iOS 15 introduces a raft of safety and privacy.

Because most of these features are under-the-hood most users may not care even though they are advantaged by them. However, businesses that use digital marketing should pay attention to Mail Privacy Protection which is part of iOS 15.

On a software update users are asked to opt-in to MMP. Global opt-in rates are currently estimated to be around 75%. I expect that the rate will grow and probably sit at around 95% in the long term.

This is how MPP affects email campaigns:

Open Rate Data

One vital metric is open rate data. We use this for tracking audience engagement, and sometimes as a trigger in our automated email sequences: Open rate data gets used to target users who strongly engaged so can put them into a cohort that can be targeted specifically. Open rate data is no longer available from iOS 15.

IP Addresses

There are a few things we can do with this datum. One basic tactic is the segmentation of audience by location. IP addresses can be used for geolocation, easing this aspect of segmentation. This data will no longer be available from iOS 15.

So What Do We Need To Do?

1) Update Email Automations

Long running email campaigns that have simply just worked for long periods of time sometimes just forgotten about. If you’ve got automations that have been running for a long time then you should check them to see if any aspects of their effectiveness relies on open rate or IP address data. It’s always good to audit long-running campaigns anyway. But at this point in time it’s pretty important to take a close look at them.

2) Change Location-Based Triggers

Because we can’t rely on IP address anymore for this segmentation we need other means. If location is important for you to know then this data can be requested explicitly: either in your subscription forms or in quizzes sent in “getting to know you” email.

3) Audit Your Email Content

Clickthrough rate remains a valuable measurement tool. We can still use it as a means to measure engagement. Of course the likelihood of email users clicking through will rely on content quality. So if you are doing an audit on your email sequence triggers, you should probably take the time to look closely at the content that people in your segments are receiving. Is it still useful to them? Does it still closely match promises and offers? Are the offers in emails congruent with content further down the funnel?


The email marketing landscape is always changing.

Where past changes have been driven by new technology for marketers, current changes are as likely to be driven by corporate concern for user. This will always be true when institutional user advocacy can punish corporations for failing to protect the security and privacy of users.

Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection mechanisms have been slated for a while, and we can expect the exact same or closely analogous measures to be implemented across other platforms. “Side-step” measures can be very useful in the short term: like segmenting iOS users and extrapolating non-iOS data to our iOS segments. But we can’t expect these measures to be available forever.

The Proposed WordPress Developer Code Of Honour

Over at WPShout Fred Meyer has published a proposed Code Of Honour for WordPress developers.

The article is address to developers of SME websites and is addressed to both developers and their clients. It addresses problems with SME website projects and puts forth a solution in the form of the code.

It’s a reasonably long read. And if you are either a business owner about to engage in a web project, or if you are web developer who builds out projects single-handedly – then it’s well worth reading.

Immediate Thoughts

After reading the code I had some immediate thoughts: the article and the post itself is timely. In fact, it’s overdue: many good developers have the experience of being pulled into an SME project to discover that the previous developer didn’t know his stuff. Consequently budget gets sucked into cleaning up unholy messes.

Web development professionals aren’t just in it for the money. We want our clients to be happy. We want the projects we work on to succeed. We want to create websites to return an investment. We don’t like seeing clients in pain because the previous team didn’t know what they were doing.

The code requests the developers use professional best practices. Best practices in technically building the project, and in client communication. It requests that developers be accountable to their clients.

The very existence of the code also creates a condition of accountability: accountability to a community that declares itself for the code.

I like this.

Unexpected Controversy

I’ve been in private discussions with people who are in the business of delivering web projects for SME’s. These people are both solo developers and agency owners. These people are good providers and all have records of delivering great projects and making their clients happy.

They largely agree in principle with the code itself. But to my surprise they had two objections to the article itself.

“The problem isn’t the developer. It’s the client”

According to this critique, projects don’t fail because of the developers own weaknesses. They fail because the of faults on the clients end.

There’s some truth to this. Some projects do indeed fail because the client makes unreasonable demands, micromanages the project and doesn’t trust the authority of the agency or the developer. Clients sometimes don’t understand the work that’s involved, and make unreasonable demands. Often clients fail to honour the process by which agencies and developers create good results.

I think that agencies can have good reasons for thinking these things. But I also think that ultimately it’s the responsibility of the agency or the developer to guide the client on these matters. Or to simply turn away clients that won’t work within the process of the agency.

