Meaning, I handle all layers of your website. I design your custom look, write the front-end logic, program any custom server-side functionality, and maintain the servers your site is hosted on.
If you're looking to setup a full-featured, completely customizable web store I'll set you up on Magento (https://magento.com). Magento is a very powerful and sometimes very daunting platform. There is a bit of a learning-curve with Magento but the trade-off is Magento allows me to build a custom e-commerce website tailored to you company's needs.
Perhaps you're a client that simply needs online sales and has no need for user management, shipping management, promotion management, etc. In this case, I would talk budget with you and determine what shopping experience you're looking for. We can discuss building you a quick purchasing solution through a service like Stripe (https://stripe.com/us/pricing) or even stick with the tried-and-true Paypal approach.
Typically, a Magento website will cost you 2-3 times what a simple Paypal solution costs.
These are the clients that help me channel my inner-geek. Most of the time we're going to be working with a piece of software that you need me to add functionality to via plugins or extensions and most of the time we'll be working through 3rd party APIs. User, schedule/calendar, mailing list, or social media syncing are a few examples of this.
I also love to discuss full web application projects with potential clients. These are the type of projects where I leverage a framework, Laravel being my current favorite, to custom build a web application to the client's specs. I don't outsource or sub-contract any of this work which is a double-edged sword. Producing every aspect of a project gives me a tremendous amount of pride and feeling of self-worth. However, this does limit the size of project I can take on and is something we'll discuss.
If you want a website that your customers can visit to learn more about your company, you're a web design client. I do a handful of these every year and the amount of support you need from me will vary. You'll either want me to build and maintain the site or you'll want delivered and you'll take over.
Yes, it's the most popular content management system. Yes, web companies promote it as the be-all end-all solution for your site. No, I don't do WordPress.
Why? I prefer to work with software that is scalable to my client's current and future needs while providing an elegant solution for extending.
If you pay a premium for your website, make sure you aren't paying for an off-the-shelf template. As someone who prides himself on delivering custom websites, this really chaps my hide. You're paying thousands of dollars to have a unique, custom built website and that's what you should get.
WordPress web companies are the worst offenders here and it's a recurring theme that I encounter. These companies spend around $100 on a template and deliver this as a custom website. This is acceptable if the client requests this. However, I find it an unethical and a shady practice if the client is unaware.
In a nutshell, don't spend thousands of dollars on a "custom" website that you can get from SquareSpace.com or WordPress.com for around $20/month.