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Frequently asked questions

Why do I need a web site for my business?

As a business owner, you understand the importance of marketing material to generate more business. You probably have business cards and brochures or fliers to give prospective clients. You may have placed ads in local newspapers. Perhaps you even used television or radio. Combinations of these techniques have helped businesses succeed for years. However, none of these items are as effective at conveying information about your business as a web site. Printed material can only hold so much information without becoming a big production and cost prohibitive. A minor change in printed material requires additional cost and waste. The same with an ad. Space is both a limited commodity and rather expensive. A web site can tell the whole story about your business, your goals, your services and offer contact information. A web site can act as a salesperson for your business, displaying available products and even allowing for the purchasing of them on the site.

Why should I hire you?

There are many web designers and developers with various skill levels and price tags. Like any contractor you hire, you have to do your homework. I have years of experience in both design and development. I hand code all my web sites and don't rely on tools to generate code for me. They never do a good job and the web site can only be maintained if you have that tool. I also guarantee every web site I create, if you are not satisfied and I can't fix it, you get a full refund. That is how confident I am of being able to deliver a unique top-of-the-line web site.

Are there different techniques to create a web site?

Absolutely. The two main differing approaches to web design are Flash only web sites and HTML web sites. Flash only web sites have lots of animation in them and are good for very visually interactive web sites. Unfortunately they are terrible for search engine ranking. I build HTML web sites that conform to W3C recommended standards. I can incorporate Flash effects (like a banner), however there is always a fallback image and text for visitors who don't have Flash installed. My goal is to create a visually appealing web site that works no matter what browser, operating system, and even mobile device your visitor is using.

What about special requests?

No Problem. This is my main strength. I have well over 20 years of experience as a computer programmer and have developed some large and sophisticated systems. I have the ability to take a requirement and find the simplest and most robust approach to get you rock solid results. I also am knowledgeable on the open source software and can incorporate it into a web site using my own "portal" technology I have built into my content management system. In other words I can add ecommerce, photo galleries, blogs, etc. to your web site without it falling apart or looking bad.

I saw that I can get a web site for $99.95, why do charge more?

You can always find someone who charges less than me, but you get what you pay for. When you hire a builder to add an addition to your house, is price your only concern? Of course not. If someone comes in and does a schlock job, it will end up costing you much more in the long run not to mention the added aggravation. Higher prices don't always equal higher quality either. My work speaks for itself. I pay attention to details and never leave a job half finished. If the cost of the web site is your main concern, I would suggest not even bothering getting a web site. Having a poorly designed web site can do more damage to your business image than having no web site at all.

How much do you charge for a web site?

Web site prices are based on the complexity of the design and functionality. I do not charge by number of pages, since I use a content management system on all my projects and you can add as many pages as you like. Some sites are very simple to design and build, and require little in the way of maintenance. Other sites will require extra functionality that takes more effort to construct. For a simple web site my price starts at $1,750 and goes up from there depending on any extra features you add. All web sites are built with a content management system so you can maintain the pages yourself, a unique design based on our initial discussion, and a contact form. That's pretty cheap for the quality you get.

Are there other expenses I will face in owning a web site?

Other expenses you can expect are domain name registration fees and hosting charges. Domain name registration fees run in the neighborhood of $15 annually. I can help you register a domain if you need it for a small fee. Hosting charges can vary greatly, but typically fall in the $20 per month range. If you have me register your domain name, it's $25 per year. There are discounts for multiple year registrations. I also provide hosting for $24 per month or $200 per year. Ecommerce web sites may also require a credit card processing gateway and an SSL certificate. The SSL certificate is what allows your web site to used the encrypted protocol (https://) and typically a certificate runs about $100 annually. A credit card gateway typically runs about $25 a month with a transaction fee also. If you prefer to have an external credit card processing service (like PayPal), you will only have a per transaction fee and no SSL certificate is required.

How long does it take to build a web site?

Timelines are determined by the complexity and size of the project. For smaller web sites it typically takes around 2 weeks. This can be slowed down by many revision requests or if you do not provide me with the content. Larger projects where I need to add extra functionality can take 4 weeks or more to complete.

What is the typical construction process?

The first step is to identify your needs and goals. This is done though an initial consultation. Once a clear concept is established, a written proposal outlining everything included in the site and cost is delivered to you. Having a formal agreement in place, the design phase begins. A visual design mockup is created and posted online for your review. Once the visual design is accepted, the actual construction begins. This involves taking the visual design that was created and coding it into a working web page, constructing additional pages of the web site, and any programming and database work needed. When the construction process is completed, you are able to visit a temporary web address where you can review the web site. Once the site is reviewed, tested and accepted, it is time to launch your web site. This involves moving the web site to the hosting server and pointing your domain to the web site. Your web site is now visible to the world!