probably both expected and feared that answer. So, instead of telling you what every developer ever told you...I thought we'd try to clear it up. Because, you probably don't have experience building a website...and that's probably why you are here right now!

 

Your Web Site is like Your Home

For the purpose of this exercise, we are going to use the analogy of a domicile or a place where one lives. It'll be easier to explain things this way, as we all live in and have had experiences with housing of some sort. We'll start at the most basic, and work our way up. Don't worry, not only will we explain what a website is, what kind of web design it takes, and what kind of web development is needed...but we'll also give you pros and cons for both!

 

 

Your website as a lonely webpage (a.k.a. "The Shelter")

Your One Page WebsiteA lean to...a refrigerator box...or an abandoned freight car. The shelter is your most basic form of domicile, if you can call it that! This is a one page post-card type website. It's usually sold as "Free" or "Starter," and sometimes comes with a limited number of other pages or some kind of page cap.

 

 

 

 

 

Cons

  • Users will never find your page
  • Users don't trust too little content
  • Unprofessional in presentation
  • Weak design
  • "Commodity Community" websites only add value to the provider
  • If everything fails, good luck getting support!

 

Users won't ever find your pages because there is no depth to your content. Users also do not trust too little content. It means to them that you didn't put enough thought or effort into it...or are too small to provide a better user experience. This means that the presentation screams to users "Hey! We don't really care about the information we put here. It's short sighted, and it just shows you what you might expect from us. Cutting corners and no attention to detail."

  Your design isn't usually as robust as it should be, and your site ends up looking like it should have been made 5-6 years ago...on the day it launches. Imagine being a baker and putting out day-old bread as your main product. And, lastly the "commodity community" refers to sites that offer "free" websites to businesses and users and claim to provide a full list of services. When in reality, they are cookie-cutter websites that only add value to the provider. There is no free lunch. When you give these companies your information, they not only get a monthly fee from you: They get advertising dollars from marketers and get big bucks for selling your information.

 

Oh, and just pray you don't have something go wrong...they aren't exactly quickly to respond to your issue.

 

Pros

  • Cheap. Free or Nearly Free (>$5.99/mo)

 


 

Your Economy-Class Website (a.k.a. "The Cabin or Trailer")

Your Economy Class WebsiteA step up from the basic shelter is the cabin, or trailer. This will suffice for those who want a few more amenities, like running water and a stove to prepare meals. And, like the analogy these websites will give you the ability to do a few things like add blogs or other content. Think of it as Economy e-Commerce.

 

 

 

Cons

  • Despite advertising pretty limited in choices
  • Still looks "cheap"
  • Modernizing is problem
  • Feature poor
  • Still on someone else's server
  • Not easy to check change impossible to customize

They'll tell you have you have a TON of options to choose from, but those options are all still pre-defined. If your round logo doesn't fit the square hole, then oh well...there is no one to help you at this cost. Despite being a bit more modern in style and design sensitivities, it still comes across as looking cheap to the users. And, if you want to update your site, it's going to be a problem as you'll have to wait for the system to allow you to do it.

There are fewer features, and certainly only choice for technologies. For instance, you often can't use a shopping cart technology of your choice or a slider that supports video...if you decide to go this route. Remember, it's a trailer. It doesn't even have a foundation...

Being on someone else's server makes you a slave to your provider. If you ever do decide to change or disconnect from the provider, it can be a hassle getting them to work with your new development team.

We always insist that a company that does business has control over their own server. Not with someone who has your website on their own server...and holding all the keys!

 

Pros

  • Cheap-only costs between $5.99-$14.99 / mo 
  • Multiple pages are possible
  • Things people might see on more developed sites

 

These sites aren't expensive. They run between $5.99 and $14.99 a month. And, you can do multiple pages and sometimes can do menus and categories. But it's limited in terms of functionality and originality. And, sometimes you might not even have your own domain...though you will see things that are on other more developed sites like fancy animation and better, more current interfaces.


