Q. What do I need to get my website started?
- A Domain Name.
A domain name is essentially your web address ( yourdomainname.com ). Ideally, this would be the name of your company or service. A domain name could be purchased for as little as $10 per year through a domain name registrar or hosting company.
- A hosting company.
Web hosting is a service provided by a company that offers a physical location to store web pages and files. Google states, “Think of a Web Hosting Company as a type of landlord, they rent physical space on their servers allowing web pages to be viewed on the Internet.” You could find reasonable plans for as little as $4 per month.
- A Web Developer.
Hiring me is not the only option, but an effective one none-the-less, . There are content management systems (CMS) like WordPress that enable the average computer user to build websites without knowing HTML code; however, they do have a learning curve and wouldn’t be ideal for the busy business owner.
Q. What content do I need to gather?
- Introduction of services.
Write down any information you’d like your customers to know about your company or service. Always put your most important information first, use short paragraphs, and avoid using complicated words. Your goal is to target a broad range of people, so keeping it simple will ensure your users will digest your content easily.
This includes a logo, photographs, graphic images, and videos. When collecting any of the latter media types, be sure to get the highest resolution possible. Having high quality images will help reflect a sense of professionalism.
- About and contact information.
Every client likes to know who they are doing business with, so it’s important to provide a short (but detailed) summary about your business or services. Be sure to include contact information like email, phone number, and address.
Q. What’s the best way to communicate my vision for my website?
- Example websites.
The best and easiest way to communicate your idea is through example. Search the web and try to find a website that captures some of the function and style you have in mind. I will try my best to meet and exceed the sample site.
Q. Do I get see a sketch or mock up before you start developing?
I begin every web design with a mock up (static drawing); which you’ll preview and approve. If you choose a responsive design (which I highly recommend), then I’ll provide 3 separate mock ups. One for desktops, tablet, and mobile phone. Only after you are 100% satisfied will I begin the actual development.
Q. Will I be able to pick any font style and color?
Color and font style are very important aspects of web design. Color impacts our subconscious (e.g., the color blue is associated with trust) as does font style. So before I start designing, I will create a mood board containing textures, colors, and font styles that you can preview.
Q. Can I choose a WordPress platform?
I can develope your website in any of the following platforms: HTML / CSS, WordPress, Wix or Squarespace.
Q. Do you provide hosting?
- Unfortunately no.
I can however; recommend a few very affordable and reliable hosting companies. You can find plans for as little as $4 per month.
Q. Will the website be optimized for search engines?
- Yes and no.
That aspect of web development is a collaborative effort. I can optimize the website; but with your chosen keywords. However; I will do my best to inform you on best practices, etc.
Q. How long will it take until the website goes live?
- A month or less.
Although it is tempting to accept multiple projects, I know the quality of my work could suffer. I much rather do 3 excellent designs than 6 mediocre ones. I want to make sure every aspect of your website is looking as great as it could possibly be.
Q. Will my website be secure?
- That depends.
The WordPress platform does have some vulnerabilities; but fortunately, WordPress has several great plugins that provide strong security against hackers. HTML sites could get compromised as well, but only if the hosting company gets hacked. But rest assure, a copy of your website files will be stored on the cloud should your site happen to get hacked.
Q. What exactly do you test?
I’ll run the website through a validator to make sure the code meets the latest web standards. Next I’ll check your website for any inconsistency between browsers. And finally, I’ll have a friend double check my work to see if my objectivity has gotten the best of me.
Q. Do I get to see the progress?
As soon as the homepage is somewhat close to the mock up, I’ll send you the web address so you can monitor the site’s progress.
Q. Will I be able to see the website before deployment?
Your website will be designed and tested thoroughly before deployment.
Q. Do you offer updates for free?
- Unfortunately No
For websites that do require periodic updates (i.e., uploading new content and images), I do offer a $50 a month yearly contract.
Q. If I opt for a WordPress website. Do you offer training?
I offer a one-hour Skype or phone tutorial included with all website package plans.