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How Much Should a WordPress Travel Website Cost You in 2022?

How Much Should a WordPress Travel Website Cost You in 2022?

This is a question I always get asked, and the answer to this question is not as simple as it might seem…

The size and complexity of a website project for your travel business will always determine the final costs, but there are extra charges that you should also be aware of before you invest in your new website. 

This article should help you when budgeting for your travel website project to not run into any hidden fees or additional expenses!

For those of you who haven’t got the time to read this post, here’s a ballpark breakdown:

Website Project Costs:

  • Domain Name Registration£15-25 per year
  • Hosting – £10 -15 per month
  • Template Websites – typically £500-£1,000
  • Custom Website Design & Development – One-off fee (typically £2,000 – £6,000+)
  • Ongoing website maintenance, security & updates – £50 a month
  • E-commerce websites – £6,000+

Cost No.1 – Registering Your Domain:

Domain names are the address of your website. They’re typically purchased for an annual fee and last a year; you renew them on time, which is usually every year or two years depending upon if they expire at any point in that period. 

Domain name registration fees vary widely from provider to provider, you need to find a good one and not go for the cheapest. If you’re looking to register your travel website and not seeking professional advice, then consider all the options, do your research and stay away from the cheap providers…they are cheap for a reason!

The domain name registration fee is usually around £15-25 per year. It’s a cost that you’ll have to pay before the website goes live, and there is usually an irresistible offer for your first year. The annual renewal of this service will be  due on the anniversary of your domain name registration. 

We recommend you purchase your domain here for fast propagation, reliable support, and generally an overall quality service.

Cost No.2 – Hosting Your Domain on a Server

The hosting fee is typically charged monthly, around £10-15 a month for an average-sized WordPress travel website. It works out cheaper if paid annually (and I like not to have the monthly charges and just pay a year upfront). 

Again, the same goes for the domain. The first year will typically be a cheaper fee. You’ll have to pay for hosting for as long as you plan to have your website active, or until you decide not to renew with them anymore and cancel service with this provider…which can be done at any time without penalty if you so happened to change your mind. 

If you are looking for a more extensive hosting plan with more server space for hosting multiple websites, the average annual price will vary depending upon how much server space is required.

Most hosting providers offer unlimited websites and unlimited databases within reason. This typically ranges from £30-£100 per month if paid annually in advance.

The cost includes hosting, branded email addresses with a customised mail server setup to send emails from your company’s address, and an SSL certificate required by law when collecting personal data online such as IDs, credit card details or passwords, etc.

Cost No.3 – Website Design and Development

The cost of custom design and development will vary depending on the complexity, size or scope of the project…

If all you are looking for is a template website and don’t care much about customising everything, you just need a professional presence online. You can get a website built and live in less than a month for under £1,000.

If you require a more significant level site that requires complex integration, custom coding, more content, webpages and work, then this would take more like 6-8 weeks for completion and could cost anything from around £3,000 – £6,000+… the more complex the project, the more it will require of time and resources from designers/developers which is of course reflected by higher costs.

Design and development is a crucial part of the project. Any web design company charging less than £1,000 would usually indicate a lack of experience resulting in a poor quality product. 

Most commonly, if you pay less than £1,000, the company will sacrifice quality. They are likely not to deliver what is required to reach your business goals and waste your time by providing a template site, no marketing techniques, user experience and conversion-based design. No ongoing extra support to help you get the most from your site.

A business owner should always get detailed quotes in writing before committing to any contract/agreement. The full scope of the project should be determined and laid out clearly before any work takes place.

A key thing to remember is that your travel website should be designed to help you achieve your goals and objectives as a business owner. The design of a site is not just about how it looks but designed to generate more revenue, convert visitors into customers, and have professionally written content on each page so you as an individual or company can get the maximum benefit from your investment.

Cost No.4 – Ongoing website maintenance and updates

A website maintenance plan is crucial to the success of your travel website because it helps you keep your site updated with the latest content and information, which is essential for search engine optimisation and for keeping your visitors excited to come back to your fresh, up to date website.

A website maintenance plan should provide a variety of tasks, including:

Content Management: the process of adding new content to your site, updating old pages and deleting outdated information.  You must keep up with this so as not to have a stale website which will be detrimental for SEO purposes.

General Site Updates & Maintenance Tasks: consisting of checking for broken links, deleting spam comments and fixing any other errors that spammers may have introduced to the site.