 

Your Business Class Website

(a.k.a. "The Townhouse/Suburban Home")

The first real step up to a real business class website is to look for a site that you control the server, control the log in, and control the content. This means that a professional web design firm sells you a solution to put up a website. These are normally based on a popular CMS (Content Management System) like Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, or Magento. These CMS-s allow the user to control the basic levels of content for the site such as pictures, galleries, blogs, and other media. 

What we're talking about here is a Template Website. What that means is someone makes the design for a Content Management System and a development team or solo developer puts it together on the server, and appropriately adds/creates and adjusts content.

 

 

Cons

  • Not unique
  • Dependent on 3rd party if they change or don't keep up
  • Design is not your intellectual property, and sometimes you have to accept someone else's name on it
  • Not cheap (generally runs between $1,000 and $50,000 a site depending on complexity of add on-s and feature integration)
  • Customization available, but not easy and would require professional help
  • Does need professional back up if not fully handling it

The downside to this approach is that you don't usually end up with a unique design...unless you are prepared to buy the design out-right from the developer. This usually means a purchase of $2,000-$6,000 for the exclusive rights of the design. The site may also fall prey to outdated and not updated technology as you are often reliant on 3rd party plug ins and software. If the CMS doesn't fit with the plugin, you may have a site that no longer works.

As stated in the last paragraph, you do have to accept someone else having the same site or having the designer's name on it. If that is something you are willing to accept, then this might be the choice for you. Customization is available, but unless you have some PHP, CSS and Javascript experience you might need professional help to do that. If you aren't handling the backing up of the website, you will need a professional to ensure that your site stays up.

Pros

  • Templates can be swapped out to keep design fresh
  • Communities push technology on its own
  • Lots of community support
  • Lots of bells snd whistles for your site to be customized with.
  • Mobile becomes possible
  • Cheaper than custom made 

The Templates can be easy (by professional standards) to swap-out. So if your site gets old and tired looking, and you don't want to lose all that content...you can switch over to a new one. That keeps it fresh and modern and keeps your site from looking like no one pays any attention to it. Because if it looks like no one pays attention to it, then no one will! 

The CMS based development communities that develop the templates, the plugins, and the software are relatively active. This means that they are constantly acting to update and upgrade the functionality of the system. This keeps the software and the tools that run on it fresh, and pushes the CMS to be able to do more as time goes on. There is also a lot of support for these systems, as a lot of users have adopted this way of production.


CALL 1-855-WEB-WIZZ to get started NOW!

 

And, since there are professionals working on the software all the time there are a lot more bells and whistles to customize your site with. Don't like the shopping cart you are using? Choose a different one. Don't like the drop down menu animation? Swap out that plug in for another one. 

This also makes different versions for mobile a possibility as designers are making their designs functional across different platforms. And, since you are essentially picking out all of the decor at once and applying it to your foundation and skeleton, it's usually cheaper than custom made. 

If you are a business with an annual gross income of less than $150,000 then this is probably the best solution for you. Of course, if you have designs on being larger, growing to compete nationally and internationally, then this won't work for very long.

 


 

 

Your Enterprise Class Website: (a.k.a. "The Penthouse/Mansion")

Our discussion on website development has brought us to the last on our list:  The custom made "Enterprise Class" website. These are, as you might assume, expensive to build. They take top designers sometimes millions of dollars to develop robust, integrated e-commerce solutions. You likely already have used one, if you like Amazon or Zappos or host of other multi-million dollar/year consumer shops. Or, if you've used a service like Priceline, Hertz, or happened to look for a new car over at Ford.

The Enterprise Class of website is a site designed from the first pixel to the last PCI Compliant bit of code for a single unifying purpose: To serve an organization in conducting their business and increasing sales. They are investments as important to the company as new machinery, research and development, and hiring and retaining the right talent. Often, these types of websites will consume entire development firms for years. Or as often is the case currently will hire entire departments and produce the online experience. 

