Who are we?

Choosing a web designer can be tough. We don’t want to do a hard sell. That’s too much pressure. Instead, we will tell you all about us, and give you some tips for picking the right option for you and your business.

Vanessa Ellen Web Design provides website design and hosting services almost exclusively to small businesses just like us. We are located in Thrumster, near Port Macquarie in the Hastings River region of New South Wales. We are just over 400 kilometers north of Sydney, and around 600 kilometers south of Brisbane.

The Traditional Owners in the Hastings River region are the Birpai people, who have inhabited this land for thousands of years.

What kind of web designers are we?

Vanessa Ellen is a small business helping other small businesses get online, and we love that about us. Our services are available in New South Wales, Queensland, and beyond. It’s always important to put a face to the name, but you don’t need to leave your lounge room for that. We meet with our customers primarily via Zoom, WhatsApp, Google Meet, or Skype.

If you have little to no web presence we can help. Our range of services is designed to cater for a range of business needs and budgets. Our products include website design and development, website and email hosting, managed WordPress hosting, domain registration, copywriting, and more.

Will you need a web Designer or Developer?

You may have wondered if web designers and web developers are the same thing. Well, yes and no.

What does a web designer do?

What does a web designer do?
A good web designer knows that designing for the web is entirely different to graphic design.

Web designers often (not always) have a background in graphic design. They know what looks great and they focus on the way a website looks. Historically, web designers aren’t necessarily qualified to build a website.

In this day and age, however, most web designers use open-source platforms like WordPress, which reduces the need for coding and other technical skills previously needed for creating websites.

Keep in mind that it is better to have a functional, reliable website than a beautiful website that takes 15 seconds to load, some of the links don’t work, and the customer query form sends queries to the wrong address. Just sayin’.

What about web developers?

What is a web developer?
For the sake of a functional website, it is important the person building your website is a capable developer.

Developers work behind the design to build websites that function correctly and display as intended on multiple browsers and device types. Web developers often have an IT background with little or no design experience.

When you type a question into Google, the most popular search engine in the Western world, a highly complicated algorithm determines the best answer to your query. In February 2023 Google made a very significant update to this algorithm giving significantly more weight to technical factors when determining the best websites to recommend.

It can’t be stressed enough that the person building your website needs to be aware of this, and must be capable of building a website that is technically sound, loads quickly, and performs well on mobile devices.

Web design and development are both essential for building attractive, functioning websites. Thankfully you don’t need to go shopping for a designer and developer separately. In this day and age, you can reasonably expect the person who designs your website will build it too.

It is worth noting that designing for web and print are very different skills. Make sure your web designer understands that. Ask them what kind of experience they have and check out other websites they have designed.

Points of difference

There are plenty of web designers capable of designing and hosting your website, including plenty of affordable local options. One of our favourites in New South Wales is Tomato Creative because they use tomato puns throughout their branding and website. We love a good pun.

So what are your options?

1. Look overseas

If you are willing to brave the language barrier there are countless designers overseas, many in South East Asia, willing to design your site for next to nothing. Admittedly there may be some spelling and grammar issues but for the price, many are willing to tolerate a few flaws. Flaws can be fixed.

2. Look online

This must be the place

One site we love, and use often, is fiverr.com where you can shop online for a web designer, graphic artist, SEO guru, and much more. Fiverr is a ‘gig’ marketplace where you can find students, professionals, and hobbyists, to do odd jobs for you online. You can view each seller’s reviews, previous work, and bio. It’s awesome.

3. Look closer to home

Simply Google “web designer near me” to find a long list of local service providers. Also, try visiting competitor websites and take notice of features you love. At the very bottom of the page, you are likely to find the name of the designer and a link to their website.

4. Do it yourself

A lot of small business owners opt to save money by building their own sites. Sites like wix.com, squarespace.com, shopify.com, and weebly.com make it really easy to create a professional-looking website or online store. It is usually free to build a site, followed by monthly hosting fees.

Is this a good idea? Possibly. Only you can decide what is best for your business. Be aware though, you may save money but the cost is still high. One of our customers built his own amazing online store but regrets the amount of time he spent and the frustration it caused him.

5. Do it yourself… with a little help

You can do this
Building your own website can be a great option, but if you need help along the way, consider consulting a professional for advice when it comes to the tough stuff, including site performance and technical SEO.

If you do decide to build your own website, consider paying a designer a consultancy fee for an hour or two of advice. Not all designers offer such a service, so you may need to ask around. We also recommend planning your site fully before you start building it, or you will never get it finished.

It comes down to what’s best for you and your business

You have plenty of options and you should take your time considering what is best for your business. From Vanessa Ellen Web Design you can expect personalised service and an affordable range of products, with a strong focus on consultation. We listen.

A matter of price

New South Wales Web Design businesses tend to compare closely on price. Some companies offer a range of fixed-price products and services. Others provide a customised quote. Some charge an initial setup fee followed by an ongoing monthly subscription fee.

While pricing methods and structures vary, the overall charge to the customer is often very much the same. Depending on your requirements you can expect to pay anywhere between one and five thousand dollars for a brand new website. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

It is worth noting that many designers don’t include any copywriting and you will need to provide that. Also, in some cases, you are required to maintain the website yourself. When you are comparing quotes make very sure about what is included, and what is not.

How can we help you?

We offer a flexible range of products and services to help you improve the way you present your business online. Our services include:

Website DesignHosting Services and Domain Name RegistrationsCopywritingE-commerce Websites • and more.

View our pricing guide or contact us for more information.