The Value of Good Design

by Melissa Walshe

So you want a professionally-designed website? We can help with that. Before we sit down to chat about your goals and site needs, let’s do a quick exercise in setting expectations.

How much do you think a basic website costs? No cheating, now–write it down. Got it? Okay, go ahead and mouseover the picture below for the answer.

Starting Cost of a Basic Website: $3,000

CSS Club / Simon Doggett / CC BY 2.0

How close were you? Within $500 dollars? Were you over or under?  If your guess was under by more than $500, it’s worth taking a step back and asking why you want a professionally designed site. If your answer isn’t “I want to build my brand or an e-commerce site to increase my business,” then it might be worthwhile to research how to build a basic blog using the WordPress platform (as flexible as your programming knowledge, requires some skill with the internet, a domain name, and a hosting service) or how to get a free blog (minimal flexibility, requires almost no skill with the internet, provides a domain name and free hosting). Both paths are great options for casual blogs.

If you DO want to use a website to build a better client base for your company, read on. Good site design is an investment that can make the difference between dismal site traffic and high site traffic. We’ll explain to you the ABCs of what makes pro design worth the cash.


The cardinal rule of search engine optimization is: post content regularly. If you are consistently post new content to your site, it’s more likely to show up when people look for the services or product you offer. We code not just the appearance of your site, but also the way your content management system (CMS) works in order to make it easy for you to keep your site fresh. What’s more, we train you in how to use the CMS so you’ll be comfortable keeping the site updated.

Brand Continuity

One of the most powerful ways to grow your business is to develop a consistent, recognizable brand. Although we do occasionally work directly on logos and branding work, most of our work is done concert with in-house design teams or PR firms. We design to make sure that your site reflects and strengthens the brand you’ve already been working hard to build, which requires a level of customization you won’t find in the freely available site templates.

Custom Code

Do you need to have an easy way to switch between two sites? Do you need to manage multiple sites from one place? Do you need customers to have access to a search feature with multiple options? Whatever functionality you need from your site, we can write the code to make it happen. It’s worth pointing out that this is an area where proposals often jump up in cost: the more complicated the code, the more hours it takes us to write, test, and debug it.

Above and beyond these basic concepts, hiring a professional to design the site means that you have a relationship with someone who both knows your website and knows how to handle problems when things go wrong. At shines & jecker, we also offer maintenance packages so you don’t have to worry about viruses or server crashes. Heck, we’ll even help create content for your site.

Contact us for a personalized quote »

Interwebs 101

About Melissa Walshe


Melissa is the ghost in the text for our clients. She writes, edits, and fine-tunes copy for everything from social media to site content. Melissa is a well-read word geek with an Ed.M. from Harvard and a B.A. in linguistics. Her experiences with publishing and small children have given her a knack for wrangling contributing writers into meeting deadlines and inspiring them to produce better work. In her spare time, Melissa can be found shamelessly hunting for an agent for her book or rescuing her knitting projects from her two cats, who are her comrades-at-arms in pestering her camera-savvy husband, John Walshe.

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