This can cost a firm millions of dollars to build--either by outsourcing or in-sourcing. 

Cons

  • Requires extremely competent help (if not gifted and high in demand talent)
  • Takes the most time  to complete, sometimes over a year from start to finish.
  • Often an investment this large doesn't change fast enough
  • Doing something that had never been done means taking a chance on the promise of the idea. 
  • Costs between $50,000 and $5,000,000 (or more).

Your Enterprise Website

To do a large Enterprise Class website you'll need plenty of funds and patience. It'll take highly skilled and high demand talent to pull it off. That means, it won't be cheap to get that competitive advantage. Making the website have an acceptable ROI (Return On Investment) means putting a lot of development through the disciplines of psychology, consumer behavior, economics, marketing and computer sciences. We're usually talking advanced degrees, technologies and fresh-from-the-lab software. 

Because of all that is put into it, an Enterprise Class website won't change that fast. The technologies change only when the company can ensure a competent and consistent user experience. So, that sometimes mean dancing on the knife's edge trying to keep current and relevant while trying to get a better ROI out of your last capital expenditure. 

You are also taking a chance on your idea. Sometimes doing something that has never been done before means taking the risk that you will have to change what that is. 

Pros:

  • One of a kind
  • Built to specification
  • Content management that integrates and enhances your work flow
  • Advanced technologies
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Retains highest % of profit
  • No fees from vendors
  • Just % with the credit card companies

As with anything that is one of a kind, it is special. Getting something no one else has gives you a measurable competitive advantage. Any way that you can differentiate or substantiate yourself online you should. 

And, since it is unique it is built to your specification. That means the time, money and effort needed to sustain a long and sometimes expensive endeavor. To get exactly what you want and done exactly the way you want it, it means paying for skilled labor and the time it takes. Since it is built to your specifications: A proper Enterprise Class website can integrate with your inventory, marketing initiatives, data harvesting software and can greatly increase your revenue. 

It is also most likely to be a leader technologically. This will add to your intellectual property rights, and can be something you can license down the road. Which is always a good thing!

You retain the highest percentage of profit. You don't have to pay vendors' fees since you did it yourself. Your enterprise class web design means that you aren't beholding to plugins and components that may (or may not) be supported tomorrow. The only real considerations to make with an enterprise class website are the credit card percentages. Which, in such rarefied air is not such a bad problem to have!

 


CALL 1-855-WEB-WIZZ to get started NOW!

 


In the end it all depends. It depends on what your needs are. It depends on what your budget is. I hope that our guide gives you a frame of reference. Of course, prices change and are widely varied. This blog represents what we think in our best opinion is what a site of the corresponding magnitude would cost to build...or at least what it cost when we published it.

There are ALWAYS exceptions. Tucknologies recommends that you pick a site to suit you and make it your own!

 

 

 

Published in Blog

What you should do for designing your website is a very important decision for your organization, or you as an individual. You’ve seen in our previous blog of what not to do, but what should you do? Well you have to begin with the end user in mind. This isn’t what you want, it’s what your customer, or audience wants. They are spending their time on you, which in today’s world time truly is money.

So what is there that makes it worth their time?

International Heat-Seeking Web DesignDo you have anything that you use in talking with potential clients or use in promotions or advertising that work?

Those things are the two first considerations. Because getting someone to your site is like they walked through your door. You have to provide them with a unique value proposition, or simply put “reason for using.”Designing a website should take into consideration what customers and users want from you, and going from there.

Published in Blog

Once you have decided to make your new website, you have to decide where to host this beast. It’s not just a consideration of “well I should go with the place I bought the domain” though there is nothing wrong with that. It all depends on what you want out of your service. That’s where server considerations come in.

You need to think about costs, and growth. These are the two biggest variables that you have to realize when you plan what type of service you should use. Costs can range greatly from one provider to the other. Some of them are enterprise class, like Liquid Web, Google or Amazon Web Services. Some, are just fly-by-night operators...or big companies that really don't care for anything more than your wallet.

