Approximately 90% of all websites we build fall within the $3,000-$10,000 range. 5% of our websites are in the $15,000-25,000 range. But there are also websites that fall under our Golden package for $1,600.
It all depends on what your website is meant to do. Joomla Biss offers flexible packages and custom web design solutions. Our most popular website design package for small businesses is a Gold package for $1,600. This package includes a full set of the most important functionalities a typical small business would want to have. Please review what is inlcuded in our Gold website design package.
In practice, however, a lot of our clients order additional features, such as, for example, a dynamic calendar of events, store locator, job board, financial reporting, document management system, membership management system, payment process, etc. All such features - and many others! - can be added after your base website has been built. Please not that once we provide you with our official quote, we commit to it for the full duration of the website design project. Our web design contracts are fixed-cost and all-inclusive.
Most clients find that fixed-cost contracts are a much safer choice for them versus contracts based on a per-hour billing. With hourly billing, your initially low quote can increase to 50% and more for “extras” and "not included" items by the end of the project.
Joomla Bliss offers our clients a fixed-cost all-inclusive contract where we commit to a mutually agreed budget for the entire duration of the web design project until its full completion. This includes basic SEO, training and post-launch support. During training you will learn how to use your Joomla website and how to conduct basic SEO on your website to maximize its ranking on Google.
Yes, before we start a website project, we create a project plan. We then request that the client review and approve it. Our payment schedule is tied to the project plan.
As a rule, a new website for a small business takes 2-3 weeks. For a medium business a new website takes about 2-3 months. As a service provider, we are financially motivated to complete the project on time. Most marketing folks find that getting their management to review and approve things ends up being the main challenge.
In most cases the answer is "Yes". In some cases, for a large website design project, more than one meeting maybe a good idea: at the very beginning and then mid way. However, we have clients in Toronto with whom we never met in person. If meeting time is an issue, we can schedule a teleconference via Skype or other software. For management of the website design project, email and phone communications are often sufficient.
Planning on undertaking a website design or website redesign project? Allow us to present the ultimate website redesign checklist.
Plan your project. Prepare. Do homework
Define website requirements and create an RFP (request for proposals) document
Most common items to include in the website design RFP document:
Source qualified web design agencies
Hire the most qualified web design agency for your project
Start the design and production process
Coordinate with the web design agency
Organize project files properly
Manage quality and conduct QA
Manage your management wisely
Usually – not much. If you have a good web hosting company and a good website design agency, then the process is usually predictable and painless. but there are a few things you want to consider before selecting a web design firm:
One of the standard sales practices in the web design space is to provide clients with as low a quote as possible - initially. You may get a low initial quote but at the end will be paying 50% or even more for “extras”. It is important to clearly discuss what is included in the quote and what is not.
Joomla Bliss offers our clients a fixed-cost contract where we commit to a mutually agreed budget for the entire duration of the project. This includes project management, training and post-launch support.
Another great advantage of working with a boutique web design firm like Joomla Bliss is the fact that we nurture and baby our clients. With larger agencies, after the first or maximum two rounds of corrections, clients are usually requested to invest more to get the job done exactly the way they want it. Joomla Bliss makes sure that at the start of the project we clarify all the requirements and discuss layout samples in good detail. And later, we do not charge for rework. We work until the client is fully satisfied with the results.
If you are working with a larger web design agency, and if your project is not very lucrative for them, your communications with their project managers and account executives (yes, you will have to coordinate with both!) will leave much to be desired. With Joomla Bliss, on the other hand, you will enjoy nearly instant communication and outstanding customer support.
The same goes for post-launch support. With larger web design agencies, clients are usually required to sign up for an annual maintenance contract. Joomla Bliss provides free customer support for the first two calendar weeks after launching a website to the client hosting environment. This time is usually sufficient to clarify those issues that may have gotten overlooked during training (training is also provided as part of the contract at no additional cost). If further maintenance or support are required, we offer highly flexible website maintenance SLA options.
Joomla Bliss appreciates that a website design project involves multiple stakeholders; it requires clear and consistent communications and disciplined project management practices. We understand that some rework is unavoidable and will work until we are ensure that the client is fully satisfied with the results. Based on our experience and client feedback we developed what we believe is a “ZERO-RISK” strategy for our clients:
While it is not possible to completely avoid all risks, it is quite possible to minimize and avoid all high and medium risks, and we are proud to have developed the type of a risk-free process for our web design clients that does exactly that.
