Tag Archives: website

Should I learn to build my website or outsource it?

This is a common question with cash strapped small businesses. They understand that in this day and age, every business needs to have a website. They don’t have the skills in-house to build a website. They hear these Ads suggesting they build their own and save money. Sounds convincing. Why spend money when you can do it yourself. Money is scarce isn’t it.

Before we go further, we would like to explain that just like every business is different, every website is different and costs vary accordingly. A blog will not cost as much as a photography portfolio website. An informational website will generally not cost as much as an ecommerce website. What we are trying to achieve with this article is NOT to provide you with a price chart for your website, but rather to give you an idea of everything that goes into building a website.

There is a lot that goes into building a website. First and foremost is time – whether its your own time or the time of a developer, time is an important variable in this equation. How much time do you have or how soon do you need your website? Next is your interest in gaining coding knowledge, followed by design skills and money. How much are you willing to spend on learning web development vs how much are you prepared to pay others to build it for you. The variables differ from business to business. You may lack one, two, or even three of these resources. What then? Don’t feel stuck as there is a way around everything. One resource can compensate for another. So, if you lack design skills but have time, do not fret, just start looking for a good course on web design.

Contrary to popular belief, money is actually the most flexible resource. You have time or you do not, you can code or not, you can design or not and not be willing to learn how to do it. Money on the other hand can buy you what you don’t have. If you feel something is valuable to you, you will have no qualms about paying for it. If your website has value for you, you will find a way to pay for it.

Building your own website

Let’s say you have time and want to build the website yourself. Here are some of the steps involved:

Do it yourself - web design
Do it yourself – web desig
  1. Setup

  2. Website builder

  3. Design

  4. Content creation

  5. Maintenance

Each of these will largely depend on the variables of time, technical knowledge and design skills. You can opt for professional help for parts of it if necessary.

There are two options. You do all the website building yourself, from scratch. Or, use a Drag & Drop Website builder tool like Wix or Weebly. As a drag and drop builder, Wix & Weebly require minimal technical knowledge. The only drawback is that some of the available tools may be very limited. These builders do not let you do everything you want. What’s in their existing menu is what you can use and not much else. But that may be good enough for you.

If you are a DIY type, you can create the content and graphics yourself. Since you are saving money by building the site yourself, there is a good chance that you have some spare pennies for content. You may even splurge a little on promoting the website.

Outsourcing web development to professionals

A professional developer will likely build your website using WordPress if it is a catalog or informational type of website or may switch to a different platform if complex ecommerce is involved. WordPress powers over 26% of all websites. Think of all the websites you visit. Chances are that they are WordPress sites.

Your web developer will ask you to buy a domain name (your web address) and hosting (where your website will reside). There are different types of hosting but you can start small and ramp up as the number of visitors to your site (traffic) grows. Here are sample hosting expenses:

  • Shared hosting costs $5 to $30 / month
  • VPS hosting costs $50 to $100 / month
  • Dedicated hosting $150 and up / month

If you are very particular about design, then you may go for custom design. That could cost between $750 to $2,000 and up. If you want to be on the economical side, you may buy a ready made theme that will cost around $100 and still look decent. It may look a little cookie cutter but can save you a lot of money and your developer will then adjust it to your needs.

Once the design part is done, your web developer will code the functions that you need and also integrate the design into the backend. This could run from about $500 to several thousand dollars depending on the complexity of your needs.

Don’t forget content. Once you have the web site designed and developed, you need some content. Are you going to create it yourself or hire professionals. A good copy writer may cost $500 to $1,000 and you may spend an additional $500 to $600 on a graphic designer.

The last thing is traffic, that is, visitors to your website. A website does you no good if it has no traffic. But that is a separate subject in it’s own right and we can discuss it in a separate article.

Whether you decide to build your website yourself or outsource it to professionals, you must have a website. I hope this article helped.

Good luck!

How much should a website cost you
InterloperInc.com – A web development Company

How much should a website cost you?

Thinking of building a website for your company? Wondering how much it is going to cost you? You ask a few people and they all give you a different answer. You are confused. That is to be expected as there is no simple answer. A website can cost you from $500 to $50,000. Let’s get you educated a little so you can talk to a web developer armed with a little better knowledge.

