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I want to start a website - advice? Designers? Costs?

highguyuk Avatar
7y, 10m agoPosted 7 years, 10 months ago
Hey,

I have an idea for a website which I think would work well. There are a lot of comparison websites out there, but I think I have found a niche that I would like to explore. It's not as complicated as insurance etc but would require some sort of trawler I imagine.

I know the domain I want. And that's about it.

How do I go about getting a website like this going? I have the resource to put into it if needbe, but would love advice on how to go about it. What sites are best for registering the domain and the hosting? Does anyone have any contacts on people who could start a comparison website off for me?
highguyuk Avatar
7y, 10m agoPosted 7 years, 10 months ago
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#1
First off, get the idea fleshed out properly. What does the website do, what features and functions does it need and most importantly, how does it make you money. Forget design and names and things for now, they come second to the main aim of the site - generate cash. If its not a sound business idea it'll fall on its face.

Once you have a clear idea in your head of what you want to do, go see a reputable web design company in your area and go through it with them.

They should be able to tell you what will work and what wont, and why, offer ideas and the benefit of their experience and ultimately re-write your specification to cover every last element of what your site will do and HOW it does it along with a cost. To give you some idea of how much goes in to this kind of thing, I've just done a 12 page proposal for a website for one of our clients, it leaves nothing to chance and details exactly what is and what isn't included in the site.

If it is genuinely a good idea, be prepared to pay proper money for the website - something like gocompare, shopsmart or the like will have cost tens of thousands to build and probably as much to maintain. Don't expect the same for a £5k budget.

Speak to business link in your area about funding, most areas will give you a start up grant. If its the sort of idea thats going to make BIG money and needs alot of cash up front, speak to venture capitalists.

Above all, don't go to some guy working out of his bedroom who offers to do it for a few hundred quid - the site will fail before he's written the first line of code.
banned#2
Exactly what he said.

Having been involved in a couple of internet start-ups in the past, I know full well the costs involved.

To launch a fully-functioning site that is able to cope with thousands of hits per minute from all over the UK you are going to have to find a LOT of money.

Someone could knock up a site for you at home using their skills. You could host it with your own domain name on some servers that you pay £15 a month for....BUT...if your website takes off in anyway, it's going down.

Also, you'll need to market it. Hard. Every search relating to your product/market should have your website at the top of the first page on Google. If it doesn't, your competitors will eat you up. Getting a good page rank on Google/Yahoo is easy if you have the money to throw at it. You can achieve good results for free, but it's a long drawn out process that can take months.

That's just the search engines. You'll want to advertise nationally, ideally on TV and definately in national daily newspapers. Expect little change out of £50,000 for an ad in The Sun for one day. Add a couple of 00's for a TV campaign.

Most of the comaprison websites are actually owned by big banks/insurers because it's easy for them to put £1 million aside to launch a product.

As I said, you could get a comparison website launched for a few hundred using someone who can design websites and a private hosting company. But if you want that site to actually be used on a scale large enough to generate an income, expect to spend money. A lot of money.
#3
and its not easy to make an internet site copyproof. So if it's a really good idea that fits that niche and your site is naff somebody else will steal your idea and make a site 10 times better. Do it properly first time around. Make sure you do all your costing first, budgets etc and make sure your going to make money sometime in the future.
#4
DanJackson;4063820
Exactly what he said.

Having been involved in a couple of internet start-ups in the past, I know full well the costs involved.

To launch a fully-functioning site that is able to cope with thousands of hits per minute from all over the UK you are going to have to find a LOT of money.

Someone could knock up a site for you at home using their skills. You could host it with your own domain name on some servers that you pay £15 a month for....BUT...if your website takes off in anyway, it's going down.

Also, you'll need to market it. Hard. Every search relating to your product/market should have your website at the top of the first page on Google. If it doesn't, your competitors will eat you up. Getting a good page rank on Google/Yahoo is easy if you have the money to throw at it. You can achieve good results for free, but it's a long drawn out process that can take months.

That's just the search engines. You'll want to advertise nationally, ideally on TV and definately in national daily newspapers. Expect little change out of £50,000 for an ad in The Sun for one day. Add a couple of 00's for a TV campaign.

Most of the comaprison websites are actually owned by big banks/insurers because it's easy for them to put £1 million aside to launch a product.

As I said, you could get a comparison website launched for a few hundred using someone who can design websites and a private hosting company. But if you want that site to actually be used on a scale large enough to generate an income, expect to spend money. A lot of money.