Anyone can do it. Search for the term “website hosting services” and you’ll get over 112,000,000 results. That’s because there is little to no regulation for hosting or ISPs in the United States. One of the few remaining “wild west” parts of the WWW. Your local coffee shop can be a host. You could, if you had the hardware.

But would you want to trust your business to that?

 


 

 

 

Making a good interface is essential to enhancing the user experience on a website. Many of the technologies we use and choose to implement on our websites we choose because of the effectiveness of the user interface.

 

 


 

 

 

01

Simplicity

The design should always keep in mind the function. The function of the interface, be it a graphical representation of data or to move an input from the user to something actionable like a contact form, has to be top priority. Lately the "flat" style has been the trend.

02

Clarity

The interface should be clear in its intent and in its function. It should inform the user as to "what does this thing do" without getting in the way of the function. So in designing graphic user interfaces (GUIs) the interface itself has to be self-evident.

03

Brevity

Over complicating the design with guides and finely nuanced prompts gets in the way of the overall goal which is the function of the GUI. Development should be brief and great thought should be put into the most concise way of explaining things.

04

Playfulness


Remember, your users are just like you and like to explore and discover. So there has to be an element of fun and play involved. This is what some people describe as "cool" or "neat." Simplifying the experience to those two words is proof that you have a playful design. There should be motion, cause and effect, rewards for actions that are stimulating but subtle.

05

Familiarity

One of the worst things a design can incorporate is being too off the wall or revolutionary. If there is no known analog to "how it works" then the user is likely to become confused and give up interacting with the GUI. There is a reason why we use "sliders" and "buttons" and "pins" (not to mention "desktops, folders and files"): We have a real-life tactile substitute. This makes designing and developing the software for GUIs challenging to say the least. You have to walk a fine line between pushing the envelope and pulling the rest of us along with you.

06

Speed

If you click on something and it doesn't "just happen" then you're sunk. As a GUI designer you have to understand that the way you want things to work is the way people want things to work. In the real world, there are often nearly instantaneous interactions with the environment. Strike the knife against the stalk and it cuts, leaving you with an ear of corn. Cause and effect. Reward for stimulus has to be incorporated into the interface.

  

07

Responsive

Does the interface "talk back"? When a user starts an action, there should be some response by the interface. Haptic controls give you touch, the sound effects give you sound, and of course the eyes see "what happens" when a user (you)  take an action. Responsive also applies to the platform that the interface will be seen on. If you see it on a laptop, that's one thing. (See this article). If you see it on a tablet, that's another. It's not a turn of phrase, the screen size varies and the relationship of the elements of the interface have to be responsive to the platform that the information is seen on. That often times means creating different platform regimes with your style/css and hierarchy of priorities for each expected device resolution.

 

08

Clean

Clean is a cousin of Brevity, but this is a word that is often used but most of the time...misused. It doesn't mean no graphics, in fact that's the quickest way to boring. Studies have shown that people love graphics and artwork, and respond in the same ways that they respond to other media: It elicits emotional responses. Clean means an appropriate balance between visual and coded information (graphics vs. text). We're pattern seekers, and crave balance and so clean means in correct balance.

The problem with Clean is that it is subjective. Everyone's idea of what constitutes this design metric is different. The best way to proceed here is developing the aesthetic that comes from application of the other principles. If it does come together, then it becomes clean to most users.

 

09

The Sizzle-Sexy

The wow factor has to be there. Great interfaces make users happy. If the application of the previous principles are deft then the interface will be hot...

...or not.

It has to at the very least live up to the current expectations for the audience/user. If the interface is going to be blah then at least it has to be modern-blah. "Modern-Blah" is when it meets expectations but doesn't give any additional stimulus or thrill of discovery.  "Modern-Blah" is the status quo right before it becomes passé

 

10

Succinct

Get to the point should be the point of the interface. If it's too cute by half then it's a waste of time to design or to use. There is rarely anything more annoying than unnecessary or superfluous functions or tricks. Page turned corners, aggressive use of sound effects, and self-starting media distracts from the function. Each design should be simple and succinct.

