The FAQ: A Good Place To Start
Most small business owners know they need a website but that’s where it stops. While they are professionals in their own fields, they rarely know anything but the basics when it comes to website design, hosting, domain registrations and all the details that go into a successful website plan.
Below you’ll find straightforward answers to your website design project questions. No hard sells, no pressure and as transparent as we can be. If we’re not a good fit for your website project, we’ll tell you! So breathe deep, dig in and know we’re here to help, not sell. (OK, maybe a little selling)
Our website packages are exhaustive and hands free. Designed for the small business owner that doesn’t have the skills, time or the desire to manage their own site, we will take point on your online marketing strategies. Offering directives and professional insights while treating your success as our success, we take pride in our transparent, reliable and responsive services.
Hourly and consultation services are available in addition to complete website packages.
Invest in your business.
Every project begins with a free consultation. To ensure that we’re are on common ground, open and frequent communication helps to ensure a smooth, uneventful and predictable process.
Typically, a web design client can expect a project to take between 4-6 weeks. However every project is unique and depending on the scope of the website, some projects can be finished in much less time.
More often than not, establishing and/or gathering content pushes back a website completion date.
While meeting our clients face to face is always great, it’s actually the exception rather than the rule and a long way from being a requirement. We estimate that traditional, let’s-shake-hands meetings with 25% have only taken place with of clients; it’s clearly not an issue. Using phone calls, emails, online mock-ups and online-meetings (sharing computer desktops), we’ve been able to work with clients from coast to coast.
Without a website hosting solution, your website has no “home” and won’t be accessible to users. Think of web hosting as “rent” for your website home.
VPS Hosting: Virtual Private Servers provide client websites with dedicated space and resources on a web server machine. We highly recommend a VPS solution for any client that wants excellent performance.
A vast majority of websites are on “shared hosts” and that’s how prices are kept low. The liability of this configuration is that your website is probably sharing server space and resources with many, many other websites and should one of those sites tax the system, all the other websites sharing that space can be adversely affected.
“If you build it, [they] will come…” It’s a great movie (often misquoted) line, but regrettably it doesn’t apply to your website marketing strategy.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a critical element of any website strategy. A pro-active plan is required to ensure that your website listing is returned in a reasonable and prominent position when users search for your brand or services using a search engine website like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. And to make things even more interesting, the algorithms used by each of the search engines is constantly being tweaked and edited to make SEO a moving target. So SEO strategies need to be regularly monitored and addresses.
So you’re thinking, “WHOA there…I don’t need a whole new website!” We can help you with small or large updates to you existing website with fair, hourly labor. We provide estimates in advance and there are no minimums. Give us a call or email today and share more about your hourly labor needs.
VPS powered website hosting: VPS is an upgraded hosting solution, which provides dedicated resources and RAM, translating into exceptional performance, reliability, and faster page loading times. VPS Pricing Benchmarks: GoDaddy: $30/mo.; HostGator: $40/mo. but include no services, additional security, updates or maintenance.
While every new website incorporates SEO friendly strategies, The Affordable Web Guy cannot guarantee specific search engine result rankings and results. Contact us about long-term SEO campaigns.
Every SEO scenario is unique and a laundry list of factors is in play; market size, business model and so on. For example, a law firm in NYC will need to “fight harder” for visibility than a dentist in Valdosta, GA. The traditional key factor in SEO is regular content updates with unique and meaningful content; content is king.
- Free Domain Registration
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited monthly bandwidth
- Detailed traffic information via Google Analytics®
- Additional information about website hosting
Any website we create and host enjoys free domain registration for the term of the hosting agreement. Otherwise, you can expect to pay about $12-$15 a year.
There are a handful of registrars charging $35 a year but unless you owe them a personal favor, there’s no reason to pay that much. Note: With many MANY domain registrars opening shops, there is a reason to be cautious.
Your domain name is your online brand. It’s your web-address. It’s how users and search engines will find your website. It’s a critical part of an over-all website strategy and should be considered the first item on your short list of to-do’s since domains can often be difficult to find and secure registrations. Clearly, the more unique your proposed domain name is, the higher the probability that it’s available.
While a vast majority of my clients host their websites through our services, it’s certainly not required. To accommodate that scenario, we would need to gain access to your domain registrar to make some simple edits to DNS (Domain Name System) your configuration.
Yes. But we consider it more of an agreement than a “contract”. It might be splitting hairs, but the terms outlined in a typical agreement are primarily about ensuring that we’re on the “same sheet of music” and prevent “surprises” vs. a tool for legal footing.
Complete transparency is a critical business philosophy.
A down payment of 50% is required prior to any project development. Once the design is approved and ultimately completed to your satisfaction, the project balance will be due.
There are a variety of strategies available to any business owner with the savvy to build and maintain a website.
- Get your website linked to from another website
- Ensure your website has unique content that’s regularly udpated
- Include your web address in all of your written material and literature: business cards, letter heads, brochures and so on
- Paid placements in search engine results: Google AdWords
- Google Places and Yelp listings
- Social Networking Sites: Facebook, Instagram or Twitter where you regularly engage with your clients/readers
- Professional Networking Sites: LinkedIn or ZoomInfo
If you have a product or service that you’d like to market via third party, we can create web-friendly, high impact banner ads to any specification and size.
Likewise, an HTML email will always be more effective than a simple, plain text version. Use your brand, images, colors and font treatments and turn up the heat on your marketing emails!
Commerce sites come with a collection of additional challenges and requirements that logically require more time and ‘leg-work” to execute. Critical elements like usability and security can’t be overlooked and mission critical when it comes to your website success.
We don’t have an in-house shopping cart solution but rather rely on third party services. There’s no need to re-invent the commerce wheel and it keeps development costs down and well under control.
PayPal and Google Wallet offers the most affordable solution for anyone considering a commerce feature on their website. Because there is no start up or monthly fees (you pay a percentage of the online sale), it’s worthy of consideration.
Additionally, it is a relatively easy feature to incorporate into any website wanting secure transactions from a reputable vendor. Logically, a more sophisticated shopping cart comes with additional requirements such as a secure connection (SSL), merchant account and a monthly fees to maintain your online store.