The number 1 thing you need to know is: it really depends on what your site is about, what it does and how it looks. Mobile friendly websites with custom, modern design cost a lot more than the average blog. In this article, we’ll give you an overall idea of the cost, but by all means, we encourage you to double check the cost depending on the site you want with a web developer.

Here are main thing you need to include in your budget:

  1. Domain – not expensive

  2. Hosting – not expensive

  3. Design – could be expensive

  4. Development/ website builder and maintenance – could be expensive

  5. Content & SEO – it’s a long term activity. Keep it separate from web development.

Again, we would like to stress that the cost of building a website boils down to four points:

How much should a website cost you
Constraints in building a website

Which of these resources do you have at your disposal? Lacking one or two does not mean that you cannot have a website. You can either compensate one for the other or in the case of design/tech skills you can outsource the website building to professionals.

You can choose to buy a domain and learn how to design and setup the website yourself, which will probably take quite some time. In most cases, it is much more cost effective to get help from professionals.

You can either build parts of it by yourself, do it all on your own or have developers do all the work. Developers can build the website from scratch without using any particular website building software. Or, you create the site on WordPress but you need to know your way around the platform if you are to customize it to your needs and preferences. Alternately, website builders such as Wix, Squarespace and Weebly are drag and drop builders so you can assemble a website with minimal technical knowledge. It will still require time though.

The cost of building a website changes according to the website building option you choose.

  1. Professional developers will likely develop your site by using WordPress or if it is going to be an ecommerce site use an ecommerce platform like OpenCart, Magento, Prestashop, Shopify etc. . WordPress is the most popular platform due to its features and flexibility.

  2. Design is the biggest variable as you can either use pre-made templates or a custom design. The pre-made ones cost $50 to $200 USD, custom design can go as high several thousand dollars.

  3. Content creation is anywhere from $500 to $5,000. Of course you can also choose to write content yourself.

  4. Ongoing maintenance costs between $100 to $500 USD per year.

  5. What about the Drag & Drop website builders that are advertised on TV? If you are up to it, you can try them. Some people pick it up quite easily while others get frustrated with it. There is learning curve to everything and that takes time. If you don’t have time, then don’t try to do it yourself.

  6. The popular Drag & Drop website builders are Wix, Weebly and Squarespace. The free plans come with limited features and functionality, but they are a good option for starters. There are plenty of free template designs to choose from, but you do not get access to the code that will enable you to customize the site. Maintaining the site is also hassle free and done in the background by the builder’s support staff. The only costly thing is hiring a designer for your brand and logo if you want to give it a more professional look and populating the site with content.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to everything.

To summarize:

  • If you have time and you are technically inclined, you can learn to do it yourself

  • If your time is better spent doing more valuable work, then outsource web development to a professional web development company.

Good Luck!

How much should a website cost you
InterloperInc.com – A web development Company

How to quickly setup an ecommerce website

The best and fastest way is to hire a web developer, tell them what you need, how fast you need it and what limitations you can live with based on the shortness of time. If you have very little time, lets say a week, then don’t ask for a custom design. Ask the developer to suggest a template or two, buy one that is the best fit and then let the developer set it up for. He will integrate your payment processor, integrate shipping, setup site security, transactional emails and also help you upload your information, text, graphics, product data and prices.

Try to hire a developer that is available in your time zone. If you are in the USA and your developer is on the other side of the world, that would make things a bit difficult. Doable but you will have to adjust to the 12 hour time delay in everything. Not the best approach when you are desperately short on time.

Now if you have more time, you may go for a custom design. The web development company will assign you a project manager, a designer and a developer.

On custom projects, we first assign you one of our creative designers who will work with you to put together a design that reflects your vision for your website, looks elegant and professional and most importantly meets the expectations of the type of customers you are trying to attract. During this process we may go back and forth several times to get the design just right. Good design should establish brand identity, credibility, be in line with current trends and technologies, drive your call to action and give you a competitive advantage.

Once design is finalized, we hand it over to our developer to integrate the design into the backend and incorporate all the necessary functionalities. We do it this way because you get better results by putting specialists on the job rather than letting one person do everything.

Both the design and the development phase is supervised by a project manager.