Besides, in all fairness Fred links to content about how to avoid bad clients. And how to be a great client.

“The article is elitist. The author favours programmers over non-programmers”

Now as I mentioned above, the people I heard this critique from have histories of delivering great work. They’ve built many projects that make their clients money. I believe that these people are non-programmers themselves. And they seem to feel that the article shows a kind of hidden contempt for non-programmers the deliver WordPress projects.

But personally I think the critique is baseless.

Someone responsible for delivering an SME WordPress website can deliver without knowing how to program. They can simply hire a programmer.

But the reality is that the better someone knows how to program, and specifically how to program within the WordPress world, then they are in a better position to quickly solve the kind of problems that will come up within the project.

Non-programmers who build websites are spoilt silly by the WordPress world: there are extensions for pretty much everything. From creating real-estate listings, to assessing your content for search engine visibility. There are plugins that promise to make your website faster. Plugins exist for layout out page, for capturing leads, for social media…

There’s a huge amount that you can done without being able to program.

But ultimately if a provider doesn’t understand the underlying technologies then they are disadvantaged.

Understanding the underlying technology brings some significant advantages. Here are just a few.

  1. A programmer can anticipate problems before they happen
  2. A programmer can often solve these problems faster
  3. Cost estimates for projects will be more accurate
  4. When bugs rise from common extensions, programmers can find the cause
  5. … and probably fix them

To clarify: non-programmers can be competent and even excellent at delivering satisfying projects. And sometimes programmers don’t have non-programming skills that great results require.

But personally I think that everyone who is in the business of delivering an SME web project should at least be learning the underlying technologies.

My Endorsement

Personally I endorse Fred’s Code Of Honour 100%.  At this point I have zero reservations about it. If the code was “officially released” today in it’s current state then I would commit to it.

The “wild west” period of web contracting is coming to end. Even though cowboy agencies and developers still exist, their opportunities are fading.

Fred’s code is a an idea whose time has not only come: it may be overdue.

BackupBuddy from iThemes has been around for very long time.

It’s relatively popular for good reason: it’s a mature product with a good user interface. The company behind it has served the WordPress community for many years.

Because of the reliability of the vendor and the great UI, I’ve been using BackupBuddy for many years. It’s great for backing sites up!

The Problem

Unfortunately BackupBuddy isn’t so great for actually restoring sites from backup. If a site suffers catastrophe and you need to do a complete restoration then prepare for a wild ride.

Lets say you are beginning to recover from a disaster in which your site has gone kaput. BackupBuddy has very useful options which allow you to automatically backup your  website automatically, and automatically ship the backups to a a network location like an fileserver, Google Drive, DropBox or Amazon’s S3.

You prepare your host for the recovery.

Then you recover the backup created by BackupBuddy.  That’s easy enough. You then need to deploy a file called importbuddy.

Where is importbuddy?

If you google importbuddy download you find a page on the ithemes website titled ‘ImportBuddy‘. The droid you are looking for is not available from that page. However you are told:

You can download the ImportBuddy script directly from the BackupBuddy menu on the Restore/Migrate page.

But if you are recovering a site then chances are you don’t have access to that page. After all… your site isn’t live. You are recovering from catastrophe.

However, you are told that the file is available from your iThemes Sync Account. This sounds fine if you have an iThemes Aync account. But it’s a pain if you’ve never needed one before.

So you have to learn a new product in order to get a file you need to make the product you own useful.

So you set up an iThemes Sync account.

And guess what: you still don’t have access to the file. It’s nowhere to be found.

An Imperfect Solution

Over the years that I’ve used BackupBuddy I’ve been through a process like this a few times. I eventually lose my patience and make a copy of the backup file. Then I unzip the backup and search for backupbuddy. I then deploy this file to the host and follow the usual directions for it’s use.

For some reason the directions have never worked for me

The recovery process has never completed successfully. The hosting environment doesn’t seem to matter. So I lose my patience again, wipe the host and perform a manual migration using the files in the BackupBuddy archive. This is a pain because the database is split up into seperate files.

This is far from an ideal solution because people without sysadmin or web development experience wouldn’t be able to do this.

So What Is The Best Solution?

I’d love to see iThemes create an option that allows users to create backups where the database is put in a single file. And frankly I’m surprised that no existing product seems to do this.

If I’m doing a manual back I simply create a dated directory, dump the website database into it, recursively copy the files to it, and then zip the directory. All done. Very simple.

