How to Create a Website
Whether you need a new website or you simply want to improve your current website; I am sure you have a lot of questions.
Read through the FAQ below to help you on your way. If you have any questions not covered below, feel free to contact me with your questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I am a small business owner & I want to promote my business online. How can you help?
- Do we need to meet in person?
- Who will I be working with?
- What are your office hours?
2: Existing Website, Domains, Hosting & Email
- I have an existing website. Can you help me to update it?
- What is hosting and why do I need it?
- Do you provide hosting?
- Can I move my website to another hosting company?
- What domain name should I choose?
- Can you register my domain for me?
- Who owns the domain?
- Can I get an email account with my website?
3: What the designer needs from you:
4: Questions for the designer
- In a nutshell, what will you do?
- What is the difference between a static and a dynamic website?
- What is a CMS?
- How many pages can I have on my website?
- Can I have a blog on my website?
- How long will it take to make my website?
- Will my website be search engine friendly?
5: Payment Questions
- What does it cost to create my website?
- Do I need to pay a deposit?
- What is your payment policy?
- What are your terms and conditions?
- Once its finished, who owns the website?
6: After Sales
- What after sales service do you offer?
- Do you back up my website?
- Will my website always be available?
- Will you have to do all future updates on my website?
- Can I update my website?
- Do I need training before I can update my website?
7: SEO & Website Analytics
I am a small business owner & I want to promote my business online. How can you help?
- I can assess your existing website and suggest improvements.
- If you don’t already have one, I can create a website for you.
- I can optimise your website with relevant content to attract quality customers.
- I can assist you with your online marketing initiatives.
Do we need to meet in person?
We dont need to meet in person as the proposals, specifications, photo editing and website creation is done online and sent you to via email. However if we are within reasonable proximity to each other, then I suggest we meet up – its always good for clear understanding to chat in person. Failing that, we can also use Skype for conference calling.
Who will I be working with?
You will be working with me, directly: Jolene Bertoldi
What are your office hours?
My hours are flexible, however I am contactable: Monday – Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm
02 Existing Website, Domains, Hosting & Email
I have an existing website. Can you help me to update it?
Yes I can. Please contact me for a quote.
What is hosting and why do I need it?
Your website needs a home on the Internet – a place for your domain name, web page files, photographs and graphics. You will buy or rent web space through a hosting company.
Do you provide hosting?
I do not provide hosting, however I can advise you on the most appropriate options available.
Your hosting package will depend on your website requirements, for example: if you plan to have an e-commerce site, whether or not you need a database, which CMS website you go for, all play a role in your hosting package choice.
Hosting fees are paid directly to your hosting company either monthly or annually.
Can I move my website to another hosting company?
Yes you can. If you wish to, let me know and I can assist you with the process.
What domain name should I choose?
If you do not already have a domain name (web address) then you should get a domain that matches your company name. If this is not available or not applicable, then I can assist you with finding an appropriate name that is easy to tell people, is easy for them to remember and is relevant to your website.
Can you register my domain for me?
Yes, I can. I will discuss this with you at the time of your proposal.
Who owns the domain?
You rent the domain from the hosting company on an annual basis. As long as you pay for the domain, it is yours.
Can I get an email account with my website?
Yes and I can assist you setting up your email addresses. I also recommend that you use an email address that matches your domain name for your business. This is far more professional and its amazing to see how many companies out there still use generic email accounts for their businesses. It doesn’t inspire confidence!
03 What the designer needs from you:
In order to create the website, what do you need from me?
Tell me what you do:
This is the interesting part! I will need to know all about your business: what you do, how you do it, where you do it! I will need as much information as you can give me.
Tell me what you want from your website:
This is your website and it is your window to the world. Do you want it to be unique, functional, meet certain business objectives, while reflecting your personality? Whether you have absolutely no idea or just some idea; together we will find the perfect solution for you.
By this stage I will know what you want and I will give you a specification to confirm this. If this is correct, I will send you a proposal, which includes the cost and the lead time. If you are happy with it and your deposit has been received, then its full steam ahead.
Let me see it:
I require content, graphics and images to load onto the website. Preferably you will provide this. If you dont have anything, then I can quote you separately for content and image creation specifically researched and designed for your website.
Give me feedback:
I will involve you throughout the entire process so that you can see the website as we progress and provide feedback.
I already have a logo. Can you use it on my website?
It depends on the logo format and quality, but yes, please send it over and I will let you know.
Can you (re)design my logo?
Logos are not my forte, however, I have a logo designer that I highly recommend.
In what format can I give you the text and images for my website?
I require the text electronically, so in an email, a text document or a pdf document. If you only have physical brochures or other marketing material, then an admin fee will apply to convert it to an electronic format.
Images and photographs can be sent in any file format (electronically) and my preference is to have the original large size. I will edit them for the website myself.
What if I don’t have any photographs?
I offer website photography and can quote you based on your specific requirements.
Alternatively (but not the best solution) stock images can be found or bought online.
04 Questions for the designer
In a nutshell, what will you do?
- I will listen to what you want.
- I will put a proposal together including a specification and a lead time.
- I will create and provide you with a professional and functional website that you will be proud of.
- I will include essential SEO methodologies in the design and content of your website.