To summarize, if short on time, go with a template. Your site may not look outstanding but it will be functional and you can come back and customize it later. If you have time, then go with a custom design that best represents your company, is in line with your vision and meets the expectations of the type of customers you are trying to attract.

Ecommerce Developers Dallas, TX, USA
Ecommerce Developers


How much should I pay for a Website?

How much should I pay for a Website?

I wish there was an easy answer. Too many factors to consider including your pocketbook so let’s dig into it.

  1. The nature of the website? Is the aim of the website to present you and what you can do, or an ecommerce site where you will sell your products? Trust us, they are quite different. A presentation website is fairly simple whereas ecommerce sites require various plugins and the integration of a shopping cart and a payment gateway. Drop shipping may be involved, use of API’s to send order information to suppliers, download tracking information and provide customers timely details on the status of their order. Even a simple ecommerce site will cost you over $1,000 and the more complex ones cost well over $10,000. The more complicated the site, the more it is going to cost.

  2. Do you need the services of a web developer, web designer or both? Is a custom design absolutely necessary? In some cases, existing templates can be bought for a small fixed cost and tweaked by a web developer till they meet your needs. A custom layout is a different story. It takes more time to design and setup everything hence the cost will be higher on custom sites. But a custom design well set you apart from the cookie cutter websites and if that is what your objective is then you must go for a custom design.

  3. Domain and hosting costs. Domain names are usually bought for an entire year and then renewed annually whereas hosting is a monthly cost. If traffic to your website grows, which is a good thing, your hosting cost will also increase.

  4. Plugins: This may or may not be another substantial cost for your website depending on whether you use the free or premium versions. The more complex your website, the more plugins you may need.

  5. SEO. What is the use of a website if it does not show in search engine results? Interested parties will not be able to find out about what you do simply because few bother to look past the first few pages of search results. So, investing in SEO will definitely prove to be a smart decision.

  6. PPC: Pay Per Click. If you have the funds to invest, you can draw traffic to your website through Pay Per Click advertising. The more traffic you want, the more you spend.

  7. Content. Again, this will largely depend on what your website is for. You may or may not require the services of a content writer. Whether you hire content writers or not, you must plan to add content. You need to keep your website fresh looking with new content.

  8. Time. How much time do you have. If you must have your website up and running in a couple of weeks, you cannot have a custom website. You have to go the template route and later on when time allows, develop a new custom website.

  9. Demographics: Who are you catering to? Seniors or young families, millennials or veterans, athletes or nerds. Then design accordingly. If you don’t, your demographics may find the website unattractive and click away.

  10. Upscale, mid range or economy: If you are targeting a well heeled clientele but your website looks like Walmart, you will turn off your customers. Likewise, if your target market is penny pinchers but your website looks like a million dollars, you will scare customers away.

  11. Regional, National or Global: Yes it matters especially if you are selling globally. A simple thing like inches or centimeters helps customers relax and be at ease with your website. You may need to list prices in multiple currencies and even have multi-lingual versions of your website.

Based on the above points, do your homework and then discuss your budget with your web developer and see what is possible and what is not. If you really have only $500, ask your developer if he can make you a very simple informational website. If on the other hand if you have money to spend, make sure you emphasize your requirements and not the cost. Let the web development company focus on design and development and come up with a realistic estimate.

Now you don’t have to do it all at once. You can do it in stages. For example, in Phase I, you can create a simple but high quality informational website. In Phase II, you can integrate a CRM. In Phase III, you can add ecommerce. In Phase IV, you can integrate drop shipment. This way you can grow your website just as your business grows and as revenues start flowing in you divert part of the incoming funds to improve your website.

I hope you found the article helpful. If you think we can help you, call us or fill out the contact form. Let’s us help you with your website.

Web Developer for Non-Profits

Web Developer for Non-Profits

Looking for web developers for your non-profit’s website. Before your hire one, here are some points to consider for discussion with your web developer.

  1. Non-profit websites are a bit different
    Although the mission and objectives are equally important in any industry, the focus for a non-profit website should be it’s mission, it’s programs, it’s achievements and how visitors to the website can participate through volunteering and monetary donations.

  2. Address the needy first:
    Many people who create websites for non-profits totally forget that those who are going to draw on support from the organization. Make sure you don’t make this mistake and clearly outline how those in need can benefit from the organization, where the different offices are, what the contact numbers are and similar.

