Frequently Asked Questions
I have been building web sites and helping people with their online presence since 1993. During those years, I’ve gained a vast amount of experience and knowledge. I crafted this FAQ page to answer many of the questions I’ve been asked along the way.
I’m new to this whole web site thing, how does it work?
You can learn about how we’ll work together on my process page. We will share responsibilities to get it done correctly. Communication is the key to a great relationship, and I’m pretty good at it.
How much does a web site cost?
Like many things, the cost of a web site can vary depending on your goals and the features you need. My custom web site projects generally start in the $800 range for a basic informational site and the $2,000 range for business sites and range upward depending on your unique needs.
How long does it take to design and build a web site?
The time it takes to produce a web site depends on the size and complexity of your site and the quality of content that you have ready to go. A basic web site typically takes from four to six weeks from beginning to end.
Do I need my own domain name and web hosting?
Yes, and I will help you get this set up. Although I can work with your existing provider, it’s best if I set up your hosting, too. I have a favorite hosting company and I trust them and know my way around there.
What is a domain name (and URL)?
A domain name is usually created from your name or company name and is a big part of your identity on the internet. This would be something like yourcompany.com or yourname.net; mine is nightowlservices.com. The URL is the exact location of your site online and includes your domain name. It looks like this: http://www.yourcompany.com. Web browsers read the URL and display the page or file it points to. Leasing a domain is quite inexpensive (between $5 and $15 a year) and I’ll do all the work.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows your web site to be viewed on the Internet. The files that make up your site are stored on a server (a special computer that “serves” up files) at the hosting company’s data center. They allow access to those files 24/7 so everyone can see your web site.
Will my web site work on mobile devices?
Yes it will. All the web sites I design work on all devices. Depending on your requirements, I can also design and develop your site using responsive design so that the site is optimized for mobile devices.
Do you do e-commerce/online store web sites?
Yes, I do. Whether you are selling a service or a product, you can sell it on your site. Be aware that e-commerce sites take significantly longer to develop than others, but the investment is worthwhile.
What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
A Content Management System is a tool that allows you to maintain the pages of your web site yourself, without the need for difficult technical skills. A CMS allows you to edit and add pages, images, products or blog entries to your site. No additional software is required—all you need is a web browser and an internet connection. I use WordPress to create and manage sites because it’s the best.
Do you provide training?
Yes, I provide clients with up to two hours of training to learn to add and edit content on their web site. I can also provide great video training. Additional training after the site is built is available on an hourly basis.
Who will manage my web site after it’s launched?
Maintenance and security of a web site are absolutely vital. I would love to help you maintain your site once it’s live. I offer two different packages for this purpose and you can read about them on my Maintenance and Security page.
Do I need to have a Facebook / Twitter / Google+ / Pinterest account?
That will depend on whether you could reach a large amount of potential and current clients or customers that way. Having a presence on social media can be very rewarding but demands time and effort to create content. I won’t steer you wrong.
Can you help me with Social Media and Email Marketing?
I certainly can. As part of your project, I can set up social media and email marketing services. I do not create the content, but I can help you find it and/or refer you to folks who do.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization is about making it easy for people to find you. The goal is to appear higher in the search results on search engines such as Google. The higher the results, the more traffic (and customers) you’re likely to get. Placement is not automatic and does take work.
There are many aspects that go into achieving good SEO, and one of the most important is the copy (words) on your web site. Focus on well-written, keyword-rich and appropriate content and the SEO is well on its way. If you need more, I can recommend SEO specialists.
Do you write the content for my site?
I don’t directly write your content; however if you need help with this I can put you in contact with a copywriter who specializes in writing for the web.
Can you design my logo?
I focus on what I’m good at—designing and building web sites. But if you need someone to create your logo, I have relationships with several great graphic designers who specialize in logos and branding.
Need more help? Just ask!