As opposed to many online marketing agencies and web design firms, who often put big words around small things, Joomla Bliss has different work ethics. We deliver high-end products but at the prices that even small and non-profit organizations can afford. With Joomla Bliss, our clients get a Ferrari for the price tag of a Toyota.
If quality is important to you but your budget is limited, Joomla Bliss is the right type of a service provider for you. We are a small and tight team who has been working very closely together for the last 6 years. As opposed to other agencies, we have no churn and our designers are not recent college grads. All our designers are University-educated professionals trained in technical fields, including software development, and our project manager is PMP certified.
We take pride in providing outstanding customer support and approach all clients with the utmost care and attention.
And what is also fantastic about us is that we work on a fixed-term contract basis, where all your expenses are agreed upon in advance and never increase by the end of the project. This includes training and post-launch support. This, alone, is a rare thing in the web design industry.
Further, our methodology offers our clients a "ZERO-RISK" project development where clients are never presented with any surprises and satisfaction is always guaranteed. We will not release a website until you are satisfied, even if we have to redo it all over again.
How can we afford to operate inthis way? We are a small boutique firm, we do not rent physical office nor do we hire expensive Account Managers.
If you are planning a web design or redesign project, call Joomla Bliss at 613-231-6308 for a free consultation with no obligations.
If you love quality things that last - you will love Joomla Bliss.
Joomla Bliss’ project management methodology is built around quality and long-term relationships. We do not have unsatisfied clients – a very rare occurrence in the web design space. Joomla Bliss strives to build quality into our products right from the start, going by the principle that prevention is easier and less expensive than correction.
As part of our process, we complete a Discovery stage in collaboration with the client. We interview the client and clarify as many details of the project as possible. Once all business, technical and visual requirements are clarified to us, we create a prototype of the website and its usability flow. The prototype is presented to the client in the form of a live website hosted on one of Joomla Bliss’ sub-domains. We schedule a telephone or in person meeting with the client and explain all elements one by one.
Hosting a live prototype ensures that the client has a chance to evaluate the interface details and use the site’s main features well before the final release of the website. Joomla Bliss takes care to incorporate clients’ feedback point by point using a tiered approach (i.e. three subsequent rounds of reviews). This tiered methodology ensures that the client knows what to expect and will not have unpleasant surprises.
Before the final release we conduct internal Quality Assurance and also invite the client team to provide their own final remarks. This is in additon to the previous website reviews. And post launch, we offer two weeks of free technical support to ensure that any potential bugs or defects get corrected immediately and that the client is comfortable with their new Joomla-powered website.
If you would like us to build a custom website completely from scratch we will be happy to do that for you. We guarantee that your website will be unique and built from scratch and it will not be based on any pre-made template. Please note that in this case, the website design project will take a longer time to implement and it will also be more expensive.
But if a custom design exceeds your budget, you are not going to lose out with Joomla Bliss! You will still get a great website. In fact, the end result can be much better than many "custom" websites we come across these days. Just check out our portfolio. We use templates provided by the most reputable design houses in the world. There are many commercial Joomla templates. But there is a huge difference in quality between them - which may not be immediately apparent to an outsider. We will only recommend the best templates to you and will be sure to clarify pluses and minuses of each.
Please take a few minutes to review our web design packages:
When we customize the look and feel of a template, we change the color scheme, navigation structure, fonts, and other visual elements - to simulate or create the desired look and feel. We then install and configure various pre-made modules and components to enable various functionalities our clients require, such as a registration form, newsletter subscription, e-commerce shopping cart, polls, forum, user blog comments, photo galleries, etc.
Our clients watch the site's development through several stages, and at each stage they are invited to provide feedback and make recommendations. Once the website is launched, we provide training to your whole team on how to manage the site, how to add content to it - at no additional charge. Please download our web design questionnaire to find out what type of information we will need from you to start working on your website.
For a new modern website a Content Management System (CMS) is a must. A website CMS allows you to update content on your website without knowing HTML, CSS, PHP or any other web design elements. You can access your website via your browser and update its contents the way you work with your GMail or Yahoo or Hotmail applications.
What most clients ask for is a CMS recommendation for their future website. Expert opinion is highly sought after because most marketing folks do not have first-hand experience with more than one CMS.
Our approach to any task is simple and always the same: provide the best quality at the best prices and make things work well in the long-term. Our approach ensures that future scalability of features and functionalities as well as support is easily attainable and that a website’s future is as “predictable” and scalable as possible. These were the reasons why we decided to specialize in open-source software in general, and Joomla CMS in particular.
There are many open-source Content Management Systems (CMSs) for websites, but the two leaders nowadays are Joomla and Drupal, with Wordpress still being predominantly used as a bloging platform. There is also a rising use of Sharepoint as a website CMS.