    Sample website for non-profit charitable organization
    Amnesty International
  3. State your mission clearly
    Non-profit web design must deliver a clear and concise message to the world. The website must effectively communicate your mission and objectives. Whether you opt for a header, tagline or banner is up to your preference and what you agree with your web designers. However, do make sure it is there and clearly visible for your site visitors. If someone has stumbled upon your site, they must be able to see the purpose of your organization and the cause you are fighting for immediately. Spend some time drafting your mission statement and make sure your website reflects it well.

  4. Call to action / donations
    Your call to action for volunteers or call for donations for your cause must stand out in your website’s design. Below you will find examples of non-profits that have than an excellent job of putting this option in a prominent spot. Read on.

    Sample website for non-profit charitable organization
  5. Blog / News section
    Your website should help the organization gain new supporters while offering a platform for current supporters to stay informed and up to date. Incorporate a news section and update it frequently. This will also automatically improve your search engine ranking, bring you more traffic and give your hard work more exposure.

  6. Calendar of events
    Showcase your upcoming events prominently. It will help get more exposure for your activities and your supporters will always be aware of what activities you have planned for the future.

  7. Contact information
    Make it easy for journalists or other interested parties to find more information about your organization. Include contacts for all the members of the board.  Include press-ready quotes, both from members and directors as well as outsiders. Make it clear that journalists and other organizations may use these items in news coverage without contacting the organization for prior permission. Here are so examples of non-profit websites that do a good job of incorporating all the aforementioned:

If you already have a web developer that works with you, you may discuss the above points with him. If not, contact us and we will get you up and running with just the right balance for those seeking help and those willing to help.

In conclusion, non-profit websites need to be user friendly, responsive, easy to navigate, use the appropriate fonts, colors and design like any other website and they must also effectively communicate the mission and objectives of the non-profit as the website is a valuable tool that helps raise awareness of the cause and gets the community involved.

Sample website for non-profit charitable organization
Take the walk

We hope this article was helpful. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

How to secure your WordPress site?

WordPress security is often referred to as “hardening.”. After all, the process is like adding reinforcements to your castle. It’s all about securing the gates and putting guards on every tower for better monitoring and protection against external threats.

WordPress is the most popular blogging and CMS tool on the Internet. Part of its popularity is its ease of use. That is exactly what makes it a prime target for hackers. Do you have a WordPress blog or website? Then this article will help you. None of these solutions guarantee 100% protection but some protection is always better than no protection against hackers, viruses, malware, adware and ransomware.

Tips for better WordPress security:

  1. Keep your WordPress site and plugins up-to-date. Consider Automatic Core Updates. This is very simple and there are plugins like WP Updates and others to help you.
  2. You may want to create a child theme before making any changes to your functions.php file.
  3. If somebody is offering Premium (Paid) plugins for free, don’t buy/download them. Quite often they would be modified and infected with malware.
  4. Keep Track of Dashboard Activity. This is also great for security because it allows you to connect the dots between a specific action and a specific reaction. So, if a certain uploaded file caused your site to break, you can investigate it further to see if it contained malicious code. Suggested plugin: WP Security Audit Log
  5. Avoid using the admin username of ‘admin’ and you must use strong passwords
  6. Pick the Best Hosting You Can Afford. Good hosting companies have strong protection of their own and you are less vulnerable.
  7. Spam Protection. For Comment Spam, a good plugin is Akismet. For form spam, a good plugin is SI Captcha.
  8. Clean your site – remove unnecessary files, plugins, themes and older backups.
  9. Use a good security monitoring software like Wordfence or LifeLock. There are others too. Some have a free basic version and a more robust paid version.
  10. Do daily backups through your hosting company or a third party service. If you get hacked, you can recover using your backups. No backup, no recovery.

I hope this helps.

Do you have some additional suggestions? Feel free to mention them in the comments below.

Stay Safe!