Site Security: an integral part of your website maintenance plan because it helps protect you against hackers who want access to private information on your company’s database or steal personal data from customers’ accounts. It also covers sensitive customer details like credit card numbers (if you have an e-commerce site) which could be compromised if not properly secured with robust encryption software.

Web Analytics & Reporting: helping you see how your marketing efforts are performing by providing you with insights about what content visitors found most engaging so you can make adjustments accordingly in order provide better service online.

Daily/Weekly website backups:  this is important to have done regularly because it protects against data loss if something happens to your site. It’s also helpful in restoring websites after they have been hacked or if you want backup copies from periods before anything went wrong.

A website maintenance plan costs around £50-£100 a month, and it’s well worth the investment!

What exactly is a Website Maintenance Plan? 

In summary, this is an agreement between you (the business owner) to pay someone else for ongoing website maintenance services in exchange for them monitoring your site 24/hrs per day so that they can detect any issues before there are significant consequences such as data loss or downtime.

Cost No.5 – Marketing Your Travel Website

Here are 5 of our favourite ways to market your travel website once it has gone live:

– Get the word out on social media: post links to your travel website and blog posts. Share interesting content with followers or friends in a group that would be interested (e.g., if you’re marketing a website for a luxury holiday, let’s then post it into groups of tourists, travel enthusiasts and people who appreciate your locality). 

-Create email newsletters: that can include updates about new products/services and articles from other sources of relevant information explicitly related to what is being marketed by your company’s site; these emails should go straight through their inbox, so they don’t have any chance at missing them! This also helps because people will know when changes are happening within your website without searching for it online time and time again. Email marketing is about staying top of mind with your customers and keeping them coming back to your website to do business with you.

-Create a blog with great content for your customers to read: You should see your blog as an extension of your website.  It’s where you can post interesting facts and stories about your travel business, inspire your visitors and educate them about things relevant to your product or service. Get to know your customers and post something interesting for them to read, help them solve their problems and use your blog to provide severe value and show you care.

-Search Engine Optimisation: SEO is a great way to drive traffic to your website, and it’s free to do organically if you have the time. You can do this by optimising your blog content for search engines and getting backlinks from other websites linking to you (this is called “link building”). Another way to build upon your travel website SEO is to use social media to get your content in front of as many people on the internet. The most effective SEO strategy is to create quality content and research keywords around that content. Again you need good, relevant and exciting information that resonates with your readers. You should also be posting frequently enough, so customers know there’ll always be something new coming up from time to time (ideally once every week). This tells Google your site is worth coming back to. It doesn’t have to be massive posts either; just one post can do wonders if it’s well written and informative “Quality over Quantity”.

-Pay per click advertising: a great way to boost your website traffic if done right. You pay a certain amount of money to Google or Facebook for every click on your website. This can be a considerable cost and should only be considered doing if you have some professionals helping you craft the ads to generate the leads.

Cost No.6 – E-commerce projects 

The cost of an e-commerce ready travel website is a little different than the other types of websites because it has to be integrated with payment gateways, booking management systems and customer relationship managers. You should expect to be paying anywhere from between £6,000-£20,000+ depending on your needs. 

This will also mean that you have additional costs such as hosting fees for your online store or monthly subscription charges from software providers, such as Supercontrol for booking and channel management. These are just some examples; there may also include marketing campaigns to get people through your doors at first, too.

In the travel and tourism industry, WordPress websites may require plugins such as WooCommerce for online stores and Booking.com or Agoda to enable customers the ability to book their hotel rooms through your website, too – these are just a few examples of what you might need to run an e-commerce site successfully. Still, there may be more depending on how much functionality each business owner requires. All costs should be detailed in the original quote and the scope of work considered. I re-iterate…this will save a lot of confusion and an unexpected disappointment. Working with a freelancer over an agency can result in disaster because the freelancer will not have the same level of experience and knowledge. The cost to build a travel website is often underestimated. 

A freelancer often will be desperate to acquire a job, so will undercharge, which will result in a messy project and usually a rush to not lose out. 

Top tip: If you are planning on budgeting for an online shop with lots of products, or extra functionality you will need to budget for a payment gateway, which is not included in the website design cost.

Conclusion

In conclusion,  I hope that I have been able to help you understand the costs of a website for your travel business and what is included in those prices. It’s crucial for you if you are about to invest in your online presence to know precisely how much you need to budget before going ahead with any project not to be disappointed by an unexpected cost at some point down on the road, which usually results from poor planning upfront or a lack of clarity on how much things cost.