Available WordPress backup plugins have many bells and whistles. BackupBuddy has many great features. But it doesn’t have an option to just make the simplest possible kind of backup.

I think I understand why: in order to create a robust recovery process on suboptimal environments, it makes sense to split tasks into smaller parts, so that if a CPU process running the backup gets interrupted (by, say, a resource limit set by the hosting company) then BackupBuddy can restart where it let off.

But it would be nice to have a WordPress backup plugin that ships simple backup packages that can be migrated without depending on a software component that is rather difficult to find.

This article gets technical. But I had to write to so I didn’t have to continually repeat the same points during internet discussions of a new WordPress Security Plugin. First, the background:

The New WordPress Security Plugin

Recently a slick marketing campaign has effectively promoted a new WordPress security plugin. A video promoting the plugin demonstrates a successful attack on a WordPress site. The voiceover claims that two popular security plugins Sucuri and WordFence do not effectively defend against this one particular attack type.

But the promoted product does. According to the promoters. So if you buy this one plugin (which I’ll name later in the article) then you can be assured of security for your WordPress site.

Not So Fast!

Like any good ad campaign this one speaks the to it’s audience in the language they understand. However, the campaign targets non-expert while covering a subject that requires expert knowledge. This factor allows the omission of valuable context. The omissions combined with misdirections and other FUD factors create the quality of outright deceit.

The campaign is deceitful.

What’s The Real Story?

Is it possible that Sucuri or WordFence could miss a vulnerability in a popular plugin? Sure it is.

Is it possible that a new entry to the WordPress security plugin market could defeat this vulnerability? Sure.

Do these facts say anything about the value of any of these plugins? Possibly. But only in a very limited sense.

We have to consider a few things:

  • The vendor of the new plugin doesn’t reveal any details about the vulnerability.
  • The vendor of the new plugin has no history of contribution within the WordPress community.
  • The vendor doesn’t specialise commercially in WordPress products.
  • The source code of the plugin hasn’t been released under the GPL license.
  • Since the video release WordFence and Sucuri most probably now provide protection against the vulnerabilty. It’s very unlikely that they don’t. But the original video is still in circulation.

So the claims in the video aren’t outright false. But they are still deceitful.

Vulnerabilities are discovered within any set of web technologies all the time. And every week new vulnerabilities are discovered by all vendors of defensive products who then update their products. I would be very surprised if the Big Scary Vulnerability shown in the video wasn’t fixed within a couple of days of the ad being launched.

WordPress Security Plugins And Community Contribution

Sucuri and WordFence compete. One of the domains of their competition is in their community contribution. They each have public blogs and newsletters. Every serious WordPress consultant consumes from at least one of these channels.

The new product is called ‘wp siteguardian’. If you find it on google you’ll find a very slick advertising page that produces a brilliant story complete with misdirection on the nature of the security, WordPress security, and the WordPress security plugin market.

What you wont find is any real information, substantial on security. The kind of information that other players in the market provide plentifully and for free.

You also won’t find real attempt at client education. Something that WordFence and Sucuri offer for free and in great quantity.

Consider: when WordFence have discovered new, high-impact vulnerabilites they have alerted the community.

What they haven’t done is hidden the details of the vulnerability while using them to scare the crap out of people until they open their wallets. Unlike the WP Site Guardian.

WP Site Guardian have displayed no affinity with the WordPress community. That doesn’t mean that their product doesn’t work. But having shallow roots makes for poor positioning. Especially in terms of technical expertise. And WordPress security requires technical expertise.

And You Won’t Find The Source Code

WP Site Guardian has not opened their code. Moreover the vendor has stated in facebook discussions that he has no intention to do so. He has stated that the code is not covered by the GPL.

That is to say: WP Site Guardian most probably violates the license of WordPress by failing to cover their own WordPress Security Plugin under the GPL. In doing so, they both hide the quality of their own code while violating the rights of their own customers.

Any complete conversation around this is nuanced and should be in detail. The opinion of Matt Mullenweg, the Lead Developer of the WordPress Foundation, and original developer of WordPress itself is that all themes and plugins are covered by the GPL.

Customer rights aside, refusing to apply the GPL to WordPress derivative works makes them less secure.

The Worst Thing About The Advertising Of The New Security Plugin

The target audience of the advertising campaign has a problem. They aren’t in a position to navigate the advertised claims. They don’t know the context. They don’t understand the threat model.

And that’s fine. Consumers shouldn’t be obliged to learn the fine details. That task is for expert consultants.

