What I provide
Although my sites are no longer quite as cheap as when I was just dabbling in this in my spare time (sorry! you missed the boat there), they're still good value. I'm still open to skill swaps, and you'll still qualify for 'guinea pig' rates if you want to challenge me to learn a new skill.
- Crisp, clean, contemporary but lasting designs
- Distinctive designs to complement your stationery and style (if you don't have these yet, I can help there too)
- Flexible sites that can grow with your web presence
- Robust, elegant, reliable site navigation
- Image preparation and optimisation
- Printer-friendly formatting
- Sites structured and coded for maximum visibility to search engines, and help with content tuning to optimise your chances of being featured
- World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) coding standards compliance and lean, streamlined code for speedy loading
- The benefit of my experience of what works and what doesn't when it comes to getting people to visit and use your site
- Advice on structure and content
- Personal attention, support 7 days a week, and rapid updates
- Dynamic content including Flash animations, slideshows, audio and video
- Bespoke ecommerce installations based on either a simple PayPal shopping cart or the open source osCommerce framework
- Fully integrated bespoke blogs, 'news' pages, etc, which you can update yourself through a browser interface, extending to complete content management systems (powered by Wordpress)
I don't provide
- Website hosting
- Domain names
- Email acounts
I've also recently discovered 2 UK-based hosting companies offering hosting powered by renewable energy, Ecological Hosting and Solar Host, and I'm planning to switch my own sites over to one of them when they come up for renewal. These companies are a bit special because they're the only UK hosts I've found whose sites are genuinely powered 100% by renewable energy. Several hosting companies, particularly in the US, are making a big deal of providing hosting powered 100% (or even 300%!) by renewable energy, but when you read the small print, you find that they use grid-powered data centres just like everyone else and the only difference between them and other hosting companies is that they've purchased "green energy tags", "certified renewable energy credits", "renewable energy certificate system (RECS)" or "carbon offsetting" to cover their calculated power usage. While this is undoubtedly better than nothing, it's "green" hosting by accounting convention only and is not really what it claims to be. It's not hosting powered directly and exclusively by real world onsite renewable energy.
Ecological Hosting and Solar Host are different. They both host all their sites at a 100% solar-powered Californian data centre which is the only commercially available facility of it's kind in the world at the moment. This data centre also uses servers controlled by chips that consume 60% less energy and generate 50% less heat than the most popular brands, source all their water through rainwater harvesting, run refrigerant-free natural air conditioning and use solar tubes for all their daytime lighting. To me, this facility and the companies using it are something worth supporting and encouraging as the internet continues to expand and demand more and more power to run.
(Please note, I prefer having the freedom to make recommendations based solely on the fact that I think these companies are good to work with, so I earn no commission nor receive any kind of incentive for these recommendations.)