 

11

Comforting

The interface should be comforting enough so that the user doesn't feel that if they DO something that they can't UNDO it. No one wants to make a mistake or do something they didn't want to do. Giving the user the option to correct their mistakes within a certain period of time allows them to change their mind. It's forgiving. Above all, it's there to aid the user.

 

There are designs for interfaces all over the place. Just about anything you use as a tool, in essence, is a user interface. It's important to a designer to keep in mind that it's a tool. A tool has to be functional and work as designed. There are many tools out there, from awesome open source interfaces that are plug-n-play to custom interfaces like the ones we design for clients. We love the availability of tools that are out there, and we use a mix of our own and other's designs. A good tool is a good tool. If it follows the guide above, it will likely be "cool" enough to be used again and again.

And that's what makes a great graphic user interface design.

Published in Software Stories

 

We get asked ALL the time...what does a website cost? Well, as both consumers/customers and producers/sellers we thought we would like to clear up this question once and for all:

 

How much should a website cost?

 


 

 

It depends.

I'm sure you probably both expected and feared that answer. So, instead of telling you what every developer ever told you...I thought we'd try to clear it up. Because, you probably don't have experience building a website...and that's probably why you are here right now!

 

Your Web Site is like Your Home

For the purpose of this exercise, we are going to use the analogy of a domicile or a place where one lives. It'll be easier to explain things this way, as we all live in and have had experiences with housing of some sort. We'll start at the most basic, and work our way up. Don't worry, not only will we explain what a website is, what kind of web design it takes, and what kind of web development is needed...but we'll also give you pros and cons for both!

 

 

Your website as a lonely webpage (a.k.a. "The Shelter")

Your One Page WebsiteA lean to...a refrigerator box...or an abandoned freight car. The shelter is your most basic form of domicile, if you can call it that! This is a one page post-card type website. It's usually sold as "Free" or "Starter," and sometimes comes with a limited number of other pages or some kind of page cap.

 

 

 

 

 

Cons

  • Users will never find your page
  • Users don't trust too little content
  • Unprofessional in presentation
  • Weak design
  • "Commodity Community" websites only add value to the provider
  • If everything fails, good luck getting support!

 

Users won't ever find your pages because there is no depth to your content. Users also do not trust too little content. It means to them that you didn't put enough thought or effort into it...or are too small to provide a better user experience. This means that the presentation screams to users "Hey! We don't really care about the information we put here. It's short sighted, and it just shows you what you might expect from us. Cutting corners and no attention to detail."

  Your design isn't usually as robust as it should be, and your site ends up looking like it should have been made 5-6 years ago...on the day it launches. Imagine being a baker and putting out day-old bread as your main product. And, lastly the "commodity community" refers to sites that offer "free" websites to businesses and users and claim to provide a full list of services. When in reality, they are cookie-cutter websites that only add value to the provider. There is no free lunch. When you give these companies your information, they not only get a monthly fee from you: They get advertising dollars from marketers and get big bucks for selling your information.

 

Oh, and just pray you don't have something go wrong...they aren't exactly quickly to respond to your issue.

 

Pros

  • Cheap. Free or Nearly Free (>$5.99/mo)

 


 

Your Economy-Class Website (a.k.a. "The Cabin or Trailer")

Your Economy Class WebsiteA step up from the basic shelter is the cabin, or trailer. This will suffice for those who want a few more amenities, like running water and a stove to prepare meals. And, like the analogy these websites will give you the ability to do a few things like add blogs or other content. Think of it as Economy e-Commerce.

 

 

 

Cons

  • Despite advertising pretty limited in choices
  • Still looks "cheap"
  • Modernizing is problem
  • Feature poor
  • Still on someone else's server
  • Not easy to check change impossible to customize

They'll tell you have you have a TON of options to choose from, but those options are all still pre-defined. If your round logo doesn't fit the square hole, then oh well...there is no one to help you at this cost. Despite being a bit more modern in style and design sensitivities, it still comes across as looking cheap to the users. And, if you want to update your site, it's going to be a problem as you'll have to wait for the system to allow you to do it.

