So you realized you need a website. Naturally, the first question on anyone’s mind is, how much is it going to cost? Obviously, there’s a huge range of options and in the Bay Area, there are many agencies who won’t even take your call if your budget is under $14k.
At our agency, the average price for a website is about $6,000, and we’ve made simple one-page sites for as little as $500. It’s the best deal in the Oakland/Berkeley/San Francisco area that I know of for web design.
Ok, so here’s the deal with search engine optimization, i.e. how to get your site ranked higher on google. You want more traffic, so it’s tempting to pay an SEO expert to tell you how to get better rankings. Of course, said expert is going to be a bit biased– after all, he’s not impartial, he’s selling a service- the service of search engine optimization.
I’m here as a website-maker for over 20 years to tell you the no-BS truth that seo experts won’t tell you. It all boils down to one secret, that’s not really a secret: content is king.
Well, that’s not 100% true. The biggest factors in google’s ranking you are actually a bit out of your control. But more on that later.
A former client wrote into me today with this puzzle, and I thought I’d share it in case it’s useful to anyone else:
Hello Hunter, A while ago you updated my WordPress website. I noticed that when I go to my blog (diannej.com/b/), I see that the connections suddenly show as “Not Secure.” However, when I go to just diannej.com, it does show as secure. I have paid for an SSL certificate which should cover the whole site, but does not appear to be doing that. Any ideas why? Owen said he went to Siteground to get help, but they no longer seem to have a ticket desk for problems. Thanks for any assistance you can offer.
Yes, absolutely! Happy to advise. Bummer that Siteground is so unhelpful!
Ok, so here’s the deal about http versus https, in layman’s terms:
https sites have their identity confirmed. It’s like Anne Hathaway being carded to confirm she’s really her and not just an absurdly good look-alike trying to get free drinks at the exclusive club.
Why does this matter? You’ve heard of phishing, right? When a site poses as another site to steal your password or credit card information? Right? Good. So, this poser phishing site, it can look the same, even down to the url in the address bar, thanks to super sneaky technology. This is like being an Anne Hathaway lookalike who actually changes her name to “Anne Hathaway” to fool more unsuspecting bouncers. https is our defense mechanism against this, a technical way to confirm the identity of the site you’re visiting to ensure it’s the real deal.
But my site doesn’t even take credit cards! Why should I pay for a security certificate when I don’t ask for sensitive information?!
The best way to check is this website. It’s Google’s test for your responsiveness (aka how friendly your website is to cell phone and tablet users). Just plug in your URL and if it says “Awesome!” in green, you can sit back and drink your coffee with smug satisfaction, knowing your site is safe from the looming SEO disaster.