Are you considering investing in a travel website for your business?

If you are looking to invest in a valuable asset for your travel business that could generate 10X more online bookings and give your brand a complete refresh we will be more than happy to consider working with you to reach your goals and becoming your go-to for all your travel website marketing in the future.

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What is the Difference Between UX Design, UI and Web Design?

What is the Difference Between UX Design, UI and Web Design?

Firstly, just to clarify…my response to this all too often asked question about UX design, takes into consideration the semantic bias that exists in the digital design industry we are in.

Why? Due to the fact that the term ‘UX and UI designers’ suggest a particular thing to most individuals and have a completely different meaning to the businesses who are in fact doing the hiring.

I tend to prefer utilising the terms as they are utilised by employers, maybe I’m biased being the owner of a digital marketing company myself, you decide after reading this article?

‘Web Designer’ is, for the absence of a much better descriptor, old terminology. Really, it’s becoming increasingly rare now for any high up techies in the industry to utilise that term any longer.

Web designer or web developer, as an occupation has actually broadened vastly. In addition to UX and UI designers, we now have terms such as front-end engineers, UI engineers, style technologists, UX engineers, UX scientists, and plenty more buzzwords.

What’s the Difference Between the UX Designers and the UI Designers?

Where a web designer indicated an understanding of HTML, CSS, and probably some JavaScript… UX designer is not always a technical role.

Rather, a UX designer should be focused on the human aspect of the website integrated into the design.

What the goals are of the website and how we can achieve those goals, effective ways to integrate the brand, how we can convert more leads and make more sales through design.

This relies on usability research, scientific data, up-to-date analytics. This is really the heart of UX design today.

You will notice that the word ‘web’ has been dropped from both the terms we are discussing…why? The web isn’t the only need for usability design anymore.

The increase of mobile users (5.22 billion unique users today according to GSMA Intelligence) has rapidly driven the need for UX designers. A UX designer simply designs for ANY PLACE a user is.

There are plenty of elaborate descriptions on the web, but I’m going to attempt to offer you a more in-depth description of which one performs in contrast to the other stages of the software development process.

Okay, so we have established that the UX designer concentrates primarily on the user. Particularly on the issues that impact the user, related to the software application.

This indicates that UX designers are in fact more psychologists than developers.

Wouldn’t you agree?

A UX designer comprehends the physiology of our eyes and the details of colour blindness. A UX designer knows how humans think, behave and what makes them engage and take action. That’s psychology.

In larger companies, the UX designer will perform as a key layer of the organisation that accepts user research study outcomes and create engaging designs that take this information into consideration. The UX designer will need to incorporate brand strategy and stakeholder desires.

So What About UX Design in Small Companies?

In smaller companies, it is the UX designer’s role to take on more of the design process. Wearing more of the hats usually due to a lower budget for the project, a UX designer will create user research study procedures and examine information for insights. Essentially, in most smaller companies, the UX designer is taking responsibility for whatever task relates in any way with the user.

Let’s Talk About UI Design…

User Interface design is more concentrated than UX. Where UX design is more focused on the actual product, the copy and terminology, colours and shapes, branding etc. UI design is totally focused on the software interface.

A UX designer might design general designs for a broad range of mobile screens and various platforms, however, a UI designer will dedicate himself for example to the layout and design for one interface, for example just one content management system such as WordPress.

This can be hugely beneficial as it means they have focused on mastering that specific interface, rather than just your average ‘web designer’.

UI designers are not extremely worried about UX research study and user-centred issues, however, they are worried about the integration of the User Interface. UI designers are normally required to understand how to execute styles in interactive prototyping tools, as well as in the language or tools in which that specific application is being developed.

As I previously mentioned about how UX designers are typically needed to wear a lot of hats, the very same can be stated for UI designers.

User Experience and User Interface are so typically combined since, in lots of businesses, the very same designers are doing both tasks. They might concentrate on one part at a time, depending on their workflow… however, they’re all doing all the work.

This is the truth of the UX/UI design industry.

These days, both groups are carrying out exactly the same work and anybody who wishes to get a job in this industry should have experience doing both, interchangeably.

A good UX/UI designer is required to understand all of the above. Particularly research study, testing, branding, attractive design, motion and interactive patterns, prototyping, and how to create UI’s for numerous target platforms and screen sizes.