In our view, Sharepoint is not an appropriate CMS to build for websites. Sharepoint was designed to be an intranet document management system and when used for websites it presents a very high learning curve for users. Furthermore, Sharepoint requires the skills of an Architect and Business Analyst to set up a proper infrastructure – and this adds cost to the total cost of ownership (TOC) of the project. Customization of visual skins (templates) via Sharepoint requires more programming time as well. Overall, while any software can be adapted to do whatever is necessary, and so can Sharepoint be adapted to build websites, we do not recommend "forcing" software to do what it was not meant to do and hence, we do not recommend Sharepoint as a website CMS.
WordPress was designed to be a blogging platform and for simple websites. While its functionalities have been improving greatly and may one day become on par with Joomla and Drupal, as of now, it is safer to avoid using WordPress if more than static content is required and if scalability is important.
Improvements in WordPress require changes to the core, and hence, when version upgrades are implemented (which needs to happen much more often than with other CMSs), existing components often break.
The interface, while being famously simple, often becomes confusing when various functionalities are added into the site. The blogging features are always on the way. A lot of "simple" management ends up being done at the code level.
WordPress requires less training time, but in the long-term, its total cost of ownership is on par with Sharepoint. The available out-of-the-box extensions are numerous, but their features are not as granular and require manual programming and customization even for very simple things. We speculate that this is, perhaps, the main reason why so many web designers push WordPress to their clients – more customization generates more revenue.
Drupal is one of the best open-source website CMSs. It competes head to head with Joomla in all key areas: performance, speed, security, maturity, quality of extensions, etc. Even the infamous “difficult” user interface and admin flow of Drupal is gradually improving and might soon become history.
However, compared to Joomla, Drupal’s total cost of ownership is significantly higher. Drupal developers are also more expensive, 15-20% more expensive than Joomla developers, when all costs are factored in. Furthermore, quality of available templates is much lower and the development community is much smaller than that of Joomla. The number of extensions is also not as vast and as a result more specialized knowledge is required to source the right set of components and plugins to enable future scalability.
With Joomla, one can type a question in Google and find an answer to it with a screen shot to illustrate every step within seconds! Not so with Drupal, hence support needs to be purchased more often and even small tasks will require more time to learn. So the learning curve is rather high with Drupal and, again, more training and support will be required in the long term.
Overall, Drupal is a great CMS but the total cost of ownership as well as the still-not-so-easy interface makes it less attractive than its main competitor Joomla.
As of 2012, Joomla is officially considered the most popular open-source CMS. It is also the fastest growing one. Over 12 years old, Joomla is very mature and stable. It has the largest and strongest design community, offers the best templates, and the largest number of quality third-party extensions that often require no customization at all – all of which together allows for a fast development, cost-effective scalability, and minimum support.
Joomla has no technical or usability disadvantages if compared to any other CMS, and yet it offers the lowest cost of ownership the long-term.
The learning curve for new users is minimum. Training can be conducted in a swift and efficient way and usually takes 1.5 hr, and maintenance SLA required is usually one of the lowest.
We believe that Joomla is the best choice for 90% of websites. It offers the highest quality and the safest implementation of all types of requirements, even some very complex ones, and yet it bears no compromises in any aspect of the web design and development project. Joomla is exceptionally powerful, scalable and yet easy to use, and its total cost of ownership is the lowest.
Below is a CMS comparison table that summarizes the information we presented in this section. Note that rating is on the scale from 1 to 10 wherein:
Note that for some items, such as, frequency of upgrades required, for example, more stars means better performance, which means "upgrades required less often". Likewise, for the architectural design skills item, fewer stars means worse performance, which means "more architectural design skills are required, hence higher costs".
Joomla Bliss provides what we call a “zero-risk” strategy for our clients. There are several elements to it, the main one being a live prototype of the future website that we provide very early in the process. We progress from the prototype to the final release by diligently incorporating our clients’ feedback. We will not release a website until you are satisfied.
You and your management need to like your website. Your customers need to like it too. A design inappropriate for your area of specialization could drive visitors away and indirectly undermine your organization’s reputation. Joomla Bliss would be happy to share our best practices with you for selecting a base template. One strategy we recommend is to model your look and feel after the leading companies in your industry or after your largest customers. There is no need to replicate them exactly, but it is good to exhibit your alliance by having your website of a similar style.
