Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a web site cost?
The cost of a web site will vary in the same way the cost of a building or house will vary. Something simple, say a few pages and some light retouching of existing graphics may be several hundred dollars. Building an on-line store, designing custom graphics, and programming custom features might be tens of thousands of dollars. It all depends on what you want to do. But rest assured that we will walk you through the thought process to determine what you need to start off with. Web sites tend to be developed in phases, so we will suggest reasonable phases that will let you grow into the site you need and want at a pace you control. Call or email us today so we can schedule a time to talk about how we can work within your budget to tailor a solution to your needs.
How long does it take to build a web site?
As with the cost question, the effort involved and goals to reach will directly affect how long it will take. Something small and simple may take one to two weeks, something much more complex may take one to two years. It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. So don't be afraid, just contact us today to see how we can get the ball rolling for you.
What about search engines?
You may have heard a lot about search engines. You may have heard that you have to pay lots of money for people to "optimize" your site to increase your ranking. While these search engine optimization (SEO) techniques do have a lot of validity, first and foremost, your site has to have two things. First is relevant clearly laid out content. I mean that the information within your site must be easily read and understood by a human first. If a person can't figure out what you are trying to promote or convey, then nothing else will help make it successful. Second is to make sure that your site is popular.
Now I mean popular in the real world sense. People need to know about it. That means that you need to get your name out there either through emails or phone calls to other web site owners so you can establish a reciprocal link. Quite simply, you link to their site, they link to yours. So if your site follows these two key elements, relevant content and link popularity, your search engine ranking will naturally improve and keep improving so long as you stay on top of these two things. As far as the technical side of things, like well-formed HTML code, we take care of that. All you have to worry about is what you would normally care about in the real world. You just have to ask: "Is my message clear and am I actively increasing my visibility in the community?"
Do you host web sites?
Yes, we can host your web site, and actually prefer to do so. Hosting has now become a commodity, with fierce competition on price. At the end of the day, what really matters is who are you going to call when something goes wrong? Since we have complete control over our servers, you can be assured that should a problem arise, we can take care of it without having to wait on someone else. Our rates are competitive and we offer discounts for annual prepayment.
How do I register my domain name?
While many developers may have you register your domain name through them, we simply have everyone register their domain name with GoDaddy.com. Their prices and service are excellent and their control panels for making changes to your domain name are easy and fast. Yes they do have a lot of advertising on their site, but if you can see past that, they really do offer a great value. Most domain names will cost about $9 per year. Its not worth our effort to try to resell these to our clients, and in the end we always prefer that a client maintains control of their domain name.
Since they are so relatively inexpensive, many clients will also register variations or misspellings of their domain name if available. These can help capture people who may mistype your address and protect against typo-squatters who may try to extort money once your web site gains popularity. As a rule we recommend that a client try to register a .com, .net, or .org domain name. These are the most recognized and trusted. In some cases a .biz or .us may be appropriate, but if you can find an acceptable .com, by all means take it.
What if my domain name is taken?
If the domain name you want to register is already taken, you have a few options. First, you can try to find a similar but different name that is available. You can get pretty creative. But do try to keep it as short as possible. Remember that you want your visitors to be able to remember it and type it in correctly. Second, you can contact the current owner to see if they will sell it. Sometimes the owner is an individual or entity that is simple not using it anymore and may be open to selling it.
Other times, the owner is a company whose sole reason for owning the domain name is to sell it for a profit. These outfits may use auction-type systems to sell it to the highest bidder, but many of these systems are hard to work with and can raise prices significantly. The third option is to wait it out and see if the current owner fails to renew the domain once it expires. This has its own challenges as well since the expiration process involves several timelines which can get pretty confusing for someone trying to grab a name. You also risk fighting it out with one or more other parties who might be doing the same thing. In the end, the easiest option is to find an available name that fits and the second best is to find one that is for sale outright.