After purchasing the WP Site Guardian the customer will feel like they have “purchased security”.

But they haven’t. And they can’t. Because “buying security” is impossible. Genuine security for WordPress requires expert knowledge. And an application of the Defense In Depth principle.

WordPress consumers deserve better.

So you have an existing website. You have either just launched it or perhaps it’s been live for a while. The design is solid. But now you want to improve your position in Google’s search results. Maybe you want to see your page on the front page.

First Step: have you taken care of the fundamentals?

Before attempting to improve your search results positioning some things have to be taken care of first. Both in terms of design as well as under the hood.


Is the underlying code as clean as possible? Have on-page technical SEO requirements been met?

These questions are difficult or impossible or impossible for non-tech to answer. To have these questions resolved you need a qualified and experienced developer. Hopefully the person who built your site was qualified and experienced. But trying to push pages higher up Google’s search engine results without having these things taken care of first handicaps you from the start. Poor development practices


Does your site generally and your pages individually communicate your message clearly to your target audience? Do you have clear calls to action? Is your copy great?

If your copy doesn’t grab and keep the attention of your target audience than good search engine results positioning won’t help you as much as you think. Your conversions will suffer.

Design issues can be taken care of by recruiting a good designer and/or copywriter.


Google rewards sites with good hosting and punishes sites with bad hosting. A good hosting company will provide you with an adequately fast server. They will give you good advice on which of their offerings suits your needs. They will help you in maintaining SSL certificates. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for when it comes to hosting. So don’t use crappy cheap hosts if your website is important to your business.

So, with the fundamentals taking care of, we can begin…

Improving Your Search Engine Positioning

When Google accesses your page it assess it for two things: Quality and Relevance.

How do we know this?

Google is open about the broadest aspects of how it ranks sites and pages.  It publicly releases information to the public, including some of it’s internal documentation. However, Google keeps many details secret. Both to prevent people from gaming the system and to remain competitive.

Now that we know about Quality and Relevance, how to make sure our pages and sites have both of these things?


We can glean what Google considers Quality by looking at a document that Google provides to an internal testing team. There’s a lot of detail and context that I won’t go into. But here’s what we can tell that this team within Google are told to test for:

  • A “satisfying amount of high quality content”
  • Page design that satisfies the visitors needs
  • Articles written with effort and skill
  • Articles written with “Expertise, Authorativeness and Trustworthiness
  • Helpful supplementary content
  • A positive reputation

Conclusions Google’s Quality Guidelines

The interesting thing about the quality guidelines that Google gives to it’s own testers is that they pretty much make sense to non-technical folk. It helps to have an understanding of web content generally. But generally the guidelines are intuitive.

Practical Steps To Improving Search Engine Positioning

There are two points at which you can take practical steps to implement the quality guidelines:

  1. When creating new content
  2. When editing existing content

Either way, you can treat Google’s quality guidelines as a checklist. When creating or editing content you can look at your text and ask if it meets those guidelines. If you aren’t sure on the meaning of the guidelines you can read the document itself.

User Advocacy

It is extremely important not to be self-justificatory when critiquing your own copy against the guidelines. Don’t look at compare your text against the guidelines and think “this text matches my visitors needs” without really thinking about your visitor and their needs.

It’s too easy to confuse the needs of our visitors with our own needs as the content publisher. They are not the same. We need to step back and be honest about the human desires and needs of the consumers of our content.

Speed Matters

Users of the web have ever-increasing expectations. These days users expect content to be delivered swiftly and smoothly, and with as few obstacles as possible. A slowdown measurable in microseconds can affect conversion rates and thus the profitibility of your website.

Google made speed an index ranking factor five years ago. Amazon discovered that a slowdown of 1 millisecond caused sales to drop immediately.

So if you want to keep visitors, improve your ranking and turn visitors into customers then you need your website to load fast and perform with excellence.

So how do you achieve this

Performance must be built in from the ground up

This is something that developers have know for a long time. If you have an existing site and you want it be faster, there are things that can be done. But if your foundations are poor then any improvements to speed and performance could be minimal.  If you are starting a website from scratch then you are in a great position: you can make decisions right from the beginning that will assure great performance.

Start With Solid Hosting

“Pay peanuts, get monkeys” applies here. Hosting is a commodity, and the cheaper you go the less performance you can expect. Furthermore, if you buy at the bottom of the market to get started with then you can expect trouble when attempting to migrate your site to a better host.

