Sponsor a student to further their education and career prospects and give them the opportunity to develop their skills on a real world project. In exchange, you will receive a beautiful, brand new website custom built for your business at an incredible price.

Make a real difference to a student

Boost your brand with a beautiful new website

Getting your business online can mean more exposure and new customers. With a website built by an Institute of Code student, you know that it is being built to the highest standards and using the latest technology.

We Make the process easy and stress free

With years of experience running a creative agency before launching Institute of Code, we have the skills to make the whole process run smoothly. If accepted into the program, you will first have a phone consultation with our founder, Tina May, where she will explain the process in detail and get to know you and your business.

Before the course, you will need to provide a detailed design that the student can follow. This is usually a mockup in photoshop or illustrator, and if you aren’t comfortable completing it yourself we can recommend some great designers. All websites are thoroughly inspected by one of our teachers, so you can be assured that the site will be of the highest quality.

After the course you will meet with your student (either in person or over Skype) to review the website, make any minor changes, and receive tutorials on how to edit your site.

Affordable hosting and easy editing

Once your site is built, you aren’t locked into any contract – you are free to take it anywhere or host with us. We provide a really easy-to-use editor (see below) for you to manage your content plus fast reliable hosting, security and backups for only $15 per month, and include 12 months free hosting on all options.

It’s not a ‘drag and drop’ editor, so you won’t be able to add pages or rearrange the structure, (see FAQ for why) but you will be able to easily maintain your site, update text or images, and easily manage your SEO.

FAQs

Is this a wordpress website? Why not?

Wordpress is an incredibly powerful platform that powers approximately 30% of the internet. It is also, for most small businesses, overkill that can cause unnecessary headaches and stress. When you build a site on wordpress, you typically have wordpress + a theme + 5 - 12 plugins + unique customisations. Each one of these as an incredible athlete, who each plays a different sport in a different country. Even if each player on their own is great, when you bring them together and try to make them a team conflict inevitably emerges. Because you have so many different moving parts, the code written by the developer of one part (say a plugin or a theme) may conflict with the code written by another developer in another part (another plugin for example). Even if they all work perfectly when your developer hands it over, the minute you try to update wordpress, your theme or one of the plugins conflicts can emerge than can crash your entire website and leave you desperately calling a developer to help you fix it. When I explain this to people, the common response is ‘well I just won’t update anything’ … unfortunately, wordpress sites are vulnerable to hacking due to the way they are built — where someone could take down your site, or worse show inappropriate content like porn on your home page — and not keeping everything up to date only makes this more likely.

If you want to keep a Wordpress site safer from hacking, then you are likely going to need to hire a developer every time you need to update your site, a cost which really adds up over time. That’s why ‘managed wordpress hosts’ exist — they take care of the updates and security for you, but at a cost of $50 - $100 per month.

What’s a static-site and why should I care?

Static sites are faster, more secure, and don’t require any maintenance.

A few years ago, most websites needed to be built on wordpress because what you could do with a so called ‘static site’ was limited -  if you needed any kind of functionality, you needed a database-driven content management system like wordpress.

Wordpress functions kind of like this. You open up wordpress and through a visual interface (ie no code) you fill in text boxes, upload content, write blog posts, etc. for your website. All of this information is stored in a database when you hit save. When a user goes to your website, wordpress looks in the database and pulls the puzzle pieces together - and then ‘builds’ a website in HTML and CSS from that. All of this happens after the user loads your site, so as your site grows the delay grows longer and longer.

A static-site generator works a bit differently. You can still log into a visual editor (we use CloudCannon, but there are lots of them available) and add or edit to content to your site. When you hit save, it gathers all of the puzzle pieces (your header, footer, blog posts, etc) into the HTML & CSS that make up your site, and saves this final product to your hosting provider. When someone loads your page, the browser doesn’t have to ‘pull anything together,’ it just loads the ‘static’ HTML and CSS files.

This makes static sites 5-7x faster than wordpress based sites.

Because there is no database to hack into, static sites never get hacked. You have a fast, reliable site that doesn’t require ‘maintenance’. You do need to hire a developer when you want to add a new feature, you can’t just press install on a plugin, but as I explained, the money you save on maintenance is far greater than the cost of having someone install a basic feature.

If wordpress is so shit, why does everyone use it?

Wordpress isn’t shit, it’s just not the ideal solution for most small businesses. There are a few reasons people still use it so widely:

  1. When something is popular, it tends to be hard to shift away from: When people want a new website they ask developers or their friends. When everyone is using one platform, it takes a while for things to move away even when a better option exists.

  2. Developers have built a business around wordpress: They sell themes, they build widgets, they provide support when everything breaks. A business model where people are reliant on you for years to come because they can’t update their site without you means a steady flow of income. Because static sites are maintenance free, many developers worry about losing their margins.

  3. It sells false promises: People like Wordpress because they feel like they have the freedom to do things themselves without touching code — anything they want, a plugin exists for it and “you can just install it yourself.” This is definitely a benefit of wordpress, but financially it doesn’t stack up against the additional cost of maintenance .

Is CloudCannon easy to use?

It’s by far the easiest to use content management system I have every used with my clients. I haven’t had a single complaint yet.

How do you power the e-commerce part?

We use snip cart, which you can check out here: www.snipcart.com

It has all the features you want for an ecommerce site, it’s easy to use and has great support. You manage the content of your website through CloudCannon and you manage all of your products, orders, shipping, etc through SnipCart admin.

What will be my ongoing costs?

We provide hosting for free for the first 12 months, and for $15 per month after that. Our websites don’t crash, but if you do manage to break something we’ll fix it for you free of charge. If you want to take it to your own host after the 12 months, that’s totally up to you (there are lots of content management systems that you could move to if you aren’t happy with CloudCannon that would only take a developer a day or two to integrate).

If you are using Snipcart for E-Commerce, it costs 2% of sales (minimum of $10 per month) which is pretty standard among ecommerce platforms. If you get really big, and a % of sales is no longer reasonable, they offer fixed rate fees for high volumes. Any time you are accepting payments online (with any platform) you will also pay merchant fees to the credit card processor you use — ie stripe, braintree, paypal, eway.

When you say ‘Google-friendly’ does that mean my site will rank number one on google?

Not necessarily. There are many factors that google uses to determine where a site will rank for certain keywords. We target quite a few of those factors including building a site with the latest coding standards, making it responsive (mobile friendly), adding meta titles and descriptions, connecting your site to your social media pages if you have them, etc.

However, SEO isn’t a checkbox to fill - it’s a race. You don’t just have to be good, you have to be better than your competitors. Without knowing who your competitors are and what they are doing, its impossible for us to tell you where you will rank on google (and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you).

It’s likely that with these measures you will rank highly for specific, non-competitive keywords (like your brand name, or unique products), but if you want to rank for competitive keywords, more work might be needed.

At the end of the day, google is a multi-billion dollar company because they are great at helping people find what they need — so the most important factor in SEO is always to have relevant engaging content that people actually want to read.