[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]I know what the website would do, what features and functions it needs and how it would generate money. Design is not on the agenda at the moment, but I do think a clear strong brand and name is important and I have an idea about those already. I don't want it to start earning me enough money for me to quit my job and put my feet up on a beach in Spain, but I'd like to have another interest and something to grow.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]If I were to see a web design company, how do I insure they don't just rip the idea off me? Do they have some form of confidentiality agreement in place?[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]I'd be prepared to put a good initial investment into the site. It is something I'd want to build upon though, so I can see an initial smaller outlay first and then have the option to have different features after and pay for these bolt ons afterwards.[/SIZE][/FONT]
chrishill;4063722
First off, get the idea fleshed out properly. What does the website do, what features and functions does it need and most importantly, how does it make you money. Forget design and names and things for now, they come second to the main aim of the site - generate cash. If its not a sound business idea it'll fall on its face.

Once you have a clear idea in your head of what you want to do, go see a reputable web design company in your area and go through it with them.

They should be able to tell you what will work and what wont, and why, offer ideas and the benefit of their experience and ultimately re-write your specification to cover every last element of what your site will do and HOW it does it along with a cost. To give you some idea of how much goes in to this kind of thing, I've just done a 12 page proposal for a website for one of our clients, it leaves nothing to chance and details exactly what is and what isn't included in the site.

If it is genuinely a good idea, be prepared to pay proper money for the website - something like gocompare, shopsmart or the like will have cost tens of thousands to build and probably as much to maintain. Don't expect the same for a £5k budget.

Speak to business link in your area about funding, most areas will give you a start up grant. If its the sort of idea thats going to make BIG money and needs alot of cash up front, speak to venture capitalists.

Above all, don't go to some guy working out of his bedroom who offers to do it for a few hundred quid - the site will fail before he's written the first line of code.

[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]I don't think I'm going to get that kind of usage out of the site for the need for all this power to be available to the site. If that were to happen, then the capacity would need to be increased but there is no point having a Ferrari sat on the drive when you can drive it.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]Marketing is hard. There is no point in having a site if nobody knows anything about it. I have managed to get ranking on all the top search engines on a previous project many years ago and believe that with work it is possible. Although, I don't believe I have any direct competition which makes things easier.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]I think your last line sums it up. I'd like to get a site launched on a small scale at first. But, if it the demand is there for it to be used I'd be willing and able to put the investment in so it could be used on a large scale. I don't need it to generate an income, but some extra money on the side is always nice![/SIZE][/FONT]
#5
highguyuk
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]I know what the website would do, what features and functions it needs and how it would generate money. Design is not on the agenda at the moment, but I do think a clear strong brand and name is important and I have an idea about those already. I don't want it to start earning me enough money for me to quit my job and put my feet up on a beach in Spain, but I'd like to have another interest and something to grow.[/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]If I were to see a web design company, how do I insure they don't just rip the idea off me? Do they have some form of confidentiality agreement in place?[/SIZE][/FONT]


Sounds like you've got realistic expectations about what you want, which is good - I see too many people who have what they think is a great idea, but in reality its going to cost £10k to set up as a business and only earn them £1k back in the first year of business!

No decent web company will rip off a clients ideas, its just not the done thing (plus they can either make ££££ off making it for you, or do it themselves and take risks and have a business to run, its a no brainer which is better for them :thumbsup:) but they shouldn't have a problem with signing a confidentiality agreement if you get one drawn up.

highguyuk


[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]I'd be prepared to put a good initial investment into the site. It is something I'd want to build upon though, so I can see an initial smaller outlay first and then have the option to have different features after and pay for these bolt ons afterwards.[/SIZE][/FONT]


its often more expensive to go back and 'bolt on' extras as the site has to be built with the ability to add the bolt ons from the outset, if not its a huge re-writing job to go back and put bits in. I do see your point though, if the site takes off you'll have the budget to redevelop (see confused.com as an example - pants site, good service, takes off in a big way and makes enough dosh to invest megabucks in a rebuild)
#6
chrishill;4064593
its often more expensive to go back and 'bolt on' extras as the site has to be built with the ability to add the bolt ons from the outset, if not its a huge re-writing job to go back and put bits in. I do see your point though, if the site takes off you'll have the budget to redevelop (see confused.com as an example - pants site, good service, takes off in a big way and makes enough dosh to invest megabucks in a rebuild)

I can see how it would be more expensive to bolt on later. But, I think it's better a site progresses rather than stands still. And for example, an addition to site could easily be a forum (repeat custom etc). There is no point having a dead forum hanging on the site when there is no traffic, but a forum is relatively easy to put on retrospectively.

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