The solution here is to get hosting advice from someone with experience in the world of hosting.

Hosting is a complex world with many different types of hosts across many different vendors, including shops that offer hosting specifically for WordPress sites.

Use a well-engineered theme

Assuming that you are using WordPress then you need a theme that is built well.

Of the thousands of themes on the various marketplaces – many look great. The demos available through envato’s marketplaces or through the many theme shops will show themes that look great. But just because a theme looks great doesn’t mean that all is well under the hood.

Many themes come loaded with redundant, inefficient database calls, a zillion options which will go unused and poorly performing, poorly tested code. Showrooms are designed to make products look great. But only qualified programmers can tell what’s going on beneath the surface.

To get a performant theme you have three options:

Have a qualified programmer build your theme from scratch,  choose a theme from a good theme shop, or have a qualified programmer choose your theme for you.

Themes to avoid

There are some very popular, very well-marketed themes that are just going to slow down your content delivery. Not everyone is going to like hearing this. But some very popular themes simply shouldn’t be used by people who are ambitious about their project.

Avoid any theme built with many options. One such popular theme is Avada. Its only one example. Such themes are built for all all possible scenarios, and finely tuned for nothing.

Optional: use a Content Distribution Network

Using a good CDN can really speed things up. But to get this advantage you need to have the foundations sorted first. The advantages of a CDN will be minimal if you haven’t got great hosting and a well-engineered theme. Paul Irish, a chief developer at Google has said “CDN’s are the gluten-free of the web” when talking a lack of solid foundations.

Cloudflare is a CDN offers a free level of service that includes some protection from DDOS attacks.  It’s a great start. Amazon’s Cloudfront is a popular service that can store items of your content across it’s global network. There are many other such services.

Asset Management: minify images

This can be critical.

The file size of an image can be relatively independent of it’s visual quality. That is, you can have two versions of the same image on a screen. They can both look the same to the eye. But they can have very different filesizes. Your website should be using the version with a lower filesize.

A lower file size will result in faster delivery.

Before uploading images to your site: reduce the file size.

Photoshop has a filter for saving images for the web. So does Gimp. If you don’t have either of these programs then you can use an online service for reducing your image file sizes.

Use as few images as possible per page

You probably worked that out from reading the last point.

Images are important for web pages. Images should reinforce the message of the page. They can illustrating a point or draw the user to another related message. But the more images you have, the slower the page will be. Even if highly-compressed images are being delivered from CDN’s: more images makes for heavier pages.


Fine-tuning the speed and performance of website is something that developers are always working on. Every page should be built with speed as a consideration. Great developers have an arsenal of strategies and tactics to keep website performance as fast as possible. There are many things that site operators can do as well. But speed must be built in from the very foundations.

I will be hosting a free workshop on how to build websites for activist and community groups.

This workshop will benefit members of such groups who want a public-facing website for the group, but don’t know where to start. The workshop will present a roadmap, and present you with options.

More details are on this page.

The date is yet to be announced. But it will be around the middle of October.

If you are interested then add your details to the following form.

[gravityform id=”2″ title=”true” description=”true”]

Earlier this year Michael Tasner released the second edition of his work on digital marketing, “Marketing In The Moment”.

I haven’t finished reading the new edition completely yet. But I can say this about the content I’ve read thus far: It’s great. It’s valuable for anyone who is approaching marketing a business online. It will be very useful for anyone who is new to online marketing and who wants to take control of their own web marketing. You are likely to be in this situation if you don’t have the budget for dedicated staff or an outside agency.

But I’d suggest that this book is worthwhile even for those people doing online marketing already who need to refamiliarize themselves with the current territory and the best tactical approaches. I’ve certainly seen a lot online marketing work being produced by company’s specialising in online marketing, but whose tactics are outdated. Such is the state of the industry.

There’s is too much to comment on even in the content in the book that I’ve already read. But a couple of things stood out as immediately useful and valuable.

Native Content And Honouring The Medium

“Honouring the medium” is my own phrase. Tasner doesn’t use it. But the concept is closely tied to Native Content, an industry term that Tasner uses. Basically the idea is that every articfact of social media marketing must be in accordance with the channel being used. There is a way of producing content for facebook that is uniquly “facebooky”. The same applies to pinterest, linkedIn and all other channels. Speaking the wrong language on any given platform can make your brand look silly.

I probably would have liked it if Michael had put a little more emphasis on authentic conversation. He does mention authenticity but I think a little more focus on why it is needed might be more useful for those people completely new to online marketing.