A good portfolio for a freelancer or an employee will go a long way. No matter where an aspiring UX/UI hopes to focus within the industry or what interface they are using they should be working towards a portfolio prepared for presenting to Apple or Google. They should be a journey for the visitor, with stunning UX, visual design, and optimised for mobile, tablet, and desktop.

Tips for if You’re Just Starting Out as a Freelance UX/UI Designer:

1. Don’t be afraid of being a jack-of-all-trades early on in your journey. Just focus on doing what you love, learning and helping people solve problems.
2. Don’t stay a jack-of-all-trades for too long, you may end up being a master of none! Find your way.
3. If you maintain a broad skillset that incorporates all areas of UI and UX and exercises them and keeps up to date, you are going to be a huge asset to any business.

Conclusion: UX Design is More Psychological and Emotional

User Experience and User Interface design are often confused, used interchangeably and overlap each other.

Most UX designers are also UI designers and vice versa. I believe the most accurate conclusion is that while both inhabit much of the very same area… UX is more psychological, focusing on and closer to humans. UI is more related to the integration of the application.

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Wix vs WordPress Which Should You Choose? (And Why!)

Wix vs WordPress Which Should You Choose? (And Why!)

Should You Use WordPress or Wix To Build Your Website?

A question I have been asked a lot.

WordPress and Wix are both platforms from which engaging, functional, and valuable websites can be built. However, they are very different pieces of software and each comes with advantages and limitations.

WordPress is a Content Management System, which means that it gives you the opportunity to control almost every aspect of your site’s appearance and functionality. It also gives your site scalability and the potential to be an extremely powerful tool. Admittedly it does demand a slightly higher degree of technical ability than Wix if you want to get the most from your site.

Alternatively, Wix is an online website builder. The difference here is that you can work ‘live’ on your site, dragging and dropping components and seeing very clearly the changes you’re making. Far less technical know-how is needed with a Wix site, making it great for a beginner.

The downside is, you are limited to the functionality of your chosen template and may not be able to get a high level of efficiency from a site you design yourself. You also don’t own any of the content that you upload to the Wix site and essentially don’t even own the website once it is built!!

If you’re thinking of building a website, one of your first decisions is to pick a platform. It’s important, as you’ll be investing time and money into your site and business. Whichever platform you pick, you’ll want to be sure that it’s the right one for you; today, and for the life of your site.

Here’s our handy guide to using WordPress or Wix to build your website.

Traffic and listings

Being discovered online is key to the success of your business.

The secret to being discovered lies in ranking highly with search engines and having a large number of other sites pointing their visitors towards your own. Inherently important in your choice of the platform are the opportunities that platform gives you to manage your keywords and phrases.

This process is known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Wix sites typically offer a relatively limited set of SEO tools. You do have the ability to add some valuable title descriptions to your pages, and new SEO options are always being developed. However, your ability to define and manage the ways in which search engines view your site is ridiculously limited.

Alternatively, WordPress sites are extremely SEO-friendly and ready to be optimised as far as your budget will allow. You’ll need to understand these features and ensure that you use them accurately to maximise your visibility. However, it’s worth taking the extra time needed as the benefits are significant.

Research shows that, on average, WordPress sites get considerably more traffic than Wix sites and have a marginally higher number of top 10 rankings.

Hosting

Hosting simply refers to the provider you use to allow your content to be placed online. Usually a hosting company will rent you space on their servers for a regular payment.

Wix host your website, meaning that both the domain name and the space you take up online are under their control. This can be convenient until your site starts to run slowly, or you want to swap your domain name to a different host. At that point, there’s very little you can do about it.

WordPress works on a different model.

You can pick your own hosting packages and domains through any provider you choose. Then simply build your WordPress site, and you’ll own all the content. You have the freedom to switch hosting deals whenever you like, and you aren’t tied into one company for both hosting and domain.

Not only is this convenient, it gives you the chance to look around for a hosting company that offers a great deal and reliable customer support.

Flexibility

Wix only offers you the tools and apps that have been developed by their own team. Plus, you only get what you pay for, meaning you might need to make additional purchases to get the plug-ins you want.

The tools Wix offers are effective but limited by comparison to the scale and depth of those available on the WordPress platform.

Because WordPress is open-source, designers around the world contribute to its software development. As a result, there are a tremendous number of resources out there that you can use to customize and develop your site.

Your level of flexibility and choice when it comes to WordPress can’t be matched by Wix. You just have to know what to do with all that choice…

Ultimately, it’s important to do your research and to pick the platform that’s right for your level of ability, as well as your goals.

