I create websites using a flexible grid framework called Bootstrap. I use it because it's designed to be mobile-first, and therefore responsive to different screen sizes, which is required for present-day websites. I use either a barebones template (to save time on setting up each page from scratch), or I adapt a fully-developed template, depending on the requirements of the project.
At the present time my work doesn't extend to creating ecommerce websites, working with Content Management Systems or building web apps.
As most of my work is conducted remotely, I believe a simple phone conversation with a potential customer is enough to get the ball rolling on a project, followed by lots of collaboration to keep things on track. Everybody's Web Design requirements are different, and some projects will be a lot smaller than others, so I wouldn't take a "one size fits all" approach, but I do think the following questions help things to get started:
There are currently two ways in which I charge for my work, the first is by the hour (£30), and the second is by the website (£300 for a three-page website).