Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does a Website cost?

There are so many factors determining the cost of a Website. The main ones are:

  • Budget
  • Features
  • Timeline
  • Training
  • Use of photos
  • Number of main pages
  • How much content is already available
  • Writing of content
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media tie-in

As you can see, Budget is listed first. Companies want a quote often without knowing what they need.

You need to have a clear idea of what you feel you can pay. A website can be done in phases if budget is a concern — do some work now and add on later.

First, call me so we can discuss your project. I can give you a cost range for what you think you need after a short conversation.

If you tell me what your budget is, I can also tell you what I can give for it and suggest different ways to approach your needs to give you the best deal for your buck.

Most customized websites done by professionals will start at $1000. If that is beyond your budget, you can try do-it-yourself platforms (like WordPress or SquareSpace). You can also try college students looking for examples for their portfolios.

Be advised, non professionals are often doing certain tasks for the first time. If you go this route, be open to rebuilding your site in a year or so. But, this is a good way to get an inexpensive site when you have a new business and just need a presence on the Internet.

To read more, see my blog post: The cost to build a website

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What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your Website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. SEO has many moving parts. Some of the most important parts to SEO are:

  • Being able to identify your potential customers (using demographics)
  • Determining which search terms your potential customers are using
  • Writing the text for your site using these search terms (within rules)
  • Adding code in the backend to highlight these terms

There are what is known as organic results and paid results. The organic results have to do with what you put on your site to make search engines automatically, so to speak, give you higher ranking. The paid results you obviously have to pay for. you can do both.

I help you determine if you need to go the paid-for route and what level of the organic results is right for you and your budget.

To read more, see my blog post: What is Search Engine Optimization?

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How long does it take to build a website?

Some of the following factors helps determine time:

  • How ready you are with your content (text, images, etc.)
  • How available you or your employees are to work on the project
  • How many features are on the Website (needed to be built)
  • How many different templates your site needs such as: a photo gallery may need one or two templates, certain sections may require their own templates

I tell clients at the beginning of the project how long it will take me to build the site. However, if the project is delayed due to slow responses, content not available, or multiple change orders, the project will naturally take longer.

To read more, see my blog post: How long does it take to build a website?

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Can the site owner edit his or her own site?

Absolutely! In fact, I encourage the owners to participate in adding content on the site. But this does take training. It honestly is not that difficult to learn how to do this if I use a content management system (CMS).

What is a CMS you ask? A CMS is a type of application but not something you would have on your desktop. You would log into the system, make your edits, save and log out. When you save your changes, your site will show them.

There are some CMS's that are easier to use than others. I set up your site to make sure my clients have the smoothest experience editing.

To read more, see my blog post: Can the site owner edit his or her own site and what is a CMS?

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Can I add e-commerce to my site?

You can add e-commerce to any site.

E-commerce comes in many varieties. Whatever system you pick to use, it is important to pick a secure one for being able to take credit card payments. You do not want to have e-commerce transactions going through your own site. This means that you should use a third-party site that is set up with the right security and gives you the peace of mind of not carrying the liability.

The time it takes to set up e-commerce for a site runs the gamut. A simple system could take just a couple of hours and will have less ongoing costs.

If you need e-commerce, I can help you decide the best one for you, educate you on what you need to know, and do the set up.

To learn more, see my blog post: E-commerce on your site

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Can I get an email service for blasts and/or newsletters to work with my site?

Many businesses try to send out emails/newsletters to their customers and potential customers from their own personal or business email addresses. Big mistake.

If you choose to send out emails on a regular basis, you should use a third-party email service. There are many excellent third-party services to choose from to work with your site.

The third-party email services will give you a whole lot of useful information (which can help convert to sales), and keep your own email address from being viewed as spam by Internet service providers (Comcast, etc.).

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Can I have video on my site?

Yes. It's a great way to add interest to your site and draw in traffic. When you add videos to your site, they have the potential to tapping into the second largest search engine after Google, which is YouTube. This doesn't mean Google has a certain share and Youtube is second. They each are massive on their own and are used for different reasons.

To learn more, see my blog post: Adding video to your site

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Can I have forms on my site?

Yes. Forms are very handy to have on sites. The contact form is the most common one you will see and probably the least used by visitors. Most people don't want to fill out a generic form. They would rather email you, call you or visit in person if you have a storefront.

When you use forms that are more specific than a simple contact form, you have a better chance for someone to use it.

However, there are some companies where forms are needed for customers/clients to use. This is where it is very handy to have these forms on your site rather than having to email, fax or snail mail a form to a potential or current customer.

To learn more, see my blog post: When is it good to use forms on my site?

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Is there automatic back up for my site?

If you use the Content Management System (CMS) I recommend, Webvanta, there is back up every night. They have servers (where your site files and images are hosted) in more than one location to make sure your data is safe.

There are other CMSs which also provide back up but often are not automatic.

If I develop a Website for you where there is no CMS involved and I'm the only one making changes to it, I back up the site when it is initially completed and then every time I make changes.

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Will my site be cross-platform, cross-device?

I make sure your site is able to display correctly on the latest systems and browsers (going back a few years).

If you want a mobile-friendly site, I make your site displays correctly on all of the most popular devices. Even if someone was to access your site from a really old computer or device, your site content will still display but probably not as well on newer computers or devices.

To learn more, see my blog post: Making a site cross-platform and cross-device

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Who will maintain my site after it is launched?

Early in the process of developing your site, we will talk about maintenance of your site.

The decision is usually based on the following:
  • Your own time or that of your staff to maintain the site
  • The budget for on-going costs
  • Developing the content

To learn more, see my blog post: Maintenance after the site is launched

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Do I need to have a Blog on my site?

Having a Blog on your site definitely helps with:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Looking like an expert in your field
  • Make a site more interesting

To read more, see my blog post: What is a Blog and is it important to have one on a site?

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What is a Blog and how is it different from a regular website page?

A Blog is a section on your site. It can look just like your other pages. It has special features that other pages don't usually have.

A Blog is made up of individual "posts" which are short pieces on a topic with or without photos.

A Blog can include all the normal Blog features or just a few.

The most common are:

  • Categories list (very important)
  • Dates when posted (not always necessary)
  • Author of post (sometimes good if you get others to give you content to use)
  • Comment areas (a form on the site page which others can use)
  • Archived posts (older posts)
  • Posts by category (ability to only see these)

I customize your Blog to use the features that make sense for your site.

To read more, see my blog post: What is a Blog and is it important to have one on a site?

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