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WEB DESIGN: The eybereafe

NEXT TO THE DIY option. getting your local cybercafe to knock up a Web site is becoming the fastest route to getting your name up in Net lights. It is also the easiest. Cybercaffs will design. host and maintain a site to your specifications. and hopefully. bring you coffee while you watch them work. It will. however. cost you money. So make sure you choose the cuff that best suits your needs and budget.

The Internet Cafe in Glasgow deals with a range of clients from accountants to pipers. 1t charges from around £300 to £1000 and can have four or five pages on-line in as little as five days. Top sites

designed there include that of

leading Scottish club-runners Colours and an on-line gallery

featuring the striking work of

mural artist John Kilmartin.

Also in Glasgow. Java Internet Cafe tends towards exhibition sites. such as last year‘s Ten Day Weekend. With pre-prepared graphics. costs are about £40 per

page. but if a whole design job is needed. a quote can be arranged.

Although based in the plush surroundings of Edinburgh‘s Cyberia cafe. Cybersurf Ltd is actually a separate business. and it goes for corporate clients like The Scotsman and Edinburgh & Lothians Tourist Board. ‘We don't give standard costs out.‘ says Web Services Director Richard Ashrowan. ‘but we build Web sites for anything from £1000 up to £1()().()()().‘

Ian McCarron of Web 13. Edin- burgh‘s longest-serving Internet cafe has his own opinions. and makes sites for as little as £100. ‘1 know there are other companies who charge four grand for what we would charge £300 for. but 1 think that’s a wee bit outrageous. Small sites we can knock up in a couple of hours.‘ Lately. Jimmy Boyle sold two sculptures over the Net for 1 8.000 thanks to a Web 13 site that cost him £300. Proof that even in cyberspace. small can be beautiful. (AM)

Edinburgh cybercafe Cyberia

WEB DESIGN: The agency

THE SPECTACULAR GROWTH of the Internet has brought with it an explosion of Web design companies. It‘s here that the llashiest sites on the face of the Net are bought and sold. And it’s here that the big money changes hands.

Calligrafix. a Borders company which developed the UK’s first Internet property-finding system. deals with clients at the upper end of the spectrum. Founder Mike Forsyth says most Calligrafix sites cost £8—£10,000. Big European projects are in the region of a quarter of a million pounds. spread over several years.

Edinburgh’s Spidacom is a relatively new entrant to the game, with the aim of giving of small, local companies a presence on the Net. The popular Caledonian Breweries site is one of the most

impressive on their books.

‘To put up a small, very basic site for somebody.’ says Spida- com’s Tim Steward. ‘we’re talking £2,000 to do a decent job. If you moved onwards to the big complex sites. you’d be talking in the range of seven and a half to £10,000.’ Two thousand pounds may seem a lot for a basic site. but Steward warns potential clients against the hidden costs of companies who appear to promise the earth for low prices.

Both men stress that building the site is only half the game. The hidden costs are in maintenance and marketing. ‘The most important thing is then starting to market the site. both off-line and on-line,’ says Steward. ‘lf your site doesn’t change in the course of a year, people stop going to it.’ (AM)