There are fewer features, and certainly only choice for technologies. For instance, you often can't use a shopping cart technology of your choice or a slider that supports video...if you decide to go this route. Remember, it's a trailer. It doesn't even have a foundation...

Being on someone else's server makes you a slave to your provider. If you ever do decide to change or disconnect from the provider, it can be a hassle getting them to work with your new development team.

We always insist that a company that does business has control over their own server. Not with someone who has your website on their own server...and holding all the keys!

 

Pros

  • Cheap-only costs between $5.99-$14.99 / mo 
  • Multiple pages are possible
  • Things people might see on more developed sites

 

These sites aren't expensive. They run between $5.99 and $14.99 a month. And, you can do multiple pages and sometimes can do menus and categories. But it's limited in terms of functionality and originality. And, sometimes you might not even have your own domain...though you will see things that are on other more developed sites like fancy animation and better, more current interfaces.


 

Your Business Class Website

(a.k.a. "The Townhouse/Suburban Home")

The first real step up to a real business class website is to look for a site that you control the server, control the log in, and control the content. This means that a professional web design firm sells you a solution to put up a website. These are normally based on a popular CMS (Content Management System) like Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, or Magento. These CMS-s allow the user to control the basic levels of content for the site such as pictures, galleries, blogs, and other media. 

What we're talking about here is a Template Website. What that means is someone makes the design for a Content Management System and a development team or solo developer puts it together on the server, and appropriately adds/creates and adjusts content.

 

 

Cons

  • Not unique
  • Dependent on 3rd party if they change or don't keep up
  • Design is not your intellectual property, and sometimes you have to accept someone else's name on it
  • Not cheap (generally runs between $1,000 and $50,000 a site depending on complexity of add on-s and feature integration)
  • Customization available, but not easy and would require professional help
  • Does need professional back up if not fully handling it

The downside to this approach is that you don't usually end up with a unique design...unless you are prepared to buy the design out-right from the developer. This usually means a purchase of $2,000-$6,000 for the exclusive rights of the design. The site may also fall prey to outdated and not updated technology as you are often reliant on 3rd party plug ins and software. If the CMS doesn't fit with the plugin, you may have a site that no longer works.

As stated in the last paragraph, you do have to accept someone else having the same site or having the designer's name on it. If that is something you are willing to accept, then this might be the choice for you. Customization is available, but unless you have some PHP, CSS and Javascript experience you might need professional help to do that. If you aren't handling the backing up of the website, you will need a professional to ensure that your site stays up.

Pros

  • Templates can be swapped out to keep design fresh
  • Communities push technology on its own
  • Lots of community support
  • Lots of bells snd whistles for your site to be customized with.
  • Mobile becomes possible
  • Cheaper than custom made 

The Templates can be easy (by professional standards) to swap-out. So if your site gets old and tired looking, and you don't want to lose all that content...you can switch over to a new one. That keeps it fresh and modern and keeps your site from looking like no one pays any attention to it. Because if it looks like no one pays attention to it, then no one will! 

The CMS based development communities that develop the templates, the plugins, and the software are relatively active. This means that they are constantly acting to update and upgrade the functionality of the system. This keeps the software and the tools that run on it fresh, and pushes the CMS to be able to do more as time goes on. There is also a lot of support for these systems, as a lot of users have adopted this way of production.


CALL 1-855-WEB-WIZZ to get started NOW!

 

And, since there are professionals working on the software all the time there are a lot more bells and whistles to customize your site with. Don't like the shopping cart you are using? Choose a different one. Don't like the drop down menu animation? Swap out that plug in for another one. 