- I will ensure that you have enough relevant content, making it useful to your customers
- I will assist you setting up social networking accounts.
- I will provide and assist you in understanding your website analytics.
- I will provide you with on-going tips to help increase your online marketing efforts.
- I will give you training and a step-by-step guide on how to maintain your website.
- I will offer you a website maintenance plan.
What is the difference between a static and a dynamic website?
A static site is one that is written in HTML only. Each page is a separate document and there is no database that it draws on. What this means functionally is that the only way to edit the site is to go into each page and edit the HTML.
A dynamic site is written using more complex code and can offer more interaction. For example you can include forms (contact, quote, feedback), have polls, a members only area, you can integrate a blog with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, you can run an e-commerce website with online payments. This is because each page is constructed based on the information in a database, and the information in that database can be changed via another interface.
The advantages of choosing an static HTML site are that they are fairly quick to produce – and I would only recommend it only if you intend on having few pages on your website. It will also be cheaper to produce, both in time to develop as well as hosting costs as you can get away with the cheapest personal package available.
The disadvantages of choosing an static HTML site are that they are difficult to maintain / update, especially as the site starts to grow (each page needs to be updated individually and with each update all pages need to be updated). This makes seemingly small changes very time consuming. The cost of these changes could negate any savings listed in the advantages. In addition, from an SEO perspective, you need to update your website constantly, so this exercise becomes an expensive.
The use of open source content managements systems (dynamic sites) on the other hand can reduce start up and ongoing maintenance costs. Open source content managements systems (such as WordPress and Joomla! are free to use). In addition, the cms is built to allow a user to easily change / add content to the website. The cms also allows you to change only the content of the site and not the design, so you will not be able to accidentally break the site. They have other benefits when sites start to get very large, as they make data management much more efficient and your site more expandable.
What is a CMS?
CMS is a Content Management System. It is an application – in this case a web based application that allows you to manage (add, remove, amend) content of your website without the need for any technical knowledge or skills. It also allows you to change certain aspects of the navigation and appearance of the website fairly easily.
In short it means that once I have designed the website for you, you can maintain and amend the information on the website as and when you see fit.
How many pages can I have on my website?
You can have as many pages as you want and in fact, the more pages you have with relevant content is better for your search engine rankings.
It is important to note that the cost of extra pages stays the same for static HTML pages, while the cost of adding pages to a CMS website reduces dramatically once the site has been built.
Can I have a blog on my website?
If you have chosen a cms website, then yes, this will be included.
How long will it take to make my website?
It depends on the size and requirements of your project and I can discuss this with you at the time of your proposal.
If you have a deadline, please make it known at the proposal stage and I will accurately be able to set your expectation of the lead time.
It might be worth noting that, in my experience, the biggest time thief is waiting for website content (text & images) from my clients, so having this information ready will help speed up the process.
Will my website be search engine friendly?
Absolutely. My websites are all designed with the latest SEO requirements and methodologies in mind.
05 Payment Questions
What does it cost to create my website?
This will depend on the kind of website you require. See here for a list of my out-the-box packages.
I also offer bespoke solutions, so contact me for a free quote, mentioning your requirements and budget.
Do I need to pay a deposit?
Yes you do. I require a 50% deposit to get started.
What is your payment policy?
I require a 50% deposit before I start. The balance is due on completion.
What are your terms and conditions?
Once its finished, who owns the website?
Once the final payment has been received, you own the website in its entirety.
06 After Sales
What after sales service do you offer?
Your website is covered by a warranty for 30 days from the day your website goes live.
I will fix any bug or website issue within this 30 day warranty period.
I also offer a maintenance plan which cover the costs of ad-hoc changes, updates and new work.
Do you back up my website?
Your hosting provider should provide daily back ups of your site – we can check this. You will also have access to FTP details and can arrange your own backups.
Will my website always be available?
No hosting company will guarantee 100% up time, however I can help you find a hosting company that is reputable and will offer the best solutions.
Will you have to do all future updates on my website?
I can help you with future updates, but no, my intention is to build a website that you can maintain.
If at a later date, you choose a different web designer to change / maintain your website, they will be able to make the amendments on your behalf, too.
Can I update my website?
If you have chosen a static HMTL site, then no, I will need to up date it for you.
However, if you have chosen a CMS, then you can update the content of your own website.
Do I need training before I can update my website?
I will show you the admin side of your website and explain how and where to make the updates. No technical training is required as these systems are built to be user friendly.
07 SEO & Website Analytics
Can I see how many visitors have visited my website?
Yes, I will add analytics and tracking to your website. I will explain the stats to you and show you how you can use them to your advantage in your marketing plan.
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation is the process of increasing your website’s visibility in search engines and thereby generating quality traffic to your website. It is optimising your website to ensure that it is listed in the search results of a relevant search; without the use of paid for adverts.
It is referred to as a process because it is ongoing. SEO is never completed or done.
Will I find my website on search engines?
Yes, provided you are entering search phrases that your website has been optimised for.
How do I get listed on Google?
You cannot get listed on Google. You can simply create a website that is listed in Google’s search results, provided it contains enough of the right information that someone is searching for.
Do you have any online marketing ideas?
Yes I do. Please follow my blog for ideas, tips and the latest news in SEO, online marketing and social media.