As a web design firm, we can tell you that nowadays it is very rare to build a website completely from scratch. Most professional website design firms use pre-made website templates and themes, which they sometimes develop in house, sometimes purchase from template design houses, and sometimes a bit of both. Most web design firms re-work and enhance those templates to accommodate their clients' requirements. The end result is presented to clients as custom, from-scratch, design, and in many cases this becomes true, as the original template gets reworked and customized so significantly that it is virtually impossible to tell what the final website was based on it.
Take a look at this example. Can you recognize the original template in the customized version?
It is possible to take this approach a step further. Joomla Bliss invites our clients to have a say in the process of selecting the base website template. Using website templates provided by some of the most reputable design houses in the world, we help you select the most appropriate template for your needs; we then modify and customize this template to create the desired look and feel and add required functionalities.
Joomla Bliss does not sell hosting packages. We are not a reseller of any kind. For US-based hosting, we refer our clients to Hostgator.com and GoDaddy.com. These companies are highly reputable and provide proper support for Joomla.
Please note that Joomla was designed having a Unix apache server in mind. It it best to select a hosting company that runs on a *nix apache server (the most common and most reliable type of servers). Note that Windows also have an apache server, so please be careful and double check that your hosting servers are a *nix type apache servers. Linux apache or Unix apache. Linux is more popular.
For a detailed overview on what to consider when selecting a hosting company, please read our Joomla Hosting Requirements page.
Nowadays all hosting companies use modern equipment and servers. And yet 95% of ssues we've experienced fall under hosting, i.e. server types, server confirgulations and database setup. It is important to select a hosting company that supports Joomla natively. While all hosting companies claim to do that, in reality, many do not have proper server configurations set up in place and their support folks are not always knowledgeable, so it often takes a lot of going back and forth to get this done. In 99% of cases, server types and permissions are the culprit.
Please note that Joomla was designed having a Unix apache server in mind. It it best to select a hosting company that runs on a *nix apache server (the most common and most reliable type of servers). Note that Windows also have an apache server, so please be careful and double check that your hosting servers are a *nix type apache servers.
For a detailed overview on what to consider when selecting a hosting company, please read our Joomla Hosting Requirements page.
Absolutely! The best way to implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is at the start of a website design project. This way, a proper SEO infrastructure can be put in place which can later be expanded and built upon. Joomla Bliss has an extensive expertise with SEO and all our websites come with a solid basic SEO in place. If you require SEO specifically for a particular keyword phrase, this is usually an additional service.
Every website case is different. Every business is different. As a rule of thumb, the amount of SEO required and the level of difficulty (i.e. costs) depend on your competition. The higher the competition, the more expensive the SEO. Please review our SEO in a nutshell page for a consize overview of what is inovled in optimizing a website for search engines (i.e. conducting SEO).
We have three Service Level Agreement (SLA) options which can be signed for six or twelve months: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Please contact us to discuss the details.
Yes, you will. All our web design packages provide this option.
We follow Google recommendations on how to approach mobile devices. A website created for view via mobile devices is called by Google a "responsive website". Responsive website design automatically changes the website layout to optimize to a desktop screen, tablet, or any smart phone. This is achieved via CSS coding at the back-end.
This is a very good strategy for business owners because responsive web design eliminates the need for multiple versions of your site; you don't need to hire a developer to build an expensive app for your business; you no longer need an “app” because your website does what the app would (minus all the development and maintenance costs.) You have one website but with multiple versions at a much lower price than the cost of an app.
As with any software, a new release often has bugs in it and it takes a couple of months to get it stabilized. In addition, it takes time for the Joomla website development community to upgrade existing extensions. There are over 6000 Joomla extensions! Granted, the most reputable and popular Joomla extensions do upgrade quickly, but this is software, and designers are only human, so mistakes always happen, bugs are always present, so it is wise to wait until the newly released version gets stabilized.
With all that said, upgrading from Joomla 2.5+ to Joomla 3.0 is not difficult. And futher, from Joomla 3.0 to its subsequent sub-versions is promised to be a breeze.
If you have a Joomla 1.5 site, it is necessary to upgrade to Joomla 2.5 first and then from it to Joomla 3.0. The only alternative is to re-creare your site anew using Joomla 3.0. If your site is more than 3 years old, this maybe a good excuse to get a new website.
In other words, with new Joomla 3.0 version, upgrades should be fast and easy and can be done from the Joomla admin back-end. Joomla is saying they will be releasing a new version every 6 months. It will be hard for the extensions community to keep up with these new versions, so upgrading once a year should be sufficient. Note that not each new major Joomla version is good to upgrade to. Sometimes it is best to wait until it matures.