Michael states:

The only platform that I have recommended over the last few years for designing a web site is WordPress

… to which I agree. Of course he is speaking broadly, and one’s platform of choice should be chosen after considering all the requirements and constraints of a business. But part of the reason why WordPress is so popular is that is so useful for online marketing. The WordPress platform can be used for anything from simple sites to complex commerce sites and even to meet complicated content management requirements. It is versatile.

The ironic thing is that Michaels own site is currently down presently, so I can’t link to it. And his own blog hasn’t been updated since 2013, despite his own advice to blog regularly. But there are probably good reasons for that.

In conclusion: I recommend the book for anyone doing online marketing.

The amazing Gather 2015 conference is “The creative community’s big day out”. It’s a fantastic event that draws the web/business community of New Zealand. But it isn’t restricted to technical people. As well as a discussion on web entrepeneuralism and expectations of front-end development, talks included writing for profit, improvised acting and  rapid character creation for role playing games.

And by the way, Matt Gatland‘s introduction to the Fate RPG character creation system was probably session that I had the most fun at.

I missed the talk by Matt Jackson on the legal troubles of Global Mode. But I ended up sitting with him over lunch. I listened to his views on media providers in New Zealand are doing themselves no favours by using the courts to attack their consumers. Matt is certain that this approach does nothing for the providers or for New Zealands internet. He has some strong opinions on how NZ’s culture will be effected by the TPPA. I wish I’d met him earlier and gotten him introduced him to the team behind itsourfuture.

Lance Wiggs hosted a “fly or die” session, wherein entrepeurs introduced their projects to a test audience. The presenter had a minute to pitch. The audience would then ask questions and then give a thumbs up or thumbs does. It was brutal and fun. (The atmosphere was light enough that feelings weren’t bound to be too badly hurt). I couldn’t help but notice that most of the concepts involved real services to communities. The majority of the brave pitchers were genuinely involved in giving back.

I can’t possibly cover all of workshops that I attended or the great discussions that were had. I made some great new acquaintances and got to connect with some brilliant technological minds.

Congratulations to Ludwig Wendzich for creating another Gather. I’m already looking forward to next year.

I’m often approached by people asking the questions “How much does a website cost?”. The questioner is often someone who has never owned a web property before. Sometimes the questioner has (or does) own a site. But they need to know how much it will cost to build a new site.

The answer is always “it depends”.

This post will give you a better idea of what the total cost will depend on. If you are planning on owning a new site that you intend to be a real asset to your business then this article will give you information that you need to know in order to make buying decisions.

What does the cost of a website depend on?

The cost will depend on many factors. And a worth web design agency or developer will never tell straight away what your site will cost. Instead they will ask you lots of questions first. The questions will include:

  • What is the nature of your business?
  • What is your websites role in your business?
  • Do you have existing branding?
  • Do you expect your designer/developer to create branding for you?
  • Will you selling products or services directly from your site ?

… and so on.

The critical thing is this: context is everything. A good developer or agency will want to remove all guesswork, all assumption before providing a figure.

The Discovery Process

The process of questioning that is required to occur before an estimate is given is called ‘discovery’. And it can some time. Often the conversation is broken into several sessions. In the end, the more the developer know about what you want, the greater the chance that you will get a great website. The developer that understands your needs most deeply is the developer who will deliver you the most value.

The business owner will sometimes be charged for discovery from the outset. Sometimes early discovery is not charged while the the agency or developer is still trying to work out whether they are a good fit for the project.

At this point the business owner is paying for the developer or agency to bring their expertise to bear on the challenges that the business owner is facing. A good process is worth paying for: it saves money.

External Costs

Developers and agencies have different ways of calculating the labour cost of website building. But outside of labour overhead there are some costs that the client will be expected to cover.

  • Web Hosting
  • Email Hosting
  • Domain Names
  • Website Software

The quality and cost of all of the above vary widely. Most often the developer will choose a combination based on the clients needs and budget. Website software can start from ‘free’ and go up to thousands of dollars. Web hosting cost and quality widely varies.

Labour Cost

An estimate will have the cost of the agency’s labour built in to it. Different developers and agency’s calculate this cost differently. If the discovery process was sufficient then the cost of labour becomes a lot more predictable.


By now you can see that the question “how much will my site cost” will not yield an immediate answer. It’s a little like asking “how much does a house cost”. The answer depends on many factors.