This also makes different versions for mobile a possibility as designers are making their designs functional across different platforms. And, since you are essentially picking out all of the decor at once and applying it to your foundation and skeleton, it's usually cheaper than custom made. 

If you are a business with an annual gross income of less than $150,000 then this is probably the best solution for you. Of course, if you have designs on being larger, growing to compete nationally and internationally, then this won't work for very long.

 


 

 

Your Enterprise Class Website: (a.k.a. "The Penthouse/Mansion")

Our discussion on website development has brought us to the last on our list:  The custom made "Enterprise Class" website. These are, as you might assume, expensive to build. They take top designers sometimes millions of dollars to develop robust, integrated e-commerce solutions. You likely already have used one, if you like Amazon or Zappos or host of other multi-million dollar/year consumer shops. Or, if you've used a service like Priceline, Hertz, or happened to look for a new car over at Ford.

The Enterprise Class of website is a site designed from the first pixel to the last PCI Compliant bit of code for a single unifying purpose: To serve an organization in conducting their business and increasing sales. They are investments as important to the company as new machinery, research and development, and hiring and retaining the right talent. Often, these types of websites will consume entire development firms for years. Or as often is the case currently will hire entire departments and produce the online experience. 

This can cost a firm millions of dollars to build--either by outsourcing or in-sourcing. 

Cons

  • Requires extremely competent help (if not gifted and high in demand talent)
  • Takes the most time  to complete, sometimes over a year from start to finish.
  • Often an investment this large doesn't change fast enough
  • Doing something that had never been done means taking a chance on the promise of the idea. 
  • Costs between $50,000 and $5,000,000 (or more).

Your Enterprise Website

To do a large Enterprise Class website you'll need plenty of funds and patience. It'll take highly skilled and high demand talent to pull it off. That means, it won't be cheap to get that competitive advantage. Making the website have an acceptable ROI (Return On Investment) means putting a lot of development through the disciplines of psychology, consumer behavior, economics, marketing and computer sciences. We're usually talking advanced degrees, technologies and fresh-from-the-lab software. 

Because of all that is put into it, an Enterprise Class website won't change that fast. The technologies change only when the company can ensure a competent and consistent user experience. So, that sometimes mean dancing on the knife's edge trying to keep current and relevant while trying to get a better ROI out of your last capital expenditure. 

You are also taking a chance on your idea. Sometimes doing something that has never been done before means taking the risk that you will have to change what that is. 

Pros:

  • One of a kind
  • Built to specification
  • Content management that integrates and enhances your work flow
  • Advanced technologies
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Retains highest % of profit
  • No fees from vendors
  • Just % with the credit card companies

As with anything that is one of a kind, it is special. Getting something no one else has gives you a measurable competitive advantage. Any way that you can differentiate or substantiate yourself online you should. 

And, since it is unique it is built to your specification. That means the time, money and effort needed to sustain a long and sometimes expensive endeavor. To get exactly what you want and done exactly the way you want it, it means paying for skilled labor and the time it takes. Since it is built to your specifications: A proper Enterprise Class website can integrate with your inventory, marketing initiatives, data harvesting software and can greatly increase your revenue. 

It is also most likely to be a leader technologically. This will add to your intellectual property rights, and can be something you can license down the road. Which is always a good thing!

You retain the highest percentage of profit. You don't have to pay vendors' fees since you did it yourself. Your enterprise class web design means that you aren't beholding to plugins and components that may (or may not) be supported tomorrow. The only real considerations to make with an enterprise class website are the credit card percentages. Which, in such rarefied air is not such a bad problem to have!

 


CALL 1-855-WEB-WIZZ to get started NOW!

 


In the end it all depends. It depends on what your needs are. It depends on what your budget is. I hope that our guide gives you a frame of reference. Of course, prices change and are widely varied. This blog represents what we think in our best opinion is what a site of the corresponding magnitude would cost to build...or at least what it cost when we published it.

There are ALWAYS exceptions. Tucknologies recommends that you pick a site to suit you and make it your own!

 

 

 

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