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Websites are normally built using HTML (HyperTextMarkupLanguage) either by writing out the code by hand or by using a text editor such as Dreamweaver or Flash. Basic pages are pretty easy and are therefore quite cheap, whereas anything that requires interactive content such as user forms, or programming such as user login, date etc. cost that little bit more for the programmers time.
If you are going to use Flash (mini movies) then we recommend only doing a small part of the site with this, so as not to take up too much memory and therefore time. You also make life difficult for yourself with the search engines as they read rext not pictures, which is essentially what Flash is.
Database driven sites are suitable for large sites with shopping catalogue etc., but make sure you need this before spending your hard earned cash. You can always start off with a simple catalogue and order form, and once you are confident of recouping your money splash out on a databse site.
The golden rule of building websites
… is to make them easy to navigate and fast to download. Specifically, no page should take longer than 6 secs to download using a 56k modem, and ideally should exactly fill the default screen setting of 800 x 600 pixels without having to scroll down. Your visitors should be able to access ANY part of the website in 3 clicks or less, and the main navigation should always be present on each page.
The exceptions to the above are when you know all your clients use broadband, or when you know that your clients don’t mind waiting. This could be the case for photographic sites which need large clear pictures, sites that are showing video recordings, or cuting edge designer sites such as Nike, Chanel etc. where you expect to experience a visual treat.