Website Makers

Website Makers

Website makers in Dallas – DFW area – North Texas USA

Website Makers, Web Developers, Web designers, consultants,

WordPress Ecommerce – Apparel Site

Is there such a term like Website Makers? Maybe not but many people use the term website makers when looking for a web developer or a web designer. That’s all right. If it’s not your field of specialization, you may not be familiar with the terminology. So website makers is fine if that’s what you feel comfortable with. Click https://interloperinc.com to request a quote or talk to a representative about making a website.

Once of the popular content management system (CMS) is WordPress. WordPress is very versatile and can be used for all kinds of website. The above is an example of WordPress Ecommerce using a plugin called WooCommerce.

Like most open source software, the core WordPress platform is free. However; some add-on modules called plugins have to be paid for.

WordPress is popular all over the world, from Dallas, Texas, USA to Sydney, Australia to Birmingham, UK.

Dallas DFW North Texas USA - Brochure style informative website in WordPress for a Health and Fitness business

Health & Fitness website in WordPress created by developers in Dallas

Are you planning on a new website in WordPress? Call or email us and we’ll be glad to design a professional website for your business.

Dallas DFW North Texas area developers - Salon site developed in WordPress

Custom design – Salon website developed in WordPress

Some call them website maker, some call them website creator, consultant, specialist or word press developer – the correct term would be WordPress Developers. A WordPress developer is generally a highly educated individual with a degree in computer science. WordPress is one of the platforms they work on but their knowledge extends way beyond that. 

WordPress Developers are very versatile. They can make a website for pretty much any type of businesses from health spas to hair salons, from restaurants to sports clubs.

Do you need to make a website? Maybe you have a website but would like it professionally redesigned. That’s where we at Interloper, Inc. can come in handy. We have specialist designers and developers and we can design and develop any kind of website for you from informational to ecommerce. We cover them all.

Ecommerce shoe store site developed in WordPress WooCommerce Dallas DFW North Texas area USA

Shoe store in WordPress

Sometimes you may look at competitors websites and they look beautiful and generate more business. You wish your website looked that good and delivered results. Now you can have a great looking website without breaking the bank. Call or email us. You’ll be glad you did.

Generally we first assign you one of our creative designers who works with you to put together a design that reflects your vision for your website, looks elegant and professional and most importantly meets the expectations of the type of customers you are trying to attract. After that, we hand it over to our developers to integrate the design into the backend and incorporate all the necessary functionalities. 

Growth pattern of US ecommerce sales

Real Estate website with IDX/MLS listings in WordPress

One advice we give to all companies, especially small businesses is that you should let your website reflect your personality and your values. If you have a friendly conversational type of personality, then let your website reflect that. If you are selling premium products, then make sure you website does not look cheap. If you are focused on a certain demographic, then make sure your website attracts them.

WordPress blog - coaches website - DFW North Texas

WordPress Blog – Coaches – Consultants 

Interloper, Inc. is an I.T. company focused on small business. We are based in the Dallas area (DFW) of North Texas, USA but do business worldwide. Our roots are in design and development and it continues to be the strongest part of our business. We believe a neatly put together website leaves a positive and professional impression on your clients and extends your reach beyond the local marketplace.

What are the keys to an effective website?

1. Function – it must operate smoothly both for the customer and for the administrator.
2. Visual appeal – design is important. A visually appealing website establishes credibility and makes the customer feel more comfortable about the company and it’s products.
3. User experience – Make it easy for a customer to find the information he needs, make it easy for him to place an order and build a follow up mechanism to stay in touch with the customer so he feels reassured that he is in good hands.

Let us help you make the most of your WordPress website and do more business at a lower cost. Translation – greater profitability. Call or email us.

We can also help you build customer follow up functionalities for your WordPress website that builds customer loyalty and can generate additional revenues.

For future maintenance also, you don’t have to advertise and spend precious time going over resumes. You just let us know and we will provide the right WordPress resources. Your job gets done economically, without hassle and on time while you focus on doing what you do best – running your business.

Another service that we offer our WordPress Ecommerce clients is creating and uploading product feeds to Google Shopping, Rakuten.com, eBay, Amazon, Shopzilla, Price Grabber, Shopping.com and Sears.com. The more customer exposure you give your products, the better the chances of making a sale. Whether you are based in the Dallas / DFW area of North Texas, USA or elsewhere in the world, thanks to the internet, we can help you with your WordPress site.  Give us a call – you’ll be glad you did!