Want to build a site quickly and don’t mind that you have limited control over SEO, functionality and the way it is developed? Wix will do the job. Don’t forget you’ll be committed to Wix hosting, support and resources, and worst of all if your content disappears from the site, there ain’t nothing you can do to get it back! (I’ve heard this happen to someone before, and they never recovered it)

But if you’re looking to invest in a more flexible website, WordPress should be your platform of choice. It takes longer to master, but in the end, you’re in control of your site, it’s open source so you own all of your content, it’s a content management that will scale with your business as it grows, integrate nicely with extensions…the community are great and there is a library of free resources to support you along the way.

Don’t want to build your own website and want our team of experts to manage this all for you?

 

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7 Ways Copywriting First in a Web Design Project can Increase Your Productivity

7 Ways Copywriting First in a Web Design Project can Increase Your Productivity

Great websites are a blend of engaging written content and dynamic, exciting design, and they should work beautifully hand in hand.

They should combine to give each site visitor a hassle-free, memorable experience and tell the stories and fulfil the specific functions that make your website unique.

However, just because good copy and design should work together doesn’t mean they should be created together. Here are 7 ways that writing copy first might just increase your productivity throughout the web design project.

#1: Define Your Aim, Not Your Look

Before the copy or the design comes the aim. Initially, this might be an impulse or a functional idea. Importantly, moving from this phase into writing the content gives you the chance to work through your site’s goals and to clarify your message.

Your written content needs to have strategical focus and purpose. So, take the time to plan copy that defines your goals before you commit to the design phase. If your message is clear from the start, then visitors to your site (and the search engines that drive them there) will be clear too.

#2: Get It Right From The Start

Your content is key to all the other elements of your site, from architecture to design, so build your site around the content. This makes the whole process cost and time effective. You won’t be continually changing the structure and function of your pages if you plan your copy first.

If you’re working with a designer, getting the copy right at the beginning will mean you can focus on achievable deadlines. If you’re working with a copywriter, they’ll be able to dig deeply into your brand narrative, USP and ideas, generating copy that a designer can use with confidence.

web design project 1

#3: Good Copy Leads To Great Design

Fitting your words into an existing template sounds convenient. In reality, the outcome will always be less effective than allowing design to be generated from your original copy. The look of your site is defined by its purpose and putting design first can handicap and limit the creative, imaginative reach of your content. And that’s not good for your visitors or your sales.

A good designer can edit or rearrange your copy and develop a design that works with and enhances your text. It’s hard to do this the other way around.

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#4: Review Copy Easily

If you create your copy before your design, you’ll find it easier to review and edit. Working from a traditionally laid-out document rather than a fully designed page makes checking for accuracy, message and vocabulary much simpler. You can identify where your goals for each page are being met and where the flow and language need altering.

Less is more when it comes to copy, and it’s easier to see how different sections or paragraphs of your site are over-written in a document than on the finished site. Plus, you’ll need fewer revisions once you reach the design stage, saving you time and money.

#5: Form Follows Function

If design comes before copy, your finished site won’t be as authentic or effective as it could be. Additionally, if the copy comes first, it gives you the opportunity to make sure that the functionality of your site is fit for purpose. With the copy established, you’ll understand whether you need to add elements like user forums, links, social networking tools or media and video galleries.

Most importantly, establishing the copy first will influence the style and tone of the design of your site, engaging visitors on a visual and experiential level.

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#6: Be Visitor-Focused

What you want from your site and what you want a visitor to experience are two different things. You might want to draw a visitor to a certain page or product, and the visitor might want the answer to a question or to be entertained. By defining the copy before the design, you can ensure that your site is visitor-focused and that it works on both of these levels.

A good-looking site is great, but if it doesn’t work for you and your visitors equally well, then both time and money have been wasted.

#7: Design Engages, Words Sell

Your website is all about conversion. The higher the conversion rate, the more traffic, sales or income. Whilst the design will engage your visitors, it will be the content that sells your products or ideas, so plan your sales funnels, downloadable content, CTA’s and sitemap before you pick a font or an image.

You wouldn’t fold your wrapping paper before buying a present, and the same principle applies to writing your copy first. Know what you are selling and then work out how to sell it.

web design project 4

Getting your content written before your website is designed takes a little longer, and involves a bit more work, but it’s always worth doing. It forces you to clarify your aims, get your services and products ready and your messaging properly identified. By putting the words first, you’re far more likely to get the website you want, and the success your business or organisation deserves.

 

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